In This Issue:
- What’s New on www.coloradodads.org
- Announcement of Funded Organizations for Year Three of Community Access Grant
- National Fatherhood Initiative One Hundred Billion Dollar Man Study Released
- Program Spotlight
- Be There for Your Kids Campaign Launches Facebook and MySpace Pages
- July Featured Father
- Back to School Tips for Dads and Kids
- Upcoming Events
What’s New on
With versions in both English and Spanish, the Colorado Dads Web site serves as an all-encompassing resource on fatherhood. Because the site is updated almost every day, you may have missed some of our most recent changes.
Each month, the Child Information Gateway adds new research abstracts to their library. We glean abstracts from this site that focus specifically on fatherhood related research projects, building strong parent/child relationships and reaching at-risk families. Abstracts from May – June 2008 have now been added to the Colorado Data and Research section of the Colorado Dads site.
Resources for New Dads
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care in May 2004, new fathers often feel on edge during the first six months of their baby’s life and need more infant education than their child’s mother. Building a connection with a child during their first few months of development can make an incredible impact on father/child relationships. Where can new fathers turn to for help? The Colorado Dads site now provides new dads with helpful educational resources and interactive online games from The Power of Two as they transition into the world of fatherhood.
As you are establishing or continuing to build a fatherhood program in your local community, be sure to visit the Funding Resources page on the Colorado Dads site. Here, visitors are directed to local, State and national funding resources for fatherhood programs.
My Dad Taught Me
From kicking a soccer ball, to learning how to read, to being silly - our dads teach us many different things. Recently, the Be There for Your Kids public awareness campaign videotaped special “My Dad Taught Me” moments with children at a Colorado Rapids game. Check out the Viral Video section of the Colorado Dads site for funny, touching and other unique stories. Footage will be updated on a monthly basis as our viral video campaign travels throughout the State.
Funded Organizations for Year Three of Community Access Grant
The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative has announced that it will fund 30 community and faith-based organizations for fiscal year October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009. Applications were received from 56 programs across the State, representing more than $2.6 million in funding requests. The State awarded more than $1.4 million in total grant dollars for up to $50,000 per program.
Funding priority was given to faith and community-based organizations who provide fatherhood parent skills training and healthy marriage / couples relationships training as core services. Funded organizations are required to establish collaborations with local organizations including a domestic violence provider, the local workforce program, a local mental health provider and the local county department of social or human services to set protocol and meet the individual needs of participants.
Stay tuned for complete program information including hours of operation, locations and major initiatives in the Fatherhood Programs section of the Colorado Dads Web site.
National Fatherhood Initiative –
One Hundred Billion Dollar Man Study Released
In early July, the National Fatherhood Initiative released its latest study examining the cost of father absence on U.S. taxpayers and families. The study measured the 2006 federal expenditures on child support enforcement and 13 means-tested benefits programs that serve father-absent homes. The results indicate the following:
- 34 percent of U.S. children currently live absent from their biological father.
- Father absence contributes to family poverty. In 2003, 39.3 percent of single-mother families lived in poverty, but only 8.8 percent of father-present families lived in poverty.
- The Federal Government spent at least $99.8 billion providing assistance to father-absent families in 2006 through the Earned Income Tax Credit, TANF, child support enforcement, food and nutrition programs, housing programs and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
- The presence of fathers in one third of the current father-absent homes would pay for the entire federal food stamps program.
It is estimated that this amount of money is only a fraction of the cost father absence has on society. Research continues to show that children living in father-absent homes are two to three times more likely to use drugs, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than children living with two parents.
Through one on one mentoring, life skills training and parenting education, our community access funded programs are helping fathers of at-risk families become more engaged in the lives of their children, therefore decreasing the costs of father absence on Colorado taxpayers and improving the long-term development of our children.
Program Spotlight –
Abusive Men Exploring New Directions (AMEND) – Denver
1. What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant funding?
AMEND’s mission is to help men stop their violence and break the cycle of family abuse so that they, their partners, children and families may live in safe and peaceful homes.
With our fatherhood community access grant funding, AMEND provides the following services to build parenting skills and healthy marriages:
- Parenting education for three different age groups of children –
Ages 1-4, 5-12 and adolescents
- Voluntary domestic violence counseling
- Anger management treatment
- Communication and conflict resolution training
2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
For fathers to continue to have a positive influence on their families and community rather than the negative influence that is publicized so often. We aim to break generational violence. And, to give the men we work with opportunities to learn and practice skills that will make a difference in their lives for many years to come.
