In This Issue:
- Upcoming Curriculum Trainings
- Spanish Version of coloradodads.com Launches
- Healthy Relationships
- Program Spotlight
- February Featured Fathers
- Upcoming Events
Upcoming Curriculum Trainings
The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will host several fatherhood curriculum trainings for practitioners across the State over the next few months.
- Nurturing Fathers Program
Northeastern Junior College
100 College Avenue
Sterling, CO 80751
The Nurturing Fathers Program is one of the most successful fatherhood programs developed in the country. This 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.
- Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum
Hope for Children
801 W. 4th Street
Pueblo, CO 81003
The Responsible Fatherhood Curriculum is a 20-week program intended to assist fathers to become more effective in fulfilling their roles as parents, partners and workers. Session topics include: fathers as providers, managing conflict and anger and coping as a single father.
- 24/7 Dad and Inside Out Dad
Lowry Family Center
4800 Oakland Street, Unit 2
Denver, CO 80239
24/7 Dad is a 12-week program focused on five characteristics that a father needs to have to be a great dad 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A 24/7 Dad is someone who:
- Is aware of himself as a man and aware of the significant impact he has on his family.
- Is a man who takes care of himself.
- Is very aware of the significant role he has in the family. He is a positive role model.
- Is a nurturing parent who clearly understands and accepts the importance his parenting skills have in developing the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and creative needs of his children.
- Works to build and maintain healthy and supportive relationships with his children, wife, family, friends and community.
The Inside Out Dad program teaches fathers who are currently in prison to connect with their children in order to have a stronger relationship with them once they are released. The curriculum contains 12 core modules that meet high prison security standards.
- Caring Dads Program
Denver (Specific location TBD)
The Caring Dads Program is a 17-session group program designed for men who have abused or neglected their children or exposed them to the abuse of their mothers. Eight to 12 men are registered in each group and the two-hour course is held once a week.
These curriculum trainings are free for all currently funded Community Access Programs and will be offered to other programs for $150 per person per training (hotel accommodations not included). Stay tuned for online registration on the Colorado Dads Web site.
Spanish Version of coloradodads.com Launches
A Spanish version of our Web site – www.coloradodads.org – officially launched on February 18.
Both the English and Spanish versions of the Colorado Dads Web site serve as a comprehensive resource for fathers. The Spanish site includes parenting information for married and non-custodial fathers as well as tips for dads on participating in their child’s extracurricular activities and friendships. Information on all 42 of the currently funded Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Programs who provide direct services to Colorado fathers and their children is also included on the site. This version of the site will be continuously updated with the latest events for dads and kids occurring across the State and other high-profile activities.
To visit the Spanish Web site, go to www.coloradodads.org and click on “Español” at the top of the page.
Grandparents as Parents
Today, grandparents are more involved in the lives of their grandchildren than ever before. One of our featured fathers for the month of February, Arthur Stone, is a grandfather who takes care of his grandson every day while his parents are at work.
According to US Census Data, 66,903 Colorado grandparents lived with their grandchildren and 42.6 percent of those grandparents were responsible for raising their grandchildren in 2000. This article, published by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, provides grandparents with tips and resources they may need as they build relationships with their grandchildren.
Program Spotlight – The Road Called STRATE, Aurora
- What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant?
The Road Called STRATE holds “DAD-UP” (Denver Area Dads – Understanding Parenting) Thursday night sessions for about 8-10 dads and their children. During these sessions, we offer life skills training, parenting classes, positive direction, mentoring, counseling, family support and encouragement. We provide computer training, job development, job placement and job-retention and follow-up. Our dads also bring their children to a pizza night at Chucky Cheese where everyone spends a fun few hours together.
- What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?
The Road Called STRATE would like to see strong fathers united again with their children and families. We want fathers to become employed and capable of supporting their families. Strong fathers will ultimately generate strong families and strong communities.
- Describe a typical day at The Road Called STRATE
The morning begins with clients coming for 9:00 a.m. orientation and job development classes. At that time, our fatherhood case manager, Ray Washington, introduces DAD-UP and explains the need for everyone to become more responsible for their children. Clients are then given an opportunity to voluntarily sign up for the fatherhood program while a preview of all of our services is given.
After the orientation, case managers see clients and individual intake and assessments are completed. Job coaches work with clients to perform job readiness and issue job referrals or placements. Typically, services are provided to about 30 clients per day.
As a case manager for “DAD-UP”, I (Ray Washington) am performing domestic violence screenings, intake assessments, conference calls with participants and various partnering agencies, attending hearings and team decision making meetings, contacting employers to strengthen existing relationships for employment referrals and the list goes on. I meet with program participants daily to work on their individual goals and set appointments for meetings with Child Support Enforcement, drug and alcohol evaluations, domestic violence classes or referrals to other agencies.
