Feb 7 - 19 Updates

What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I strive to be the kind of dad who is always there for his kids. I am very involved in their lives including coaching, Cub Scouts and every school event. I want to be someone they look up to and respect. I don't want to be just their dad, but a role model who teaches them how to be respectful and caring toward everyone around them. - Dave Lilja, Father of Three


Families First Colorado is hiring a part-time Fatherhood coordinator to help administer the Colorado Practitioner Network for Fathers & Families (CPNFF)

Training Opportunity Five-Day Training in the Project Fatherhood Men in Relationships Group (MIRG) Model will be held March 2- 6, 2014 at Children’s Institute, Inc., 2121 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, California 90026. The hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.We prefer to receive applications from individuals who are capable of implementing a program in their agency. However, individual consideration will be made among applicants who have experience in the field and would like to know the model to help them reach out to fathers and significant others of at risk children. Due to federal funding there is no cost to the participants of this training. Read more.


Early Implementation Findings from Responsible Fatherhood Reentry Projects | January 2015 (PDF) Grantees of Community-Centered Ex-Prisoner Reentry Project Work with Fathers to Strengthen Families Across six states, grantees working with ex-prisoners used activities like counseling, parental and relationship education, financial planning, job search assistance, and subsidized and transitional employment opportunities; with the goal to help stabilize fathers and their families, move them toward self-sufficiency, and reduce recidivism. Learn more about the grantees and their work when you read the full report.

Fatherhood and mental illness - This paper from Australia provides practitioners and policy-makers with a broad overview of some of the key issues identified in the growing literature on paternal mental illness. Read more.

Family Strengthening Research: FY 2014 This report provides detailed summaries of major research investments by OPRE’s Division of Family Strengthening (DFS) along with brief overviews of past projects. Read more.

Fatherhood Research & Practice Network (FRPN) Research Video Series These videos highlight promising measures created by the FRPN for use in programs that work with fathers. Link

Compendium of Family Self-Sufficiency Surveys and Databases
2013 | Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse
The compendium provides overviews of a large number of national, state, and other large-scale surveys and administrative records databases used by researchers to study topics related to the self-sufficiency of low-income populations.  It includes several publicly accessible, easy-to-use databases that are beneficial to practitioners and policymakers. Link

Presentation materials from Three Child Support Strategies to Increase Family Self-Sufficiency (August 2014 Webinar)

Facebook Posts (Link)

  • Denver 1-Day Intro to Government Grants
  • The Project Fatherhood Model - Five Day Training | March 2-6 | The Children's Institute
  • The making of Dark Hearts, a 20 min silent short film that depicts the dynamics that take place between two low-income non-custodial parents with children. Information on the film can be found at www.darkheartsfilm.com
  • Fatherhood Research & Practice Network Research Video Series: How to measure challenges that may impact paternal engagement.
  • Breaking down barriers for boys and young men of color | @urbaninstitute
  • Give Dads a Chance | Kathryn Edin | Johns Hopkins Public Health
  • Why no paternity Leave?
  • Family Strengthening Research: FY 2014 | OPRE Report
  • Early Implementation Findings from Responsible Fatherhood Reentry Projects
  • Fatherhood and mental illness: Australian report provides overview of key issues identified in literature on paternal mental illness
  • "Three Child Support Strategies to Increase Family Self-Sufficiency" Webinar Resources
  • Compendium of Family Self-Sufficiency Surveys and Databases
  • When Dads Lean Back, the Benefits Pile Up @HuffPostBlog http://huff.to/17hBJ0x via @HuffPostParents
  • Are Swedish dads the best parents in the world? http://www.konbini.com/…/inspir…/swedish-dads-johan-bavman/… via @Konbini
  • Paternal care is life or death to stickleback
  • National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Webinar will focus on ways in which fatherhood programs can talk with fathers about mental health issues.
  • Colorado Department of Human Services names Julie Krow new Deputy Executive Director for Community Partnerships
  • Executive Function: What is it and why does it matter? - www.search-institute.org
  • Part-time Fatherhood Coordinator position open at Families First Colorado

Events (Link)

Events in bold updated or added this week


January 31 - February 6 Updates

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad? "I am inspired by how emotionally balanced all three boys are. They are individuals who speak their mind and care for others." - Lucas Boyd, Father of Three


National Save Our Sons Night | Urban Colors Arts and Mentoring | Denver, CO | Feb 6th @ 5:30pm Urban Colors in association with Emanuel Place of Refuge Church will a accompany fathers and sons to see the Movie Selma and hold a round table dinner at Applebee's Restaurant where they will have a discussion about the importance of fathers, families and community in children's development. For more information visit www.urbancolors.org or emaildmeeks@urbancolors.org

New NRFC Toolkit Section: Working with the Child Welfare System There are a number of opportunities for fatherhood programs to work or partner with the child welfare system. Understand more about how the child welfare system works, and learn from programs with successful partnerships in Working with the Child Welfare System, a new addition to the Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit: Resources from the Field.