We also want to expand our fatherhood services to every AMEND office and encourage all fathers and father figures receiving services at AMEND to attend a fatherhood class.
3. Describe at typical day at AMEND.
Each morning finds the AMEND therapists processing paperwork and meeting with each other at our four locations. In the afternoons, clients come in for intake. Many of these clients are here for court ordered treatments – drugs, alcohol, violence and gambling addictions. Male clients volunteer to participate in the fatherhood services provided by the responsible fatherhood grant.
Our classes are held in the evenings and on Saturdays to accommodate the work schedules of our clients. Since 1977, AMEND has provided counseling services to 31,080 men. Approximately 60 percent of those men enter counseling while still in a relationship with their partners and 86 percent of our clients are fathers.
Many of our therapists also speak at conferences and trainings nationwide regarding domestic violence counseling and ending the cycle of violence.
4. What is the best part about working with fathers?
Seeing the light go off in a father’s eye when he realizes how important it is to be involved in his children’s lives and how their future is impacted by how he parents now. Many of the men participating in our program don’t want their children to grow up the same way they did. They want to learn the skills they’ll need to interact with their children in a healthy manner so that they don’t witness violence and abuse.
5. Share a program/father success story with us.
Because of this grant, we have been able to offer parenting education at the Samaritan House and CareNet Counseling in addition to the services provided at AMEND. This has allowed us to reach a number of fathers who would not have had this opportunity otherwise – fathers who continue to come to parenting classes following their discharge from those programs. They come because they are incredibly motivated to change their parenting styles.
By participating in our program, one of our fathers has been able to restore his relationship with his wife and children. He treats his wife with respect now and serves as a role model for his children. After learning the skills taught in our parenting and domestic violence classes, he now handles life’s issues without using power, control or violence.
Be There for Your Kids Campaign Launches
Facebook and MySpace Pages
As online social networking Web sites continue to connect various groups throughout the country, the Be There for Your Kids campaign has created our own fatherhood Facebook and MySpace pages. It is our hope that these pages will raise awareness of responsible fatherhood and encourage discussions in forums and message boards regarding the parenting, employment, lifestyle and familial issues millions of fathers deal with every today. The pages currently feature recent Fastbreak for Fathers blog entries, “My Dad Taught Me” videos, links to fatherhood headlines and photos of several of our featured fathers. In the coming weeks, the Be There for Your Kids campaign will also launch a YouTube channel complete with our television commercials and the latest “My Dad Taught Me” viral videos.
Sign up to be a fan of these pages today!
July Featured Father – Lucas Boyd
Denver resident Lucas Boyd is the most recent dad featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. An artist and father of three boys, Lucas enjoys making home videos with his sons and encouraging their creative aspirations.
What is the best part of being a dad?
I am a professional artist, photographer and designer and I am amazed to see the level of creativity demonstrated by all three of my boys. I really enjoy laughing with our sons and watching them develop into strong, smart young men. I am confident that some day they will be good husbands and fathers.
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.
Back to School Tips for Dads and Kids
It’s that time of year when Colorado kids hang up their swimsuits and pull out their backpacks. Heading back to school can be an exciting yet nerve-racking time for kids and parents. This year, Colorado dads are working hard to make the transition from summer to school as seamless as possible for their children.
- Being active in your child’s education can mean:
- Reading to your child
- Checking homework every night
- Volunteering in the classroom
- Discussing your child's progress with teachers
- Voting in school board elections
- Helping your school to set challenging academic standards
- Limiting TV viewing on school nights
- Becoming an advocate for better education in your community and State.
Fatherhood in Child Welfare: An experiential learning activity & workshop
Thursday, August 14
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
University of Denver – Craig Hall
Monday, September 15
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This unique workshop, which incorporates both simulation and training, explores the vital role that all fathers play in their children’s lives. The free workshop is designed for caseworkers, community service providers and foster, adoptive and kinship care providers. Discussion of various topics will include the state of fatherhood in general, risks of father absence, reasons fathers disconnect from children, the importance of connection, involving fathers in case planning by overcoming barriers and biases and paternity issues.
Online relationship skills training for new and expectant dads
Facilitated by The Power of Two
Classes begin on September 2
An interactive online relationship skills class just for Dads! This class is a fun and adventurous way to meet other dads while increasing your communication, conflict resolution and shared decision making skills. Join lots of other new and expectant dads in a virtual community filled with videos, tips and weekly activities. The class will run for 8 weeks. Cost is $25 per person, with full scholarships available to those who apply.
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.