In This Issue:
- Year Five Funding Announcement
- Reaching and Engaging Fathers – Child Welfare Caseworker Trainings
- Online Registration Available for Fatherhood Curricula Trainings
- Program Spotlight
- Fatherhood Programs in their Communities
- Celebrating Father/Daughter Relationships
- February Featured Father
- Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
- Upcoming Events
Year Five Funding Announcement
In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services was awarded a federal grant of $10 million distributed over five years to strengthen paternal relationships and improve the well being of Colorado's children. Of the $2 million received annually, more than $1.1 million is awarded to appropriate organizations statewide that meet the application requirements. Twenty-seven fatherhood programs are currently funded by the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative.
We are now receiving applications for the October 1, 2010 - September 29, 2011 funding cycle. Applications are due by May 3, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
Reaching and Engaging Fathers – Child Welfare Caseworker Trainings
On February 4th, just over 30 people came together in Grand Junction for the first Reaching and Engaging Colorado Fathers – Child Welfare Caseworker Training. The full-day workshop was funded by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and based on research compiled by the American Humane Association on working with non-resident fathers. Participants heard from a dad who successfully, but not without challenges, navigated the system to regain custody of his son. The interactive and media rich presentations included male help seeking behaviors, the value of father engagement, father engagement strategies, domestic violence and partnering with Child Support Enforcement. Additional trainings will take place in Pueblo on February 24th and Denver on February 25th.
The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative is pleased to help facilitate these trainings and is working with the State Division of Child Welfare to develop a comprehensive plan to engage fathers in a more proactive and positive manner.
Online Registration Available for Fatherhood Curricula Trainings
The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will host several fatherhood trainings for practitioners across the state over the next few months. Online registration is now available for the following trainings:
- Nurturing Fathers Program
March 22 – 23
The Gill Foundation
315 E. Costilla Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
The Nurturing Fathers Program is one of the most successful fatherhood programs developed in the country. The 13-week program is designed to teach parenting and nurturing skills to men who are then able to grow from a distant or uninvolved father to an involved, emotionally and physically present father.
- 24/7 Dad
May 13 - 14
Families First Colorado
2163 S. Yosemite Street
Denver, CO 80231
Focused on the characteristics that men need to be an involved father 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 24/7 Dad is the National Fatherhood Initiative's foundational program.
- The Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum
Exact date and location TBD
The Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is intended to assist fathers in more effectively fulfilling their roles as parents, partners and workers. Organized into 20 sessions, the curriculum deals with issues such as male-female relationships, fathers as providers, managing conflict and anger (on and off the job) and race and racism.
The registration fee for these trainings is waived for all currently funded Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Community Access Programs. The cost to attend a training for all other programs is $150 per person, per training (continental breakfasts and lunches are included in registration) unless otherwise noted. Transportation, dinner and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of all registrants (including PRF funded programs).
Program Spotlight – Redeemer Fathers Adelante – Denver
1. What services do you provide to fathers and families with your community access grant funding?
Redeemer Fathers Adelante offers an eight-week fatherhood class that utilizes the Nurturing Fathers Program as a curriculum. Classes take place every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and include a free breakfast. Roundtrip bus passes are provided to each participant. The program also distributes a $25 gift card to King Soopers as an incentive for dads to complete the program.
Just last week, the program launched an eight-week youth basketball clinic that is facilitated by Tyrone Buckmon of Assistant Coach (another community access funded program). Children ages 6-12 are able to participate in the clinic while their fathers attend the fatherhood class. The basketball clinic will educate the children on key concepts such as being a team player, cooperation and improving their communication skills. The fathers and their children are able hangout in the gym after their sessions end and play basketball together.
The program's Nurturing Mothers group is an eight-week educational program designed to help mothers enhance their self-awareness and nurturing skills. Participants in this program also receive roundtrip bus tickets and a $25 gift card to King Soopers as an incentive for completing the program.
Pastor Kurt Schilling conducts a six-week healthy couples relationship course that emphasizes communication and maintaining a caring relationship.
