Be there For Your Kids

In This Issue:

  • Looking Past the Hearts, Flowers and Chocolate - The Importance of Building Healthy Father/Daughter Relationships
  • What's New on www.coloradodads.com
  • Program Spotlight
  • Dads and Divorce - Part Two
  • Fatherhood and Child Welfare - The Next Steps in Improving Father Engagement
  • January Featured Father
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

 

Looking Past the Hearts, Flowers and Chocolate: The Importance of Building Healthy Father/Daughter Relationships

Red roses and heart shaped candy boxes are already lining the shelves of retail stores across Colorado in preparation for Valentine's Day. Many fathers are romantics at heart, investing time and money into making Valentine's Day special for their significant others. But instead of investing in high price jewelry or an expensive night out, this year Colorado dads are encouraged to invest time and energy into their relationships with their daughters. A father who communicates and spends time with his little girl will make a lasting impact on her life, long after the roses and candy are gone.

"The effects of a father-full life for a daughter can last long into adulthood," said Dan Welch, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. "Girls with involved fathers are more stable emotionally and physically during adolescence, are less likely to participate in early sexual activity or experience teen pregnancy and often go on to have more satisfactory adult relationships. By making the commitment to communicate and spend time with their daughters, fathers can help ensure their personal and professional success later in life."

For many fathers, understanding how to relate to their daughters can be a challenge. But like in any relationship, two important keys to success are listening and spending quality, uninterrupted time together. The National Center for Fathering provides several tips fathers can use to help them listen and connect with their daughters.

 

What's New on www.coloradodads.com

With versions in both English and Spanish, the Colorado Dads website continues to serve as an all-encompassing resource for fathers as well as fatherhood and family service practitioners. Because the site is updated almost every day, you may have missed some of our most recent updates.

Healthy Relationships

The most recent changes to the Colorado Dads website have come in this section of the site. We recently added three new pages to the Healthy Relationships section in order to better serve fathers and families. The new sections include resources for:

The purpose of the Healthy Relationships section is to provide links to information that's relevant to fathers of all walks of life. Today, grandfathers, military dads and step-dads play important roles in the development of children around the world. It's important that we recognize them on the Colorado Dads site.

Funding Resources

Be sure to check out the Funding Resources page within the Practitioner Resources section of the Colorado Dads website for two new funding opportunities for fatherhood programs. The first, from the Colorado Workforce Development Council, is a grant opportunity for programs that assist businesses in the creation of jobs and programs that assist businesses in accessing qualified employees. The second grant opportunity is from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR). The NCFMR seeks to fund up to four proposals ($20,000 per award) to support innovative research that contributes to theoretical, conceptual or methodological developments about fathers and fathering.

 

Program Spotlight - Goodwill Industries Nurturing Fathers Program - Denver

1. What services do you provide to fathers and families with your community access grant funding?

Through the Nurturing Fathers Program, Goodwill Industries provides parenting classes and a weekly peer-based support group. We teach parenting and nurturing skills to fathers and encourage them to make positive changes in their lives. We also teach healthy relationship skills.

We have a working partnership with Colorado State University (CSU) Extension that provides additional support and services for the dads participating in our program. "Within My Reach" is a component of the CSU Extension Family Success program. This program emphasizes relationship skills and decision making so that fathers can achieve relationship successes for themselves and their children.

We provide individual coaching and system navigation services for the fathers participating in the Nurturing Fathers Program. Through our Advanced Plus and Sustaining Our Self-Sufficiency programs, we provide career assessments, links to community resources, case management and vocational training.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?

Ultimately, we want to ensure that each program participant has the opportunity to live up to his potential and attain personal and economic self-sufficiency. We want to provide structure, stability and support to fathers.

3. Describe a typical day at the Goodwill Industries Nurturing Fathers Program.

A typical day consists of receiving referrals from the Child Support Technicians in Adams and Arapahoe counties. We contact the fathers referred to our program and begin to build a rapport. We typically meet with the dads out in the field. Usually we meet with them at a public place near their home or work (coffee shop, library, Denny's etc.). Portions of the day are spent on the phone with fathers, providing individual coaching or answering specific questions related to Child Support, parenting time or educational/employment needs. Throughout the rest of the day, we spend time communicating with human services caseworkers or community organizations in order to provide dads with the best resources possible. Two evenings per week are spent in a classroom setting with fathers participating in the Nurturing Fathers Program.

4. What is the best part about working with fathers and families?

The best part about working with fathers and families is watching their hopelessness turn into hopefulness. It is pretty cool to watch their self-esteem and self-worth improve as they progress through the parenting classes. It is even more rewarding to watch them exercise their newfound parenting skills with their children.

