In This Issue:

  • Strengthening Families – Building Momentum in Colorado Community Forum Highlights
  • November Regional Fatherhood Trainings
  • Program Spotlight
  • Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Updates
  • October Featured Father
  • Community Access Program Recognition
  • Fathers Reading Every Day – This November
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Strengthening Families – Building Momentum in Colorado Community Forum Highlights

Positioning Colorado families for a better tomorrow

On Tuesday, September 29th, more than 50 Colorado fatherhood, healthy marriage, faith-based and domestic violence program representatives met in Colorado Springs for a unique roundtable discussion. Featuring presentations from federally funded programs and local community leaders, forum attendees discussed national priorities of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, best practices in serving Coloradans, partnership development and current challenges.

Over the next few months, these programs will come together again for a Colorado Strengthening Families Committee meeting. The goal is to continue the momentum of delivering valuable, comprehensive services to Colorado families for many years to come.

For more information on the Strengthening Families Community Forum or the upcoming Strengthening Families Committee meeting, please contact Rich Batten.


November Regional Fatherhood Trainings

father and kids
The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative is pleased to announce four regional training opportunities for Community Access Funded Programs and community partners. The trainings will take place in a roundtable format and focus on such topics as understanding domestic violence offenders, strengthening fatherhood in your community, cultural competency and reaching communities of color and working with child support enforcement/child welfare agencies.

The trainings will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m at the following locations:

Monday, November 2 – Tuesday, November 3
Holiday Inn Select Cherry Creek
455 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246

Wednesday, November 4 – Thursday, November 5
The Family Resource Center
631 W. Main St.
Sterling, CO 80751

Monday, November 9 – Tuesday, November 10
Durango Parks and Recreation
2700 Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81301

Colorado Springs
Monday, November 16 – Tuesday, November 17
Pikes Peak Library District
Sand Creek Branch
1821 S. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Training Registration Submission Deadlines:
Denver and Sterling Trainings – Wednesday, October 28th at 10:00 a.m.
Durango Training – Monday, November 2nd
Colorado Springs Training – Monday, November 9th


Program Spotlight

Fremont Fatherhood Program - Fremont County Department of Human Services - Canon City

1. What services do you provide to fathers and families with your community access grant funding?

The Fremont Fatherhood Program (FFP) is a curriculum and evidence-based program held in a classroom setting over 12-weeks. Participants meet for approximately two hours, one day a week. The program is open to fathers in the foster care system, teen dads, fathers in the child support system, low income fathers, non-custodial fathers, high risk fathers, fathers recently released from prison, new or expectant fathers and grandfathers. 

My (Gary Watkins, FFP coordinator) email address and phone number are available to all fathers participating in the program. FFP also provides referral assistance to dads such as financial education and mental health and counseling resources. After fathers complete the 12-week program, they can choose to participate in the FFP mentoring program.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?

We want dads to be the best dads they can be. Regardless of their marriage or custodial situation, they are a dad and have a responsibility to their children.

3. Describe at typical day at Fremont Fatherhood Program.

The FFP coordinator works three days a week. On non-class days, I solicit program referrals, meet with agency caseworkers and prepare for upcoming sessions.  

4. What is the best part about working with fathers and families?

Seeing the eyes of the dads radiate with enthusiasm when a technique, advice or experience is discussed that addresses a situation they are going through. It is also great to see that moment when participants understand that they are a better dad or grandfather because of the information they learned in our class.

5. Share a program/father success story with us.

We recently held a BBQ as a reunion and program graduation event. Current and past program participants were encouraged to bring family members to the BBQ. Caseworkers, supervisors and an administrator also attended. The interaction between the dads, children and DHS workers was relaxed, positive and enjoyable. We also utilized the event as a recruitment tool for future program participants.


Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Updates

pledge counterEach October, domestic violence shelters, service providers and victims join together to recognize National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign, a network of men working to encourage other men to assist in the fight against domestic violence, joined these individuals and organizations at several events this month.

On Thursday, October 1st, CMADV representative Tyler Osterhaus was a featured speaker at the University of Northern Colorado’s Take Back the Night Rally. Following his speech on the critical role men can play in the fight to end domestic violence, Tyler received 59 signed CMADV pledge cards.

On Friday, October 2nd, the CMADV campaign was recognized at the City of Denver’s Lend a Hand to End Domestic Violence event. Twenty-six city agencies joined together to help end domestic violence in the workplace by displaying their handprints on a banner indicating their commitment to the issue and signing the CMADV pledge. Rich Batten, administrator of the CMADV campaign, was presented with 350 signed CMADV pledge cards on October 2nd.

Did you know that one in 11 high school students reports being a victim of physical teen dating violence? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006). On Tuesday, October 6th, numerous CMADV representatives participated in the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s annual rally at the Colorado State Capitol. With a new focus on teen dating violence, the theme of the 2009 rally was It Stops With Me. Members of the Angels Against Abuse Club at East High School served as event emcees. The CMADV campaign knows that young men can play a crucial, every day role in the fight against this issue. Click here for 10 Things Young Men Can Do To End Gender Violence, Courtesy of MVP Strategies.


