Local Programs That Strengthen Fatherhood (2023)

Local Programs That Strengthen Fatherhood (1)
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Guidance from these organizations are helping dads reach their parenting goals.

By Anna Sutterer

Dads in the Denver area have goals; to have healthy communication, get vulnerable, be interconnected, break stereotypes, and delight in their kids. Guidance from the following organizations will help them get there.

Denver Indian Center’s Honoring Fatherhood Program

Who: Native fathers or father figures preferred, open to all
When: Cohorts are ongoing; see the Indian Center’s website for upcoming dates.


Thomas Allen Jr. feels lucky. Having benefited from his father’s presence and traditional teachings passed down, Allen knew his upbringing was exceptional in his friend group.

“A lot of my friends looked up to my father as a father figure,” he says.

Allen, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Northern Arapaho Tribe, and Euchee Tribe, now teams up with another father figure, Kiowa elder and Denver Indian Center (DIC) director Rick Waters. They lead the Honoring Fatherhood Program.

(Video) NKCAC Fatherhood Program looking for local dads wanting to improve themselves

Over the course of several weeks, participants review financial literacy, communication styles, and men’s health. They talk about having compassion for their parenting partners, to “walk a mile in their moccasins,” says Allen. The DIC brings in a credit union representative to discuss building good credit and savings accounts. Metro Volunteer Lawyers are also on hand, offering free legal counsel in cases of child custody and support, or land rights. They also cover the basics of hanging out with kids, reading, and encouraging other healthy activities.

Time is how you spell love. That’s one of the main pieces of advice Andrew Whipple, a member of the Dakota nation and former Honoring Fatherhood participant, took from Waters.


The course’s philosophy incorporates a traditional American Indian point of view, “because it worked,” says Waters, and because it applies to a contemporary environment. The medicine wheel, an honored symbol for many Indigenous nations, represents the four directions with Mother Earth as the encompassing circle. It’s used in class as a reminder of balance. Attending to spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical health will ease one’s troubles and elevate one’s joys, according to Allen.

Most participants come from the Denver Native community: “They value the information given and also have a safe space to explore and build upon their cultural aptitude and knowledge,” says Allen.

The DIC, opened in 1984, provides opportunities for self-determination through education, basic needs assistance, cultural enrichment, and advocacy. Programs like Honoring Fatherhood are important considering historical trauma and its lasting effects. Boarding school operations by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries took kids from their families and attempted to assimilate them into white culture. Denver was a site for the 1950s sudden relocation of Native Americans from reservations to cities; however, integration was poorly organized, according to an NPR report, and left communities struggling to get basic needs met.

Those who sign up not only receive help but also get paid to attend. According to Allen, the real payoff is becoming a community leader and better father or father figure.

“There’s a marked change, I can see it, from people starting to the end,” he says. “It does give people hope and some kind of focus and goal, that toolkit to get to their end result.”


(Video) Introduction to Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF)

The Arc’s Dads and Disabilities

Who: Fathers of children who have disabilities
When: Bi-monthly, second Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dates in 2021: June 8, August 10, October 12, and December 14.

Socializing at the pub and playing poker with other dads was entertaining, but ultimately not meaningful enough for Mark Davison, Denver father of three. He’s attended groups in Oregon and Colorado that functioned as cliched men’s gatherings: “[They] didn’t offer a way to connect more deeply with other men whose children experience disability,” says Davison.

His daughter, Lydia Davison, age eight, is gentle, loves to eat lollipops, and has a dark sense of humor. All of this shines through her struggle with an undiagnosed condition. She has about 100 seizures per day and is currently both nonverbal and mostly immobile. She is learning to use a computer to communicate and uses a wheelchair to get around.

The Davisons moved to Colorado five years ago and have benefited from local services, including a disability parenting group held by The Arc of Arapahoe & Douglas Counties. When Mark heard about the organization’s new Dads and Disabilities offering, which launched in June 2020, he gladly joined.

Having a child with a disability often requires one parent (in a two parent household) to go full-time in caregiving. Mothers might take on this role while fathers, who typically make more money in a heterosexual marriage, support the family financially, as is the case with Davison. But that doesn’t mean dads aren’t involved in or affected by their child’s lives.


