Be there For Your Kids

In This Issue:

  • 2011 Be There for Your Kids Awards — Submit Your Nominations Today!
  • Father's Day 2011 Video/Photo Contest
  • Program Spotlight
  • Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative on the Move
  • April Featured Father
  • Making the Case for Fatherhood
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events


2011 Be There for Your Kids Awards — Submit Your Nominations Today!

Honoring extraordinary Colorado fathers, programs and practitioners

Do you know of a father who has gone above and beyond to be involved in his children's lives? Or a fatherhood program that has made a lasting impact on the community it serves? Their efforts can be recognized through the 2011 Be There for Your Kids Awards. These annual awards, created by the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative and the Colorado Fatherhood Council, recognize and reward outstanding individuals and program service in healthy father involvement with children, families and communities throughout Colorado. There is still time to submit your nominations for the 2011 awards within the following 10 categories:

  1. Be There For Your Kids Father of the Year
  2. Outstanding Fatherhood Practitioner Award
  3. Policymaker or Advocate of the Year
  4. Colorado Fatherhood Council Member of the Year
  5. Fatherhood Program, Coalition or Agency of the Year
  6. Child Welfare Caseworker of the Year
  7. Child Support Employee of the Year
  8. County Child Welfare Department of the Year
  9. County Child Support Enforcement Department of the Year
  10. Other: Workplace of the Year, Media Representative of the Year, Visionary of the Year, Collaborator, etc. Coloradans are encouraged to nominate other organizations/individuals that do not fit any of the designated categories.

Individuals and programs from across the state that demonstrate excellence, consistency, creativity and leadership in serving fathers or in being a father are eligible to receive a Be There for Your Kids Award. The Child Welfare and Child Support Enforcement categories illustrate our commitment to improving father engagement in human services agencies. Awards will be made based on how well the nominee meets the criteria and serves to promote and/or support fatherhood in Colorado.

Winners of the Be There for Your Kids Awards will be recognized during several community events the week of Father's Day 2011. Nominations must be submitted online by May 16, 2011.


Father's Day 2011 Video/Photo Contest —
My Dad Taught Me

Father's Day 2011 is rapidly approaching, which means dads and kids are making plans for games, hikes, camping trips and more fun activities to do together. Why not capture memories of these activities in pictures or on film?

The Be There for Your Kids campaign is excited to announce our newest My Dad Taught me contest. Fathers and families are encouraged to submit photos or videos of themselves teaching their children a new skill or participating in their favorite activity together. Select photos and videos will appear on the Colorado Dads website the week of Father's Day 2011. The father and his child/children who submit the most unique skill/activity will receive free tickets to a Colorado Rockies game this summer!

How to submit your photos/videos:

Questions? Contact Maggie Spain. We can't wait to see what Colorado dads and their kids come up with!



Program Spotlight — Somali American Community Center of Colorado — Denver

1. What services do you provide to fathers and families?

The Somali American Community Center provides:

  • A general assistance and referral center.
  • After school program for children ages 6 through 13.
  • Sewing skills.
  • Responsible fatherhood program.
  • Citizenship assistance.
  • Women's adult literacy.
  • Summer camp for kids.  
  • Youth and sports programs.
  • The Somali Youth Refugee Outreach Program (SYROP).

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

Our goal is to accomplish three objectives that we believe are very important.

  1. To build responsible, involved and committed fathers.
  2. To create awareness and knowledge among dads about the various elements of parenting.
  3. Help fathers obtain the skills they need to carry out what they learn in our program over time.

3. Describe at typical day at the Somali American Community Center of Colorado.

Our program meets every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The 24/7 Dad fatherhood curriculum is incorporated into the program, which enables dads to learn:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Empathy skills.
  • Parenting skills.
  • Healthy relationships skills.

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

The best part is knowing that you are making a difference in how fathers relate to their wives, kids and family members.

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

One of the senior fathers who is now in his 70's is on his third marriage. He told us, “If I had known what I learned in this program then, I would have saved my first marriage.”


Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative on the Move

Office of Family Assistance Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Site Exchange

Earlier this month, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) Healthy Marriage/Responsible Fatherhood Technical Assistance Team facilitated a two-day site exchange in Evansville, Indiana between fatherhood practitioners from four different states and Washington, D.C. The purpose of the site exchange was to facilitate a discussion between grantees and their evaluation partners around program operation and evaluation partnerships.

The Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) was chosen to host the event and share lessons learned during their participation in the Indiana Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. IYI described their community development model, its strengths and evolution, the formation of its community partnerships, as well as methods for continual quality improvement (e.g., site visits, program observations). Further, representatives from IYI's fatherhood coalitions (representing urban and rural settings) described their structure and services, best practices and implementation challenges. The Center for Evaluation & Education Policy also presented their evaluation of IYI's fatherhood program, including measurement tools used for data collection, the timing of data collection, the construction of a database and program outcomes and challenges. One father currently participating in an Evansville fatherhood program spoke about his personal experiences with the IYI and the positive, continual impact that participation has had on him and his family.