Referral services are provided to fathers for job search, mental health, literacy and GED attainment, substance abuse and visitation/parenting plan issues. We refer participants to an attorney who provides discount services to dads to resolve custody and parenting plan concerns. Redeemer Lutheran Church has a food pantry that is available to participants as well as referral resources at food and clothing banks at Denver Works and Crossroads of the Rockies Program.
2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
The plan is to establish Redeemer Fathers Adelante as a 501 (c)(3) program for fathers and children. The children's program is focused on prevention education rooted in athletic activities. Services will also be available to non-custodial and custodial mothers in need of assistance.
3. Describe at typical day at Redeemer Fathers Adelante.
A typical day involves completing administrative and direct service tasks. This ranges from program planning and scheduling and conducting intake sessions to making referrals for participants, returning calls, inputting reports, reaching out to local community providers about the program and recruiting new participants. Depending on the day, program employees may also be focused on planning discussion topics for various fatherhood classes.
4. What is the best part about working with fathers and families?
I, Ramon Montoya, program administrator, like being able to provide support and information to assist a father as he tries reach a goal or resolve a particular issue. I like being able to see, know and hear that a dad has reconnected with his kids or bonded with them at another level that brings them closer together.
Our program strives to assist dads, children and families in improving their quality of life at a very emotional level. This is done by strengthening their connection as a family through positive and caring interactions.
5. Share a program/father success story with us.
A dad in our Saturday program is going through a difficult separation right now. He is trying to cope with his situation as best as he can. This father continues to bring his 5-year-old daughter to our group, which serves as an opportunity for the two of them to spend quality time together.
The dad and his daughter play in the gym at the church or work on an art project during family time after the fatherhood class ends. He continues to verbalize his need and desire to spend as much time with his daughter as possible during this difficult time in their lives.
Fatherhood Programs in their Communities
Who Knew that the Muppets and Other Disney Characters Could Greatly Impact the Work of Central Visitation Program?
Written by Betsy Sweetland, program administrator
Central Visitation Program (CVP) has experienced overwhelming success with our recent participation in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day program. This program distributes one-day passes to Disney theme parks to individuals who participate in one-day service programs at designated organizations. Being Disney fans here at CVP, I'd heard about this program and signed our nonprofit up to participate. We first asked for supervised parenting time supervisors to volunteer. That request has been met with limited success. Then we asked people to donate clean, gently used or new toys to a toy drive. We got so many responses that we are now turning people away. CVP recently added a sort, organize and clean toys opportunity for volunteers and we have people signed up to help us well into March.
I think there are ways most nonprofits can make this program work for them. Does your organization need toys, food and other things that people can collect and deliver to you? Do you have jobs that volunteers can do? Maybe data entry or organizing something you never seem to be able to fit into your busy schedule. Think outside the box.
What have I learned about this process? It takes some time to organize. It is best if you have a set day and time for the delivery of items or to volunteer and set limits. Disney loving families like to do things together! If you can figure out a helpful, meaningful way to have children as young as 6 involved then it generates a response. Be realistic on what you have time to manage. If you can only take donations from 10 people, set that limit.
What has CVP gained from our time with Miss Piggy and Kermit? Our name is out to at least 100 people who were not aware of the program before. The connection of children to CVP has been established. We've made positive first contacts with new families who will hopefully never need our services, but may need to refer someone else who does. All of that for about 15 hours of work over two months!
If you are interested in participating in this program, here are a couple of links:
Feel free to also call or email me – Betsy Sweetland 303.839.8701 or CVPDenver@qwestoffice.net – for more information.
Fathers and Daughters Dance Into Each Other's Hearts
Written by Tyler Osterhaus, family focus prevention programs manager, Weld County Department of Human Services
I recently had the great honor of accompanying a very lovely young lady to a local event that caters to not only the up and coming crowd, but also to some of our community's most powerful and prominent people – fathers. The City of Greeley held a Father/Daughter Dance the last weekend of January at the Greeley Recreation Center. Fathers and daughters were invited to spend an afternoon or evening dancing and enjoying each other's company. However, the event was meant to be more than just an opportunity for dads and daughters to spend quality time together.