When Luke Wheeland, director of community outreach at The Arc, facilitates Dads with Disabilities meetings, conversation topics come up naturally. They’ve spanned from divorce to facing the fact that kids will not grow out of a diagnosis, plus the physical and mental expenses that add up with care.

For more than six years, Davison has struggled with symptoms of PTSD, including dissociation, due to experiences with his daughter’s disability. He’s only recently been diagnosed.

“Imagine if you have a relative, partner, or kid and they had a seizure; you’d be in emergency mode with the chemicals that are made [in the body],” says Davison. “If you’re having that 100 times a day and you’re constantly in emergency mode, that’s what leads to PTSD. It’s like a slow-burn version.”

(Video) 210: Parenting Girls and Boys Differently, Respecting Our Children? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Had he been engaged earlier in conversations about the potential side effects of caring for his daughter, he says he would have reached out for examination more quickly.

There’s also much to be gained from the group’s breadth of ages and stages of parenting. “Some people have kids who are 20, or 25, and they’re amazing,” says Davison. “They’ll tell you stuff that, as a new dad with a kid who has a disability, you don’t even know where to begin.”


Davison considers himself an almost experienced dad in that he could help a newcomer with their initial learning curves. He’s partnered with friends from the Anchor Center for the Blind to plan monthly Roll and Stroll gatherings; families enjoy a picnic and a three mile stroll at a wheelchair accessible park.

“It’s a simple way as a group you feel more comfortable outside,” says Davison. “You get stares, but as a group you don’t care.”

Clayton Early Learning’s Fathers Building Futures

Who: Fathers and father figures of students
at Clayton Early Learning
When: Monthly meetings, typically held on first Mondays

George Davis, Denver father of two, was already impressed with Clayton Early Learning’s (CEL) parent education, community engagement, and classroom instruction.

“I’m very active in my [children’s] school and learning,” he says. “I love doing it, and I want to make sure they’re taking advantage and given advantages.”


(Video) Reframing Child Support Outcomes to Strengthen Family Engagement - Sharon Pizzuti

During a CEL function three years ago, he visited the Fathers Building Futures recruitment table. It was his turn to benefit.

“[The meeting] took me off guard because of how deep the conversations got,” says Davis, now co-chair of the group. “Everyone [was] really sharing their emotions and speaking of fatherhood on a more intimate level than just being a breadwinner and leaving a lot of responsibility on the mom as far as nurturing.”

The program’s meetings offer dads and male guardians space to speak out on their experiences, and to ask for help. “At lot of times men will feel like the only thing they have to offer their children is money, and if they’re not making enough money then they feel less of a father because of that,” he says. “The child isn’t even trippin’ on that.”

Active fatherhood, the program’s aim, is facilitated through family events. Top Hats and Tutus gave young boys and girls the chance to dress up and enjoy a live DJ. A hair tutorial taught dads the fundamentals of washing, conditioning, and simple styles for young girls. The group looks forward to more events this year including movie nights, breakfasts, and dance parties.

“Do not let the thought of what society has or hasn’t placed on you affect how you feel and how you want to interact with your child,” says Davis.


Gianna Irie Davis, age five, reminds her dad he’s on the right track. One day, she told him about a baby bird she found at school, explaining that the daddy bird hadn’t taught the little one to fly yet. It’s not often you hear people talk about a daddy bird, thought Davis, but she said daddy bird. This reinforced for him the major role he plays in her life.

“[Gianna] is my daughter, and I, as her daddy bird, have a role of teaching her—of giving her wings to be independent,” wrote Davis in a Fathers Building Futures newsletter. “She set a benchmark I will always shoot for.”


What is Fatherhood Initiative Program? ›

Fatherhood programs frequently engage participants in conversations and activities, working with them to enhance key life skills and establish healthy behaviors that can improve relationships in their lives. Programs can be ready with relationship tools and resources to help dads meet their goals.

What are the three P's of fatherhood? ›

“Dad” is a term of affection and familiarity, and dads actively participate in their child's life. To achieve the title of Dad, we must learn to apply the three p's: provide, protect, and be present.

Do responsible fatherhood programs work? ›

Unfortunately, these programs did not significantly influence father employment and economic well-being, nor did they significantly impact father payment of child support.

