Denver Human Services Awarded New Funding for Fatherhood Services
Published on June 22, 2021
Leaders to advance key areas with an emphasis on community impact and equity
Denver Human Services’ (DHS) program to empower fathers to grow as individuals and parents will receive $124,336 annually for the next five years in new funding from the Colorado Department of Human Services’ (CDHS) Colorado Fatherhood Program. The funding will be used to support DHS’s fatherhood program that provides free information, classes, and support groups that address a variety of fatherhood-related topics to Denver fathers and paternal figures.
“As Denver continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, it’s critical that we invest in equitable community recovery, and in supporting youth and families,” said DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “This new funding with bolster DHS’s existing fatherhood services that lead to more support for fathers.”
With the new funding, DHS will enroll 90 fathers in the Colorado Fatherhood Program on a voluntary basis and hire two new staff members – a qualified social caseworker to act as a Fatherhood Advocate, and a father with lived experience as a Fatherhood Navigator. Participation in the program is open to all fathers (biological, expectant, adoptive, stepfathers, foster, kinship, grandfathers, and father figures) over age 18, with children or caring for children up to age 21. Services include father engagement, Nurturing Father/Dads Matter programming, case management, resource referral, virtual or in-person visits, collaborative goal setting, and financial decision-making assistance and coaching.
“Children who have a father involved in their lives do better in school, are more emotionally secure, and develop better social connections,” said DHS Deputy Executive Director of Community Impact and Strategic Planning Patrice Hawkins. “In addition to meeting fathers where they are, this new funding will allow us more opportunities to continue to engage and partner with fathers and paternal relatives so they may hold equitable space, time, and value in the lives of their children.”
DHS is one of seven community sites selected to provide services to fathers. Funding for these services comes from a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The other sites include:
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pueblo – Pueblo County
- Empowering Communities Globally – Boulder County
- Hilltop Mesa County – Delta County, Mesa County and Montrose County
- La Plata Family Centers Coalition – La Plata County
- Prowers County Department of Human Services – Prowers County
- The Pinon Project – Montezuma County