The DAD-UP and MOM-UP programs at The Road Called STRATE give participants an opportunity to eliminate any barriers in their lives which prevent them from putting the needs of their children first and foremost. They learn what it means to be fully engaged in the life of their child. Support groups are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- What is the best part about working with fathers?
The best part about working with fathers is seeing “redemption” take place in their lives. It is very rewarding to see and hear them take responsibility for past mistakes and move toward making them right. To see the increase in self-worth, self-esteem and the commitment to change among program participants as they begin to overcome obstacles and take on the responsibilities of parenting is awesome. But, the ultimate reward is watching fathers interact with their children when they bring them to our support groups. I can literally feel the love in the atmosphere...it is a feeling which I am unable to find the words to describe.
- Share a program/father success story with us.
For confidentiality purposes, I will refer to this client as “LJ”. LJ was referred to The Road Called STRATE by the Jefferson County Probation Department. He was unemployed, homeless and extremely discouraged. He spoke with me and I discovered that he had an 18-month-old son who was in a foster home. LJ expressed concern about his son and had been told by a social services worker that due to his criminal background it was not likely he would be granted custody. LJ felt hopeless about the prospect of putting the pieces of his life back together. I informed LJ of our fatherhood program and asked him if he would like to participate. He signed up for the program that day.
Within a week we helped LJ find gainful employment. We contacted his social services caseworker and made arrangements to develop a plan of action for LJ to be granted supervised visitation with his son. LJ was then referred for drug and alcohol counseling. We were able to secure suitable housing and continue to put the pieces of LJ’s life back together.
We continued to work closely with the ongoing caseworker to ensure all requirements were being met and all concerns addressed. LJ was extremely committed to taking all the necessary steps to have an opportunity to gain custody of his son. He was very vocal in our support groups and parenting classes. His attitude had become positive and he expressed to me at one point that he “could see a light at the end of the tunnel”.
On January 28, 2008, we attended a team decision-making meeting and LJ was given full custody of his son. LJ is now a single parent, meeting the physical, emotional, social and moral needs of his son. He continues to be one of the most active participants in our program.
February Featured Fathers
Arthur and Brett Stone
Two generations of fathers are featured on the coloradodads.com homepage this month. Arthur Stone is a father of four and grandfather of one who enjoys seeing his children succeed now that they are young adults and teaching his grandson how to play golf. Brett Stone is a new father who loves to wrestle with his son and is becoming quite a fan of The Wiggles! Here is a brief snippet of their thoughts on fatherhood:
- What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?
Strict but loving. Just kidding. I’m a big sap when it comes to the kids and they know it. I would hope they would say I’m a good dad, a great grandfather, supportive, loving, always there and a good cook.
- What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
Never leave the scene of a crime. My father-in-law always said that to raise kids you really need a sense of humor.
- What is the best part of being a dad?
As soon as I get home from work my son runs as fast as he can to give me a big hug. To feel and see how much he loves me and to give the same type of love in return is such a blessing.
- What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I strive to lead by example and to let him know it’s okay to be healthy, to pray, to love, to treat women with respect and to stand up for what you believe in. I figure it will be second-nature for him if he sees his dad living that way.
$2 Deal for Dads and Kids at Del Taco
On the last Sunday of every month, five Del Taco locations in the Denver metro area offer dads and their kids two regular tacos and a ½ pound bean and cheese burrito for $2 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This offer is good at the following locations:
- 7506 Parkway Dr. – Lone Tree- 80127
- 24023 E. Prospect Ave. - Aurora - 80013
- 50 W. Belleview – Englewood - 80110
- 5240 S. Wadsworth – Lakewood – 80123
- 11155 E. Arapahoe Pl. - Centennial - 80012
Call 7 For Help Fatherhood Line
On Tuesday, March 4 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., 7News in Denver will host a fatherhood call-in. Volunteers from Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Programs will be available to answer questions from fathers looking to build healthy relationships with their children and learn more about fatherhood programs across the State. The Call 7 For Help Line is 303.83.CALL7.
On March 12 – 14, Abusive Men Exploring New Directions (AMEND) will host a three day conference at the El Jebel Shrine in Denver with advanced and basic training for domestic violence treatment providers, addiction counselors, victim advocates and those entering the domestic violence counseling field.
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 Amy Davis from Lifelong Adult Education Services at 303.573.0839 x107.
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.
Check out coloradodads.com to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .
Two tickets to the University of Denver vs. Colorado College hockey game on March 7, at 7:30 pm at Magness Arena. Bring your son or daughter and enjoy the fun!
. . .
Free admission to the Denver and Durango Children’s Museums.
Each month, coloradodads.com 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:
This line is staffed by trained volunteers at Families First.
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 Contact Information:
Colorado Department of Human Services
Manager, Family Strengthening 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).
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group
The Bawmann Group