In This Issue:

  • Kids Count Report – Child Poverty Increase in Colorado
  • 2008 Be There for Your Kids Awards
  • Program Spotlight
  • Coloradans Participate in the My Dad Taught Me Campaign with the Colorado Rapids
  • Summer Activity Tips for Dads and Kids
  • June Featured Father
  • Upcoming Events

Kids Count Report – Child Poverty Increase in Colorado

According to a report released by the Colorado Children’s Campaign in June 2008, 180,000 Colorado children lived in poverty in 2006 compared to 104,000 in 2000. This 73 percent increase led the nation. These numbers are based on the Federal Poverty Level which is set at three times the cost of food for a family of a particular size.

In Denver County specifically, the number of children living in poverty has doubled since 2000. This indicates that poverty rates are not just increasing in rural areas of the State.

Why has Colorado seen such a dramatic increase? Researchers believe that the State's high school graduation rate (72 percent), the ethnic and racial makeup of Colorado, the number of available jobs for low-skilled workers, the State's per capita expenditures and the number of children born to single parent families and teen moms have all played a role.

For Colorado fathers currently living in poverty it may seem like there are too many barriers to overcome to adequately provide for their children. However, help is available. Our community access funded programs across the State specialize in providing dads with employment and child support assistance as well as job skills training and education so that at-risk families can travel successful and healthy paths throughout life.

To read the complete Kids Count Report on child poverty in Colorado, click here. For more information about fatherhood programs available in your community, click on the link below.

2008 Be There for Your Kids Awards

Honoring Extraordinary Colorado Fathers and Fatherhood Programs

Do you know of a Colorado father who has developed special relationships with his children by being there every step of the way? What about a community program or individual who works tirelessly to connect fathers and their children in order to build healthy families? Now is your chance to recognize them by filling out a nomination form for the 2008 Be There for Your Kids Awards.

Among those to be honored are outstanding fathers, fatherhood programs, fatherhood program employees/volunteers, policy makers and/or advocates who demonstrate excellence, consistency, creativity and leadership. The awards will be given at the 2008 Colorado Fatherhood Training Academy scheduled for October 1-3, 2008 in Vail.

Nominations must fall into one of the following six categories:

  • Father of the Year
  • Outstanding Individual Award
  • Policy or Advocate of the Year
  • Member of the Year
  • Program, Coalition or Agency of the Year
  • Other (workplace of the year, media of the year, visionary of the year, collaborator, etc.)

Nominations should be submitted via the Colorado Dads Web site. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, July 15, 2008.

 

Program Spotlight:
Dads4Kids - The Family Resource Center - Sterling

  1. What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant funding? 
    Dads4Kids provides parenting classes for fathers, one on one consultation and hosts community events that encourage fathers to spend time with their children. We also educate our local community about the important role fathers play in the lives of their children.

  2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
    We want to elevate community awareness of the importance of fathers and educate dads about parenting styles that focus on the needs of a child. Even though we predominantly educate fathers who have had legal and relationship troubles in the past, our program is open to all fathers.  We actually prefer to educate a mixed group of fathers who come from different backgrounds because they learn from one another, create relationships that may sustain them through difficult times and break down stereotypes that may have grown due to a lack of exposure to diversity.

  3. Describe at typical day at Family Resource Center’s Dads 4 Kids. 
    Our day is filled with work on two programs that sometimes intersect. We provide supervised parenting time to children who are separated from a parent through our Hand in Hand Program. The Dads 4 Kids program fits in so well with that because we meet many men who could benefit from parenting education. 

    On a typical day we may receive a phone call from a father who is having problems with child support or access to his child through visitation. We make referrals, inform him of our parenting classes and other community activities and help him create a plan to take the first steps toward addressing the problem he is facing. We offer one on one consultation to men who are using the visitation program to discuss alternative responses to the child’s needs and behavior that occur during visits.

    Dads4Kids collaborates with other organizations to develop community events. The Family Resource Center houses three other organizations that are very willing to work on projects together and share resources. We have an extensive e-mail network with every service organization in town.  As most programs know, planning for a new class involves putting out the word to as many organizations as possible.