New Dates for HHS Fatherhood Grants: New Pathways for Fathers and Families
Estimated Funding: $47,490,800
Expected Number of Awards: 48
Estimated Award Ceiling: $2,000,000
Estimated Award Floor: $350,000
Estimated Post Date: 04/02/2015 (updated)
Estimated Application Due Date: 06/04/2015 (updated)


Facebook Posts (Link)

  • Prisoner’s Family Conference May 6th - 8th Dallas
  • National Save Our Sons Night | Urban Colors Arts and Mentoring | Denver, CO | Feb 6th @ 5:30pm
  • Men, Fathers, and Work-Family Balance via @amprog
  • Supporting Maternal and Child Health by Involving Fathers on Home Visits | Haji Shearer
  • UK 2015 Modern Families Index identifies fathers under pressure and families that need dependable childcare
  • Working with the Child Welfare System | National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
  • "HUSH is out to change how teenagers, teen boys specifically, handle sex and relationships. Having seen how sex education was handled when he was in high school, Colin Adamo realized that there was a need for him to help make that difference."
  • Brian Conly named new Deputy Director of the Colorado Dept of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood.
  • Help couples strengthen their relationships with tips from Twoofus.org
  • The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets via @pewtrusts
  • Child support bill moves in Colorado legislature
  • Super Bowl Dad Ads
  • Joven Noble & Xinachtli Curriculum Facilitator Training | Denver | 2/18-20
  • Reading Partners | Colorado
  • Kanye West recently debuted his latest video for the track "Only One," a suprisingly emotional and simple film featuring Mr.West walking and cuddling quietly with his daughter North.

Events (Link)

Events in bold updated or added this week

December 1, 2014-February 25, 2015
Bridges Out of Poverty Classes

January 29, 2015-April 23, 2015
Nurturing Fathers Class in Routt County

February 2, 2015-April 9, 2015
Free tax preparation by AARP certified volunteers

February 6, 2015
National Save Our Sons Night | Urban Colors Arts and Mentoring

February 10, 2015

February 11, 2015
Webinar: Characteristics and Experiences of Low-Income Hispanic Families and Households

February 14, 2015
My Brothers Keeper Youth Kick off Summit

February 17, 2015-February 20, 2015
16th Annual National Families & Fathers Conference

February 18, 2015-February 20, 2015
Joven Noble con Palabra And Xinachtli Rites of Passage Program Facilitator Curriculum Training

February 19, 2015-February 21, 2015
Dad 2.0 Summit

February 26, 2015-February 27, 2015
3rd Annual National Teen and Youth Fatherhood Conference

February 28, 2015
Reaching Fathers in the Community presented by Father's United


January 16-23 updates

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?

“To be a good dad, you also need to be a good listener.” I give this advice to other dads now.

So often, dads get caught up in other things and it’s hard to listen. Being a good listener also goes back to giving your children your time. You can’t listen to your kids if you’re not present in their lives"  - Demetrious Jenkins, father of five


OJJDP FY 2015 Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers and Their Children: A Reentry Mentoring Project (OJJDP-2015-4053):  This initiative will support the successful and safe transition of young fathers from secure confinement back to their families and communities. Grants will support mentoring and transitional services to offenders who are young fathers reintegrating into their communities. Mentoring and transition services should start during secure confinement and continue through the transition back to the community and post-release. Closing date: 3/2/2015 10 Awards with a $420,000 ceiling per award.  Read more.

