Media Contact
Dan Welch
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

March 24, 2011

Nominations Now Open for the 2011 Be There for Your Kids Awards

Do you know of a father who has gone above and beyond to be involved in his children’s lives? Or a fatherhood program that has made a lasting impact on the community it serves? Their efforts can now be recognized through the 2011 Be There for Your Kids Awards. These annual awards, created by the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, recognize and reward outstanding individuals and program service in healthy father involvement with children, families and communities throughout Colorado. Nominations for the 2011 awards are now being accepted within the following 10 categories:

Be There For Your Kids Father of the Year:
Awarded to a father or father figure who excels at fathering, has provided community leadership, served as a public role model or acted as a mentor to other Colorado children or fathers.

Outstanding Fatherhood Practitioner Award:
Awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of fatherhood practice through his or her work throughout the state or in a local community.

Policymaker or Advocate of the Year: Awarded to a local or state policymaker or individual who has provided valuable leadership in support of policies or legislation affecting issues of positive parenting and fathering.

Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year: Awarded to the Colorado Fatherhood Council member who has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the council. The Colorado Fatherhood Council is a coalition of state agency representatives, fatherhood practitioners, fathers and other stakeholders coordinated by the Colorado Department of Human Services that works to increase access to and enhance fatherhood services in the state.

Fatherhood Program, Coalition or Agency of the Year: Awarded to the fatherhood program, coalition or agency that has made an outstanding contribution to advancing fatherhood services or fatherhood policy development in Colorado.

Child Welfare Caseworker of the Year: Awarded to the Colorado Child Welfare Caseworker who has made an outstanding contribution toward engaging fathers in child welfare services.
Child Support Employee of the Year: Awarded to the Colorado Child Support Enforcement employee who has made an outstanding contribution toward engaging fathers in child support services.

County Child Welfare Department of the Year: Awarded to the Colorado County Child Welfare Department that has demonstrated significant improvement or excellence in strengthening positive father engagement in the child welfare system.

County Child Support Enforcement Department of the Year: Awarded to the Colorado County Child Support Enforcement Department that has demonstrated significant improvement or excellence in strengthening positive father engagement in the child support system.

Other: Workplace of the Year, Media Representative of the Year, Visionary of the Year, Collaborator, etc. Coloradans are encouraged to nominate other organizations/individuals that do not fit any of the designated categories. Nominees should achieve a high level of support for fathers and/or for fatherhood services or policy development. The Be There for Your Kids Awards selection committee will determine the final number of awardees in this category.

Individuals and programs from across the state that demonstrate excellence, consistency, creativity and leadership in serving fathers or in being a father are eligible to receive a Be There for Your Kids Award. Awards will be made based on how well the nominee meets the criteria and serves to promote and/or support fatherhood in Colorado.

“Countless numbers of Coloradans dedicate themselves to improving paternal relationships in our state every day,” said Dan Welch, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “We are honored to recognize remarkable fathers and those who have made a difference in connecting dads to their children with the Be There for Your Kids Awards each year. The awards serve as another way to build awareness of the importance of children having healthy relationships with their fathers or father figures throughout their lives.”

Winners of the Be There for Your Kids Awards will be recognized during several community events the week of Father’s Day 2011. To submit a nomination for the 2011 awards, please visit www.coloradodads.com. Nominations must be submitted by May 16, 2011.