  4. What is the best part about working with fathers? 
    I feel so privileged to see fathers share their stories openly and honestly. They often tell me that they want the woman’s perspective so they like having a man and woman co-facilitate their classes. I love to see their relationships with their children grow during supervised parenting time and to see them become more confident in expressing their feelings about their children. I also love to see fathers being supportive of one another.

  5. Share a program/father success story with us.   
    I think our most recent success story is that a father from our first class wants to repeat the class. He missed a few sessions, but really profited from the feedback given by other men in the class.  Fortunately, we are offering a different curriculum the second time around so he will be gleaning new information.

    This father has also offered to play a leadership role in our next class. In fact, just last week he made a suggestion as to content from the first class he feels should be included in the second session.

 

Coloradans Participate in the "My Dad Taught Me" Campaign
with the Colorado Rapids

On June 21, Colorado Rapids fans were the first group to participate in the My Dad Taught Me viral video campaign. Twenty-five fans recorded a favorite memory of their father with us during the game. Ten vignettes from this first event will begin running on the Colorado Dads Web site in early July.

Next, the My Dad Taught Me campaign will travel to the Colorado Cobras vs. Wyoming Wranglers semi-pro football game on July 26. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Hinkley High School, we’ll ask fans to record their favorite My Dad Taught Me moment. Where will we be in August? Keep checking the Colorado Dads Web site to find out!

Summer Activity Tips for Dads and Kids

June 20th marked the first day of summer. The kids are out of school looking for things to do with dad. For those fathers with children under the age of 6, this summer activity calendar, created by Strong Fathers – Strong Families, contains many convenient ideas. The Colorado Dads Web site also serves as a great resource featuring unique, low-cost activites for fathers and children of all ages.

 

June Featured Father – Fernando Clavijo

Colorado Rapids Head Coach Fernando Clavijo is the most recent dad featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of two boys, Fernando enjoys riding motorcycles with his sons and is tremendously proud of their educational achievements.

  • What is your proudest moment as a dad?
    I have to say that it was the day that my sons were born. Nothing can surpass that feeling. But at the same time, I also know they are proud of their parents. When I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, my sons introduced me in a very touching manner - as a role model and father. They talked about me and how the motto they grew up with was ‘everything is possible.’ I would say those two moments are definitely the most touching I’ve had as a father.

  • Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
    I’m very demanding, but we have a lot of fun. We go to the beach together, we go everywhere. We ride bikes. One of my funniest moments was when I was trying to show off for my kids because I used to do motor-cross and ride dirt-bikes. I ended up breaking my collarbone when I tried to show off a little bit. At the end of the day they were the ones laughing.
 

Upcoming Events

Outreach to Teen Dads – Brainstorming Session
Tuesday, July 8
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
The Bawmann Group
1755 High Street
Denver, CO 80218

All Colorado programs currently working with teen dads are invited to attend this brainstorm. We’ll discuss current marketing and outreach methods, success/failures and how to raise awareness of available programs among teen dads. There will be a call-in option for programs outside of the Denver area.  Please e-mail Maggie Spain if you are interested in attending or calling in.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development –
Grant Writing Training

July 21-24, 2008
Colorado Springs

This training provides an opportunity for participants to receive personal instruction from key HUD staff on how to become more competitive for federal grants, secure 501(c)(3) status and the organizational structure necessary to secure government funds. Workshop topics include: organizational capacity building, grant proposal writing techniques, accessing government funds, HUD common factors for award and tips on working with local government agencies.

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Front Range Fatherhood Forum
Held on the third Friday of every month from 9:00-10:30 a.m. For more information, contact Ben DeVoss from Lifelong Adult Education Services at 303.573.0839 x107.

Boulder/Larimer/Weld County 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 monthly meeting in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and for 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:
. . .

Free admission
to the Denver Children’s Museum 
. . .

Colorado Springs SkySox
baseball tickets
. . .

Free admission
to Pirates Cove Water Park


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 Web site, 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).

This line is staffed by trained volunteers at Families First.

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 Contact Information:
Rich Batten
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Email

Mary Roberto
Manager, Family Strengthening Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.2641
Email

The Bawmann Group Contacts:
(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – Web site, 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