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Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
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December 3, 2008

Colorado Organizations To Develop Unique Fatherhood Programs Through Circle of Parents Grant

Two Colorado organizations – the Larimer County Responsible Fatherhood Program and Focus Points – were recently awarded a grant from Circle of Parents® to develop programs focused on meeting the needs of expectant and new fathers. Another Colorado organization, Families First, which currently serves as a State network affiliate for Circle of Parents, will provide training and technical assistance.

In 2006, Circle of Parents was awarded a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance to provide support and education that promotes responsible parenting among expectant and new fathers through local home visiting programs. This grant is being implemented in 50 program sites across the country over five years. Based in Chicago, Circle of Parents is dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening families through mutual self-help parent support groups. The Larimer County Responsible Fatherhood Program and Focus Points were each awarded $50,000 to administer and participate in this project.

Through this grant, Families First will provide assistance to each program regarding the incorporation of Circle of Parents and Conscious Fathering curriculum into their programs, the implementation of Circle of Parents support groups, how to become a father-friendly organization and the development of domestic violence protocols. In turn, each organization is charged with engaging 50 expectant or new fathers in services provided to encourage father involvement.

The Larimer County Responsible Fatherhood Program is collaborating with the Nurse-Family Partnership® to provide services to new and expectant fathers with this grant. The program is also working with early childhood and Head Start programs within the Poudre and Thompson School Districts to develop a support system for new fathers when home visitation services are completed. Focus Points is working with the Denver Hispanic community to train couples to facilitate their own Circle of Parents support groups.

“We are thrilled to be working with these two programs on such a critical project,” said Jennifer Richardson, director of family support services for Families First. “Through increased collaboration, we will be able to help expectant and new fathers become more engaged in the lives of their children today and for years to come.”

For more information on the Colorado Circle of Parents programs, please call 303.695.7996 or visit www.familiesfirstcolorado.org. The Larimer County Responsible Fatherhood Program and Families First are past community access grant recipients of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. For more information on a fatherhood program in your community, visit www.coloradodads.com.