HHS updates Responsible Fatherhood Grants timelines

  • Estimated Funding: $47,490,800
  • Expected Number of Awards: 48
  • Estimated Award Ceiling: $2,000,000
  • Estimated Award Floor: $350,000
  • Estimated Post Date: 03/24/2015 (updated)
  • Estimated Application Due Date: 05/26/2015 (updated)

OFA has issued a Dear Colleague letter describing job-driven training resources. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) encourages its grantees and partners to make TANF and other employment and training programs more job-driven. OFA has issued a Dear Colleague letter describing job-driven training resources, with a focus on steps that programs can take to engage employers and use labor market information to help improve employment outcomes for TANF recipients and other low-wage workers.The letter contains links to The Job-Driven Training Checklist, the Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and Opportunity Report and more.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Free File Alliance have announced the launch of Free File, which makes brand-name tax software products and electronic filing available to most taxpayers for free. Free File is available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile


Toxic Stress in Low-Income Families: Understanding Long-Term Effects (webcast) Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative

Building Foundations of Resilience: An Overview of Promising Approaches to Buffer the Effects of Toxic Stress in Young Children

Facebook Posts (Link)

  • Doctoral student seeks fathers to participate in survey on Black fatherhood
  • Department of Justice released a solicitation for grant applications that support the successful, safe transition of young fathers back to their families and communities after confinement. This may be a great opportunity for your partners in the field. Deadline is March 2.
  • Dove Targets Dads in Super Bowl Ad
  • My Brothers Keeper Youth Kick off Summit - Denver Feb 14 | 10:00 AM - 2:00
  • The National Movement for America's Children has re-branded as Connect the Dots
  • Let child support go to kids, not government |Denver Post Editorial Board
  • Julie Krow, Colorado Department of Human Services Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, has accepted a new position as the Chief Operating Officer of the Community Crisis Connection
  • Results for America an initiative of America Achieves
  • Child Trends’ What Works/LINKS database (Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully) is a searchable register of over 650 programs that have had at least one randomized, intent-to-treat evaluation to assess child or youth outcomes related to education, life skills, and social/emotional, mental, physical, behavioral, or reproductive health.
  • The Office of Family Assistance (OFA) encourages its grantees and partners to make TANF and other employment and training programs more job-driven.
  • Toxic Stress in Low-Income Families: Understanding Long-Term Effects
  • Nisha Patel, new Office of Family Assistance Director
  • Fathers who spend time with their kids make happier employees
  • Hands-on dad isn't a new phenomenon
  • Can research from other disciplines inform #HeadStart about using data for continuous quality improvement? Read this new report from Urban Institute to learn more
  • The Civic Canopy webinar series: Continuous Quality Improvement

Events (Link) Events in bold updated or added this week

December 1, 2014-February 25, 2015
Bridges Out of Poverty Classes

December 18, 2014-January 23, 2015
CRC Nonprofit Leadership & Management Program - Application Deadline January 23, 2015

January 24, 2015
Colorado Foster Care and Adoption Film Festival


December 16-30 Update


The New Proposed Child Support Rule and What it Means for Low-Income Fathers
Monday, 1/12/2015  2:00 -3:00 PM EST | Hosted by: PolicyLink
Learn More and Register HERE

On November 17, 2014, the Office of Child Support Enforcement issued a proposed rule entitled Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs.  The new rule proposes revisions to existing law that could significantly alter Child Support Enforcement program operations and enforcement procedures, especially for low-income fathers.  Broad in scope, the changes touch on a variety of areas, including the establishment of child support orders, job services for low-income noncustodial parents, and the modification of support orders for incarcerated parents.
Please join PolicyLink as they host this webinar to learn more about the proposed regulation and its potential on impact low-income, noncustodial fathers.
Speakers Include:

  • Vicki Turetsky, Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement
  •  Yvette Riddick , Director, Division of Policy and Training, Office of Child Support Enforcement
  • Dr. Ronald Mincy, Ph. D., Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, Columbia School of Social Work
  • Jacquelyn Boggess, Co-Director, Center for Family Policy and Practice
  • Lewis Brown, Jr., Senior Program Associate, PolicyLink (moderator)

*The Office of Child Support Enforcement is prohibited from engaging in a dialogue about the proposed rule, and, therefore, will not participate in the webinar's question-and-answer session.


Just in Time Parenting is a free parenting newsletter that is delivered by email and specific to a child’s age and needs. They are designed so that information that’s relevant to your family is automatically delivered to you just in time!