What is the 24 7 dad program? ›

24/7 Dad® is a unique program designed to equip fathers with the self-awareness, compassion, and sense of responsibility that every good parent needs. It focuses on building the man first and the father second.

What is the nurturing program? ›

​ ​The Nurturing Programme encourages an approach to relationships that gives children and parents an emotionally healthy springboard for their lives and their learning. Promotes emotional literacy and emotional health. Enhances self-worth, self-awareness and empathy.

What are the 7 roles of a father? ›

Stephen Kendrick outlines seven roles that a father plays in the life of his family: provider, protector, leader, teacher, helper, encourager, and friend.

What is the ideal age for fatherhood? ›

The age where a man is most fertile is between 22 and 25 years. It is suggested to have children before the age of 35. After this age, the male fertility begins to worsen. After 35, the sperm might result in pregnancies where mutations can occur.

How do you raise a fatherless son? ›

You have 2 free member-only stories left this month.
  1. 5 Ways to Raise an Awesome Son If You're a Single Mom (with No Regrets) ...
  2. Learn all about boys from the experts. ...
  3. Encourage dad to be involved in your son's life. ...
  4. Identify male role models to be active in your son's life. ...
  5. Help him find and stay with his tribe.
Oct 14, 2020

What are the 5 dimensions of fatherhood? ›

As a father, you need to consider 5 factors – financial, health, marriage, connection with kids, and leadership.

How does fatherhood change a man's brain? ›

Summary: Researchers find significant changes in fathers' brains between the prenatal and the postpartum period. The main changes occurred in cortical areas associated with visual processing, attention, and empathy toward their baby.

What are the three A's of parenting? ›

The Three A's of Parenting: Authoritative, Attachment, and Acceptance — emilyedlynnphd.com.

What is fatherhood fire? ›

Fatherhood FIRE addresses the root causes of poor father involvement. Services begin with intakes and in-depth assessments to identify needs, followed by case management to connect fathers with the appropriate services to meet their needs.

How much does a dad make? ›

In total, stay-at-home dads work 59.7 hours a week on household and childcare related tasks. When considering base pay and overtime, they would earn $71,463 per year. Working dads spend 32.3 hours a week on these chores, and would earn $37,064 per year (in addition to whatever salary they earn in their day jobs).

What is the fatherhood bill? ›

On April 11, 2022, in News Releases, by Staff. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7065, which includes educational programs, mentorship programs and one-on-one support to encourage responsible and involved fatherhood in Florida.

How many dads are stay-at-home dads? ›

The U.S. Census reports that 32% of married fathers (approximately 7 million dads) are “a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26% from 2002.” The U.S. Census defines “regular care of children” as an arrangement that is consistent at least one day per week.

What is a full time dad? ›

A stay-at-home dad (alternatively, full-time father, stay-at-home father, house dad) is a father who is the main caregiver of the children and is generally the homemaker of the household. The female equivalent is the stay-at home-mom or housewife.

Are there stay-at-home dads? ›

Stay-at-home dads like Lange are becoming more common. In the US, for example, the number nearly doubled from 1989 to 2012. But they're still relatively unusual.

What is the child responsive program? ›

The Child Responsive Program aims to focus on the best interests of children involved in a parenting dispute. It is designed to help parents and the court assess and understand the needs and wishes of their children, and to determine which types of parenting arrangements may best fulfil these needs.

What are the four constructs of parenting? ›

Different researchers have grouped parenting styles into three, four, five, or more psychological constructs. This article's content will only focus on four parenting categories: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved.

What is family links? ›

Family Link gives you access to manage your child's account and data settings. As a parent, you can help change or reset your child's password if they forget it, edit their personal information or even delete their account if you feel necessary.

What are the 10 responsibilities of a father? ›

  • Father is Always a Protector. Children feel safe and secured when they have their father around. ...
  • Opens Up the World for the Kids. ...
  • Unconditional Love. ...
  • Show Love and Respect for the Partner. ...
  • Spending Quality Time. ...
  • Teaching Discipline. ...
  • Teaching Accountability. ...
  • Involve In the Studies.