5. Share a program/father success story with us.

I, James Sanchez, program administrator, would like to share a program success story. As part of our program implementation phase, we met with the supervisors and technicians working within Adams County Child Support Enforcement. We shared our vision and goals for the Nurturing Fathers Program. We discussed what services were going to be available for non-residential parents in the county and how Child Support could play a role in encouraging fathers to participate in our program. After our meeting, we provided the supervisors and technicians with electronic referral forms to use to refer dads. Due to previous experiences, we were somewhat concerned about getting the necessary buy-in from Child Support Enforcement.

Before we could even get the class schedule set up, we began to receive referrals from Child Support Enforcement staff. We're absolutely amazed by the amount of support and number of referrals we have received and continue to receive from these supervisors and technicians! As a result, our first class was completely full and we are still receiving a constant flow of referrals.

 

Dads and Divorce - Part Two
Divorce is not the End - It's Just the Beginning!

Written by Brett Zachman, founder, Be Men, www.bemen.org

Divorce seems like a dark word. While it is not pleasant, at times it's necessary to improve emotional, mental and physical well-being among all involved, including any children that are impacted. In November, I listed challenges fathers might face while dealing with a divorce. This month, let's seek solutions for creating a healthy transition:

Emotional
Denying your emotions leads to dysfunction. Explore positive ways for expression - physical exertion (biking, hiking, sports, etc.), writing (can be cathartic) and art (creative release of energy) can all be helpful. Loving yourself sounds soft, but getting to know yourself - emotionally, mentally and physically is key. Books, counselors, friends, family and therapists can provide objective viewpoints that allow you to explore and learn your strengths and weaknesses. Creating a better relationship with yourself allows for healthier interactions with your children.

Financial
As humans, we deal with our finances emotionally rather than mathematically. Take the emotions out of the equation by prioritizing your dollars. Write down a list of needs vs. wants. Take care of yourself and your children first. Being "selfish" is not negative. If you don't take care of yourself, who will? Create a mental mindset of abundance not scarcity. Outside resources can be helpful - books like The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley offer guidance and hope. The Internet provides free, online tools such as www.mint.com, which can enable you to efficiently manage your money.

Mental
Do not isolate yourself; it can be crippling. Why is solitary confinement utilized as punishment? The key to overcoming divorce is "community". Look to others for support. Perhaps it's a club, your church, friends or family. While asking for "help" may seem like an admission of weakness, it actually displays your strength. Those who know and love you are ready to help, but they require your guidance in directing them to what you need most.

Physical
Simplicity is profound. Breath (inhale & exhale to your fullest lung capacity several times a day), exercise (the American Heart Association recommends 20 minutes daily, which could be as easy as taking the stairs into and out of your office), hydrate (experts recommend 8-9 glasses of water per day), meditate (sit in silence 10 minutes each day), rest (7-8 hours per night), sunlight (studies show 10 minutes a day provides necessary Vitamin D) and use your mind (reading every day is a terrific way to keep your mind alert).

Children
Remember your children are also dealing with the divorce. Many of the ideas mentioned above could be shared with them. Talk with them and let them know you are going to be fine. Remember to not talk negatively about their mother, but rather explain that it was decided that the divorce was necessary for all to move on to something different. Encourage your children to embrace the change and make it work in their lives, too.

While these solutions may require outside assistance, remember the key to dealing with the challenges of divorce lie within you, not outside you. Everything you need to succeed, you already possess. Believe in yourself!

 

Fatherhood and Child Welfare - The Next Steps in Improving Father Engagement

In May of 2010, the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative and the Colorado Division of Child Welfare launched the Child Welfare Incentive Program website - www.coloradodads.com/caseworkers. The goal was to provide caseworkers and supervisors with relevant tips for improving father engagement, a forum to share agency news, complete Father Friendly Agency Check-Ups and learn more about fatherhood services in Colorado. Today, we are pleased to announce that 78 Child Welfare caseworkers and supervisors have signed up to use this site!

Over the past month, we've seen a steady stream of new accounts initiated as well more completions of the father engagement tools on the site. For example, Jessica Brogger, a caseworker within the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, recently completed a Father Friendly Agency Check-Up. As a direct result of this Check-Up, Jessica plans to "talk with my supervisor regarding her perceptions and how our unit can make efforts to be more father friendly in our practice. I will specifically be asking for information on communication styles. I regularly make efforts to involve fathers as much as I can and going through the list of potential fatherhood resources reminds me of programs that could be helpful to my young dads. I've found that some of the dads we're often most skeptical about are the dads that become most involved when they feel they are genuinely considered and acknowledged as important for their children."