Facebook Posts (Link)

  • New Jersey Legislators to establish Responsible Fatherhood Initiative
  • Nurturing fathers transcend traditional roles
  • IKEA's ad has a great message for parents
  • At-Home-Dad by choice - Here and Now WBUR
  • The child poverty rates in counties across Colorado are slowly dropping after spiking during the Great Recession.
  • Association of Government Accountants (AGA) publishes Blended and Braided Funding: A Guide for Policy Makers and Practitioners.
  • Being an Askable Adult
  • CRC's Nonprofit Leadership & Management program (Colorado) is looking for qualified applicants for the 2015 class
  • The 2015 “CRomnibus” and What It Means for Low-Income People - CLASP

Events (Link)


Grant opportunities, performance measures and other goodies


HHS Grants Forecast: Responsible Fatherhood Grants

  • Estimated Funding: $47,490,800

  • Expected Number of Awards: 48

  • Estimated Award Ceiling: $2,000,000

  • Estimated Award Floor: $350,000

  • Estimated Post Date: 01/30/2015

  • Estimated Application Due Date: 03/31/2015

Not much more is known beyond this. Follow the link above to register for updates.

More importantly . . . the release of proposed performance measures provides insight on what they plan to measure and therefore what kinds of programming they may fund. You can request a set of measurements  (253 page document) through the link below:

A new set of performance measures for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees have been proposed. An additional set of instruments for a cross-site evaluation with a subset of grantees have been proposed as well. Please see a short overview at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/06/2014-26320/proposed-information-collection-activity-comment-request. This notice has information on how to request a document containing all proposed measures, as well as information on how to comment on the proposal.

Note: these performance measures will likely provide insight to what the eventual


"Be there for them!"

I’ve been a follower of Mark Brady’s blog, The Committed Parent: Translating social neuroscience to help parents raise kids we can live with and we’re crazy about, for some time. In a recent post, Wiring the Brain for Wisdom, Brady cites research that identifies compassion, self-understanding, morality and emotional stability as some of the cornerstones of wisdom. He then expounds upon his belief in the importance of social neuroscience and the heart and brain connection in regards to wisdom. He also mentions the cultivation of learned fearlessness, and includes Princeton philosophy professor and social critic, Cornel West as someone who he believes demonstrates “learned fearlessness with deep roots planted early in his heart.” – Brady began his post with a quote by West on President Obama. 

What does this have to do with the title of this post, “Be there for them”?


Colorado Practitioners' Network for Fathers & Families

The Practitioner's Network for Fathers & Families is a coalition of practitioners, fathers, administrators, and other stakeholders committed to enhancing services across the state that will result in the children of Colorado having long-term healthy relationships with their father or a father figure. The mission of the Network is to collaboratively work to initiate, promote and support services that decrease barriers to and increase healthy father involvement with children, families and communities.  To become a part of the network follow the link at the end of this post

The Network seeks to accomplish its mission by:


Make Two Lists this Holiday

Back in 2009 Princeton University Press published the bookletScroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays. In it Joel Waldfogel of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school states that the gifts that people buy for other people are usually poorly matched to the recipients' preferences. In Scroogenomics Waldfogel explains that our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste – which in 2009 was estimated at eighty-five billion dollars each winter.

My purpose in bringing up Waldfogel’s booklet isn’t about the poor financial economics of gift giving (his point) but to urge you to think about how and what you give to those you love.


Don't Miss the Moments

Whether you are making plans for a big Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family or just a few of you at a local restaurant, the holidays are frequently a time of impossible expectations. I think we often go through the work of preparing for the perfect holiday experience with everything and everyone in place only to discover that life doesn’t usually happen that way. Don’t get me wrong, I think holiday rituals are extremely important it is just that big events have a higher probability of disappointing and small everyday moments are commonly ignored.

My advice is that as you plan and experience your celebration, release some of your expectations and tune your heart to the little things waiting to be discovered in the faces, eyes and words of those around you.


Not Perfect, Yet Amazing

This essay was originally posted on our Watercooler Blog in September of 2010 by Betsy Sweetland. Betsy was the Executive Director of the Central Visitation Program and died on June 19th of this year. We repost this in memory of a great and enthusiastic advocate for children. 

A memorial service for Betsy will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, July 13 at Kirk of Bonnie Brae, 1201 South Steele Street Denver, CO 80210

Margaret J. Meeker, M.D., author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, starts her first chapter as a call for good men. She asks men give “all their strength and wit” because they are the ones above all others that set the course for their daughters.

What do I know about being a father? In the 11 years I have been working directly with dads, I’ve heard the question from fathers, some mothers and other experts in the fatherhood field. Every time I have been asked, my response is I am a daughter. And as the daughter of a not perfect, yet still amazing father,


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