The Greeley Father Daughter Dance tradition began in 2008 when WeldWAITS, a program of the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, hosted a dance. The initial plan was to hold a dance every other year to promote the special bond between fathers and daughters and encourage the involvement of fathers in their daughters' lives. In 2010, the City of Greeley teamed up with Regent Broadcasting to host a dance and invited WeldWAITS to participate.
Melanie Cyphers of WeldWAITS explains why the emphasis on fathers is so important:
"A father is the first man in a girl's life. Her first hero. He has the responsibility to provide for her, protect her (physically, mentally and emotionally) and to teach her about her value as a woman. Yes, one could argue that a mother could provide, protect and teach womanly things, but there is a unique relationship between a father and a daughter. Research has shown that many girls who do not have fathers in their lives will try to fill that void of "father love" with "sexual love", which leads to many regrets and negative consequences. There is a ripple effect to this, which can cause distrust of men, abusive situations and even poverty."
"We hope that the dance was a fun and special evening that the dads and daughters will remember for a long time. We want dads to have this opportunity to jog their minds and think, ‘Wow! She is growing up so fast! I need to do fun things like this more often with her. I also need to be intentional in communicating that she is valued and show her how she should be treated in a dating situation.' For the daughters we want them to have a sense of security in their father's love, learn and practice etiquette for a formal occasion and have an evening where they feel beautiful and special. This is an opportunity for dads to set the bar high for future dating situations in terms of values and expectations."
Celebrating Father/Daughter Relationships
As mentioned throughout this newsletter, fathers play a crucial role in the development of their daughters. According to a study completed by the Journal of Marriage and Family, women who grow up without fathers in their lives are more likely to have a child before the age of 18 and be less likely to commit to long-term relationships. And as we finish a month that is so focused on the idea of love, what better time for dads to examine their relationships with the youngest women in their lives?
Relating to young girls may not feel natural to many dads, but an encouraging masculine approach can benefit their daughters in many ways.
Be sure to also check out a unique video focused on the special bond between fathers and daughters that is now posted on the Colorado Dads Web site. This video was created by Tyler Osterhaus and it aired during the recent Father Daughter Dance in Greeley.
February Featured Father – John Jones
Denver resident John Jones is the most recent father featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of four boys, John enjoys playing football and hiking with his sons as well as teaching them how to be good men.
What is the best part of being a dad?
It's knowing that I can positively impact my children's future through the way I parent them every day.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
Having my children come to me for help in working out their problems.
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 "Fighting poverty with fatherfulness", "Dads & Daughters – One on One" and "When boys become parents". 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!
Colorado Fatherhood Council Webinars
The Colorado Fatherhood Council conducts monthly webinars aimed at agencies and programs conducting fatherwork across the state. Webinars are conducted on the second Tuesday of each month from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and focus on improving organizational and service practices. Upcoming webinars include:
March 9th – Organizational Budgeting and Fundraising, presented by Sarah Fischler of the Colorado Community Resource Center.
April 13th – Fatherhood Program Recruitment and Retention, presented by Neil Tift of the Native American Fatherhood & Families Association.
All webinars will be accessed through a URL and audio bridge. Please email Jackie Rogers to register.
Healing Our Families Through Culture Conference
March 17 – 18, 2010
Big Brothers, Big Sisters – Denver
Challenges such as fatherless homes, domestic violence, drugs and alcohol, gangs, poverty and health issues have contributed to the deterioration of many native communities. The Strong Fathers Project at the Denver Indian Family Resource Center sees the need to confront and reverse the erosion of our communities and cultural traditions. Our two-day workshop will focus on ways to use the strengths of our native families to alleviate the challenges threatening our cultural, spiritual and physical well being.
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 meeting on the first Wednesday of every month in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and 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.