To-date, 17 referrals have been made to local fatherhood programs from the Child Welfare Incentive Program website. This site is a wonderful tool to connect caseworkers to fatherhood programs and continue to fully integrate fathers and paternal kin into the case management process. If your fatherhood program is working with county agencies, be sure to highlight the availability of this website in your discussions.

 

January Featured Father - Robert Sanchez

Denver resident Robert Sanchez is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads website. A father of five, Robert enjoys watching movies with his children as well as getting smiles and laughter out of each of them!

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

An understanding father who is also a great listener.

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?

The day my son graduated from high school. It was a wonderful accomplishment for him!

 

Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives

Our public awareness campaign strives to get the message of responsible fatherhood out to local communities in a variety of ways.

The Fastbreak for Fathers blog, written by fatherhood and family specialist Dan Welch, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include "Quote, Unquote" and "A New Year." Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

We are also seeking submissions for our Watercooler blog. As a fatherhood program administrator, what do you like best about working with fathers? How has the field of fatherhood services changed since the start of the PRF grant in 2006? Or, as a father, what issues are you currently facing as a parent? How can we relate fatherhood to the concerns impacting our world today?

All submissions should be 500 words or less and can be sent to Maggie Spain. Following review, the submissions will be considered for inclusion on the Colorado Dads Watercooler Blog.

Check out the Be There for Your Kids Facebook page for all things related to fatherhood. We encourage you to "Like" this page and comment on fatherhood news articles and notes as we increase our number of followers. Be sure to also check out our YouTube channel for the latest campaign videos.

 

Upcoming Events

2011 Father/Daughter Dance
Friday, January 28, 2011 - 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Greeley Recreation Center

Fathers and daughters of all ages are welcome! Don't miss this unique opportunity to spend some time with your favorite girl. Ticket price includes dance, refreshments and a professional photo of you and your princess.

Dance ticket fee: $18 advance purchase per couple, $24 per couple the day of the dance, $9 each additional daughter
Meal/dance fee: $38 per couple, $14 each additional daughter

Fatherhood Empowerment Club and the Super Bowl
February 6, 2011
Christlife Ministries, Pueblo
4:00 - 9:00 p.m.

You, too, can be a touchdown dad! Join Christlife Ministries for an afternoon of football, food and prizes! There is no charge for this event. Please submit your RSVP by January 30, 2011.

Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Webinars
2nd Tuesday of each month
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Throughout fiscal year 2010/2011 the Colorado PRF Initiative will host a series of Webinars aimed at providing technical assistance to agencies and programs conducting fatherhood work across the state. Community Access Program Grantees are highly encouraged to attend.

 

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Northern Colorado Dads Fatherhood Forum
Held on various days throughout the month. For more information, contact Tyler Osterhaus, Family Focus Program Manager, Weld County Department of Social Services, Family Focused Prevention Unit at 970.352.1551 X622.

Arkansas River Area Fatherhood Team
A meeting on the first Wednesday of every month in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and sharing ideas related to working with fathers. For more information, contact George Hoherd from the Community Partnership for Child Development at 719.635.1536 x262.

Southwest Fatherhood Coordination Council
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Diana Buza from The Pinon Project at 970.564.1195 x41.

Northwest Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Steve Aurand from Garfield County Department of Human Services at 970.625.5282 x624.

Northeast Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Jackie Reynolds from Rural Solutions at 970.526.3216.

 

Check out coloradodads.com to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .

Text DADS or PADRE to 72727 to win free tickets to the Saturday, February 5th Colorado Mammoth game!

Free admission and ice skate rental at the Evergreen Lake House.

Free admission to the Denver Children's Museum

A free gift basket from HappyBaby
Food.com

. . .


Each month, coloradodads.com is excited to profile a Colorado dad and his view of fatherhood. If you know of a Dad who works hard to be there for his kids and should be profiled on the Colorado dads website, please contact Maggie Spain.


To speak with someone directly about fatherhood support services, please call:

1.877.695.7996 (English)
or 1.866.527.3264 (Spanish)

Trained volunteers from Families First staff this line.

To speak with someone directly regarding the Be There For Your Kids public awareness campaign or the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please contact an individual listed below.

Colorado Department of Human Services Contacts:

Dan Welch
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.3808
Email

Mary Roberto
Manager, Program Development and System Innovation Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.2641
Email

The Bawmann Group Contacts:

(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – website, advertising and media relations)

Jennifer Nuhfer
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email

Maggie Spain
Account Manager
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email