Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

July 26, 2007

Chaffee County Hosts Nurturing Fathers Program Facilitation Workshop

Salida, Colo. – July 26, 2007 – According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, children with involved, loving fathers are more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use and criminal activity compared to uninvolved fathers. In order to further its commitment to fathers and children, Chaffee County will host a Nurturing Fathers Program facilitation workshop on August 2 and 3 at the First Presbyterian Church of Salida.

This workshop will be led by Mark Perlman, author of The Nurturing Father’s Program, a 13-week curriculum which has become a national fatherhood education model. From 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, local educators, advocates, counselors, family workers and faith-based educators will learn how they can utilize the program with the fathers they work with every day.

The nurturing fathers program is designed to develop attitudes and skills for male nurturance. Groups of eight to 16 fathers meet weekly for two and a half hours to address issues such as discipline without violence, balancing work and fathering and dealing with feelings. The fathers are also given interactive workbooks to use throughout the course of the program.

“Male nurturance is not something fathers are often taught growing up,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist for the Colorado Department of Human Services. “By learning to be patient and take their time to connect with their children in life’s daily moments, fathers are able to establish meaningful relationships with their children.”

In addition to his training work, Perlman is currently the director of the Connecting Fathers and Family Initiative. He is the past executive director of the Family Counseling Center, the Child Protection Center and Fathers United Network (FUND) of Sarasota, Florida.

The Nurturing Fathers Program facilitation workshop is being funded in part by the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant. In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal grant. The Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative has distributed community awards of up to $100,000 each to 19 agencies throughout the state to provide programs and direct services to fathers.

To learn more about the Nurturing Fathers Program facilitation workshop, please call 719.539.6386. For more information about the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please visit www.cdhs.state.co.us/coworks/prf.htm.