During the peer-to-peer exchange, other attendees - the Children's Institute, Inc., Circle of Parents, Colorado Department of Human Services and D.C. Department of Human Services - and their evaluation partners described and discussed implementation and evaluation strategies. There was significant group discussion around strategies for recruiting and retaining participants; the usefulness of quantitative versus qualitative data in regard to seeking future funding; what constitutes “program success”; useful evaluation tools for measuring outcomes; and strategies for sustaining programs following the end of federal grant funding. For more information on this site exchange, please contact Dan Welch.

Baltimore Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Grantee Meeting

The 2011 annual meeting of the Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grantees will take place May 3–5, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. This year's theme, Real Families, Real Strengths: Celebrating Five Years of Healthy Marriage and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood, is designed as a time of reflection and sharing of the accomplishments programs have achieved during this five-year journey as well as a brainstorming session of ideas for moving forward with other grant opportunities or local funding. Dan Welch, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, and Ruth Glenn, director of the Colorado Domestic Violence Program, will both be present at this annual meeting.



April Featured Father — Jesse Martin

Denver resident Jesse Martin is the most recent father featured on Colorado Dads website. A tree trimmer in his professional life and a father of one, Jesse enjoys playing water sports with his daughter as well as observing her eagerness to learn.

What does fatherhood mean to you?

Fatherhood has provided me with an opportunity to listen, learn and teach. It's a responsibility that has tremendous rewards.

What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?

When I graduated from college, I was able to share the entire experience with my daughter. It was so cool to see how excited and proud she was!


Making the Case for Fatherhood

As we approach the end of the five-year period for the current responsible fatherhood federal grants, many are wondering what happens next. The US Department of Health and Human Services recently released a fiscal year 2012 grant forecast for responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage funding. This forecast includes the following in regard to responsible fatherhood:

  • Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood: These demonstration grants will support activities that promote responsible fatherhood and will be awarded to organizations that have a proven track record of working with low-income fathers. Grants should have a broad approach to serving fathers and include healthy relationships education and activities that help foster economic stability.
  • Field Initiated Responsible Fatherhood Grants: These demonstration grants will support activities that recognize innovation in the field of responsible fatherhood services. Grants will focus on responsible parenting and healthy marriage education only.
  • Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Strategies for Re-Entering or Recently Released Fathers: These demonstration grants will support activities that promote responsible fatherhood and are focused on providing creative pre- and post-release case management services to recently released or re-entering fathers. Organizations receiving funds must also be able to assist recently released fathers with employment or housing services, as needed.

A formal announcement of these funding opportunities and application timelines will be released on or near June 14, 2011.

For those of you seeking to sustain fatherhood programs in your local communities, check out the Colorado Data & Research section of the Colorado Dads website. Here, you will find fatherhood related publications, research on the value of paternal involvement and studies examining the effectiveness of fatherhood programs/grants initiated nationwide.


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 fatherhood and family specialist Dan Welch, is updated on a regular basis. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic email announcements when it is updated.

Check out the Be There for Your Kids Facebook page for all things related to fatherhood. We encourage you to “Like” this page and comment on fatherhood news articles and notes as we increase our number of followers. Be sure to also check out our YouTube channel for the latest campaign videos. 


Upcoming Events

Take Your Child to Work Day

Thursday, April 28, 2011

US Congress has designated April 28, 2011 as National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. First created 19 years ago, this day provides an opportunity for parents, businesses, community organizations and schools to inform our youngest citizens of the world ahead of them and the variety of career opportunities available in our society today.

Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Webinars

2nd Tuesday of each month
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Throughout fiscal year 2011 the Colorado PRF Initiative will host a series of Webinars aimed at providing technical assistance to agencies and programs conducting fatherhood work across the state. Community access program grantees are highly encouraged to attend.

7th Annual Step Fest

Saturday, May 21, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Six Flags Elitch Gardens

Sponsored by Positive Spin, Jefferson County Young Dads and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, the 7th annual Step and Dance Competition will take place at the Elitch Gardens Arena. Prizes and first place cash awards will be provided for first place winners. The first 10 teams that sign up will be given free entry to the park. This event will also include guest appearances by the best local artists in Denver. There will be lots of free giveaways for everyone that attends. Don't miss one of the best step and dance shows in Denver while enjoying full access to the amusement park!

Circle of Parents Program Model and Facilitator Skills Training

Wednesday June 8 — Thursday, June 9, 2011
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Family Resource Center, Sterling

This training session addresses the use of the Circle of Parents model for supporting healthy parenting, group development, identifying strengths, parent leadership and utilizing parents' own successes. It is provided through a collaboration between RLEMI, Families First, Advocates for Recovery and Prevent Child Abuse Colorado.


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.


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

. . .

Text DADS or PADRE to 72727 to win free tickets to a Colorado Rockies game this spring!

Free passes to JumpStreet Indoor Trampoline Park.

Free admission to the Denver Children's Museum.

A free gift basket from

. . .

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 website, 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:

Dan Welch
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 – website, advertising and media relations)

Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group