What is the role of a true father? ›

Through almost every studied culture, fathers have assumed three primary roles: the protector, the provider, and the disciplinarian. Before we discuss each of these roles, it is important to note that in many two-parent families today, mothers are fulfilling these three roles as much as fathers.

Is 37 too late to be a father? ›

Although most men are able to have children well into their 50s and beyond, it becomes gradually more difficult after the age of 40 . There are many reasons for this, including: Sperm quality tends to decrease with age.

Is 40 too late to be a father? ›

Absolutely. So my advice for other would-be, could-be or soon-to-be fathers is as follows….. Regardless of your age, if you and your partner both feel ready (or almost ready) then don't wait.

What are the risks of late Fatherhood? ›

A recent study of more than 40.5 million births in the United States revealed potentially harmful effects of advanced paternal age on a baby's risk of prematurity, low birth weight, low Apgar score and risk of seizures, as well as the mother's chances of developing gestational diabetes.

What does a son need most from his father? ›

Boys rely on their fathers for guidance, and a model for how to behave in the world and in relationships. Research suggests that positive time spent with their fathers can reduce the likelihood of boys becoming anxious, depressed, or aggressive. Boys also crave warmth, affection, and tenderness from their fathers.

What does the Bible say about fatherless child? ›

Psalm 68:5 tells us, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” His aim is to show orphans mercy, care, and protection, and because these waiting children are essential to him, they should be essential to us as his Church.

What is the lifespan of a fatherless child? ›

Mortality (fatherless children are more likely to die as children, and live an average of four years less over the life span)

How family size affects personality? ›

Family size determines what experiences and resources a child will have and receive, and those in turn influence development. They are strong influences because the experiences determined by family size are repetitious. The effects on cognition and personality are for this reason said to be overdetermined.

Why is fatherhood a 12? ›

Mature Content. Some of the content in Fatherhood is heavy, especially when Matt's wife dies. We see many characters in mourning. This may be hard for kids who are sensitive to others' feelings and especially those who have lost a parent.

What are the factors of fatherhood? ›

A factor is a number that divides another number, leaving no remainder. In other words, if multiplying two whole numbers gives us a product, then the numbers we are multiplying are factors of the product because they are divisible by the product. There are two methods of finding factors: multiplication and division.

Are men happier as fathers? ›

Men were happier while caring for their children, while women were less happy. In terms of daily interactions generally, both men and women were happier interacting with their children relative to other daily interactions. But men reported greater happiness from the interactions than women.

What does a man feel when he becomes a father? ›

Men Realize the Value of Safety and Comfort

Only when they become fathers do men realize how important safety and comfort are for both you and your baby. They work to ensure a baby seat is installed in your car for safety. They learn how to fold strollers.

Do babies instinctively know their fathers? ›

When do babies recognize their father or mother? Babies can recognize their parents pretty early actually – as young as 4 days old. By making eye contact with your baby during feeding times, cuddle sessions and throughout the day, you're helping your child memorize your face and learn to trust you.

What are the 3 C's of parenting? ›

Parenting: The 3 C's – Consistency, Care, Communication.

What are the 5 C's of parenting? ›

They are what I call the 5 C's of ADHD parenting: self-Control, Compassion, Collaboration, Consistency and Celebration. By using these tools, you can reduce your stress, create peace in your family and increase cooperation and love all around.

What is the 333 rule parenting? ›

Parenting a young child can be tough. The 3-3-3 rule is a mindfulness technique that's simple enough for young children and it asks them to name three things they can see, identify three sounds they can hear, and move three different parts of their bodies.

What is toxic Fatherhood? ›

A toxic father imposes his tastes and preferences on his child. He rarely listens to what his child needs. If that child finally dares to manifest an intention that is contrary to the parents' taste, the parent will criticize the child's intention. A toxic father does not trust in his child's choices or opinions.

What are the dad blues? ›

The way men react to and process this stress can vary dramatically. Some may be totally fine and show no signs. Many will exhibit some signs of anxiety, perhaps with increased irritability or becoming more withdrawn. This is commonly called the daddy blues.

What is the fatherhood crisis? ›

The Fatherhood Crisis points to the concerns of relational poverty. In looking at what research has found, it can allow for individuals to begin to understand their past and current functioning.