October Featured Father

Gary Frith and kids
Gary Frith, father of four, is the most recent dad featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. Gary is an active volunteer with the Colorado Springs Cerebral Palsy Association and enjoys being a hands-on father to his children.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

I guess I would say I’m a ‘hands-on’ kind of dad. I’m always in trouble for wrestling with the kids and I enjoy teaching them anything I can – from playing basketball to flying airplanes. I want to always set a good example for them to follow.

Describe your funniest moment as a dad.

We were at the rodeo with the family and my son Kenny had a big coke on his tray (unfortunately without a lid). With his cerebral palsy, he is easily startled by loud noises. The clowns were doing their act and had a gun as part of their show. When the clown shot off the shotgun, it was really loud and I didn’t have time to react and get Kenny’s coke. Kenny was startled and threw the coke, which soaked the guy in front of him. I was right next to Kenny and the guy turned around like he was ready to fight. I thought we were doomed, but then he saw Kenny and realized what had happened. We were all able to laugh about it afterwards. (Thank God!).


Community Access Program Recognition

The Nurturing Fathers Program at Aurora Mental Health Center (AMHC), a PRF funded program, recently received a Golden Light Bulb Award honorable mention from the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council. The nomination and award were given following the completion of the first year of the program at the AMHC Early Childhood and Family Center.

The Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council is a non-profit organization representing Colorado’s statewide network of community behavioral healthcare providers. This includes 17 mental health centers, two specialty clinics and five behavioral health organizations. Each year, the Council awards the Golden Light Bulb Award for excellence in clinical innovation.


Fathers Reading Every Day – This November

pledge counterThis November, the Be There for Your Kids campaign will promote the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program to all Colorado dads. FRED is a four-week program originally designed by Texas A&M University to encourage fathers, grandfathers and other positive male role models to read with their children every day.

Fathers play a critical role in their child’s literacy development. A 2009 poll commissioned by the National Center for Fathering revealed that 55 percent of fathers read with their children at least once or twice per month, but 39 percent of dads never read with their children. National education studies continue to show that when fathers take an active role in their children’s education they are more likely to earn A’s, participate in activities like sports and clubs, enjoy school and are less likely to repeat a grade.

FRED asks fathers to read to their children for 15 minutes a day during the first two weeks of the month and 30 minutes a day during the last two weeks of the month. By visiting the Colorado Dads Web site, dads can download a reading log and fill out pre and post program surveys to be entered into a drawing to receive special prizes. Links to appropriate books for different ages and literacy resources can also be found on the site.


Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives

Our public awareness campaign strives to get the message of responsible fatherhood out to local communities in a variety of ways.

The Fastbreak for Fathers blog, written by Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include “Building a bond through books”, “8,660” and “I want to see more D.O.G.S. in school!”. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

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 as well as a YouTube channel. We are looking for new fans of these pages to comment on recent fatherhood notes and videos and discuss relevant topics in the discussion boards. Become a fan today!


Upcoming Events

Beyond Beats and Rhymes Film Presentation
Tuesday, November 3rd
7:30 p.m.
Lindou Auditorium, University of Northern Colorado Campus
Greeley, CO

A free, public showing of the documentary "Beyond Beats and Rhymes". This film explores the issues of masculinity, homophobia and sexism in mainstream hip-hop music and culture.

Who should attend?

1. Anyone who wants to stop violence.
2. High school and college students.
3. Parents, teachers and youth workers.
4. Anyone who wants to increase their media literacy or is interested in hip-hop.

Together We Thrive – Head Start Conference
Call for Presenters
Due Friday, November 6th

The Colorado Head Start Association is busy planning and organizing this year’s annual conference. The conference will be held March 12-13, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The Together We Thrive conference will have seven tracks. Four of the seven tracks will be separated into six one hour and fifteen minute long sessions over the course of two days.

Session presentations should be in Spanish or English, directed toward HS/EHS directors/administrators, ECE staff or ECE parents. We are looking for a wide variety of topic areas for the session including, but not limited to, parental involvement, fatherhood, family literacy, math, science, health/nutrition, mental health, family financial budgeting, exercise, child development, transportation, developmentally appropriate practices, infant/toddler training, time management, stress management and new director training.


Regional Fatherhood Forums

Northern Colorado Dads 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 Colorado Springs, 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.

Check out to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .

Free roundtrip train passage on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Free admission to the Forney Museum of Transportation

. . .

Each month, is excited to profile a Colorado dad and his view of fatherhood. If you know of a Dad who works hard to be there for his kids and should be profiled on the Colorado dads Web site, please contact Maggie Spain.

To speak with someone directly about fatherhood support services, please call:

1.877.695.7996 (English)
or 1.866.527.3264 (Spanish).

Trained volunteers from Families First staff this line.

To speak with someone directly regarding the Be There For Your Kids public awareness campaign or the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please contact an individual listed below.

Colorado Department of Human Services Contacts:

Rich Batten
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services

Mary Roberto
Manager, Program Development and System Innovation Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division

The Bawmann Group Contacts:

(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – Web site, advertising and media relations).

Jennifer Nuhfer
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group

Maggie Spain
Account Manager
The Bawmann Group