How much does a son inherit from his father? ›

We inherit a set of 23 chromosomes from our mothers and another set of 23 from our fathers. One of those pairs are the chromosomes that determine the biological sex of a child – girls have an XX pair and boys have an XY pair, with very rare exceptions in certain disorders.

What are the duties of a stay-at-home dad? ›

What does it mean to be a stay-at-home dad? Stay-at-home dads usually take primary charge of family and domestic responsibilities, often in support of a spouse or a partner who works outside the home, but sometimes as a solo parent. A stay-at-home dad can have a wife, a husband, a partner or be single.

Why is there a fatherhood bonus? ›

Fatherhood bonus occurs due to the belief that fathers have greater work commitment, stability and deservingness.

Does the father of a baby have to pay? ›

Even without a court order, a father is obligated to pay for the upbringing of his children. A court order is there to help the paying parent be responsible and protect them from the non-paying parents demanding any additional money.

What is the US paternity law? ›

In the United States, where a child is conceived or born during wedlock, the husband is legally presumed to be the father of the child. Some states have a legal process for a husband to disavow paternity, such that a biological father can be named as the parent of a child conceived or born during a marriage.

How can a father get rights in Georgia? ›

In order for an unwed father to obtain rights to his child, he must file a judicial petition seeking legitimation. Under Georgia law, a child's alleged biological father is the man who impregnated the child's mother, resulting in the child's birth.

Why are fatherhood programs important? ›

Child Welfare

The presence of a child's father in the home lowers the likelihood that a child will be abused. One possible reason for this connection is the very important role that fathers often play as the “protector” of their children.

What are father rights in Georgia? ›

These rights include custody, visitation, making decisions for the child, accessing the child's medical history, and leaving an inheritance to the child. Without legitimation, only the mom (and the legally presumed father, if any) will have these parental rights. Legitimation does not guarantee child custody.

Do men with kids get paid more? ›

While having children often leads to less pay for mothers, fatherhood leads to an increase: Men with children typically earn more than both women — with or without kids — and men without children.

What is a bonus baby in a family? ›

A baby bonus is a government payment to parents of a newborn baby or adopted child to assist with the costs of childrearing.

At what age in Georgia can a child decide which parent to live with? ›

O.G.G.A. Section 19-9-3(a)(5) provides: “In all custody cases in which the child has reached the age of 14 years, the child shall have the right to select the parent with whom he or she desires to live.

Is Georgia a mothers rights state? ›

The short answer is no, Georgia is not a “mom state” nor does it have a presumed preference for mothers in custody cases. In the past, family courts had the “tender years doctrine” which was a belief that it's better for young children to grow up in the care of their mother.

At what age is a parent not legally responsible in Georgia? ›

The Georgia Code requires each parent to provide for the maintenance, protection, and education of his or her child. The parent must provide until the child reaches the age of majority or age 20, if the child is enrolled full-time in a secondary school.

What is the most important role of a father? ›

Fathers, like mothers, are pillars in the development of a child's emotional well-being. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. They also look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional.

How does a mother lose custody in Georgia? ›

- Parent may lose right to custody if parent is found to be unfit. Unfitness of parent should be shown by clear and convincing evidence that circumstances of case justify court in acting for best interest and welfare of child.

How hard is it for a father to get full custody in Georgia? ›

Georgia law specifically states that “no presumption exists in favor of either parent…” The sole guiding principle is the best interests of the child when deciding who gets custody. As a father, you get full custody in Georgia so long as you put the child's best interests first.

Can a mother deny the father visitation in Georgia? ›

A custodial parent may not deny visitation to the non-custodial parent even if they are failing to make child support payments. For questions on child custody, visitation or child support laws in Georgia you may contact our office to arrange for a consultation with an attorney.


1. Introduction to Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF) (AD)
(Administration for Children and Families (ACF))
2. Webinar Introducing SIRF (Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs)
3. Dr. Charles Stanley | Key to Surviving the Tough Times In Life
(Word Of Wisdom - Charles Stanley)
4. Understanding the Past to Improve the Future Lessons Learned in Fatherhood Program Service Delivery
5. Advancing Racial Equity in Fatherhood Programs
6. Understanding the Past to Improve the Future: Lessons Learned from Early Fatherhood Service Delivery
(Administration for Children and Families (ACF))


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