A Resource for Fathers and Families

Center on Fathering Dad and Son PlayChildren thrive when they have the active, loving involvement of both parents. Our children and our community benefit from strong families. The Center on Fathering is a community-based program offering classes, support group meetings and other materials to strengthen families. Families can access an extensive library of books, articles, videos and computer resources on topics of interest. Staff at the Center on Fathering may assist parents in need of referrals to community resources.

The Center on Fathering is the only program of its type in Colorado and is equipped to help dads understand and fulfill their essential role as one of the two most important people in the life of a child. Families can get involved with the Center regardless of their situation or circumstance. The Center works with families who have court involvement, those who are working with the Department of Human Services, and those who want to improve how they parent their children. Mothers and daughters, who might have questions about fathering, may also utilize the Center on Fathering.

Center on Fathering Dad and Daughter Play

Contact Information

For more information about the Center on Fathering and its programs, contact:

  • (719) 634-7797

Fathers do not need to have involvement with the Department of Human Services to work with the Center. Dads wanting to improve or enhance their relationship with their children can fill out the Center on Fathering Referral Form and email it to DHSCenteronfathering@elpasoco.com. There is no charge for services.

More Information

The Caring Dads group program runs one evening a week for 17 weeks. This group offers:

  • A unique opportunity for men to connect as fathers
  • A combination of active group discussions exercises and homework

Through 17 sessions fathers will…

  • Develop skills to cope in healthy ways with frustrating situations
  • Understand how different fathering strategies and choices effect children
  • Increase awareness of controlling abusive and neglectful attitudes and behaviors
  • Be provided with strategies to strengthen the father child relationship

Facts about fathering:

  • Fathers can and want to be a positive influence in the lives of their children
  • Positively involved fathers enhance their children’s academic personal and social development

Fathers in Training is a two-session seminar that provides instruction on basic care and safety for infants and toddlers. Parents are given instruction on a broad variety of topics. Nutrition is covered including how to prepare bottles, first foods, allergens, and choking hazards. This course is a good overview of information needed for parenting a very young child.

Material covered includes:

  • Bonding and Attachment
  • Child Directed Play
  • Diapering, Bathing, Grooming, Toilet Training
  • Safe Sleep, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Home Safety, Car Seats
  • Illness, Fever, Medication, Injuries, First Aid, Do’s and Don’ts

For more information, or to sign up, contact the Center on Fathering at (719) 634-7797 or email DawnaBraswell@elpasoco.com.

No one comes into parenthood totally prepared for the challenges of being a parent. Fathers especially have not been equipped to understand how important and unique they are in their parenting role to their children. The Fathering Class helps dads understand how to positively parent their child whether their child is newborn or adolescent.

Class Syllabus

  • Session 1: Introduction – Expectations of class; pretest evaluations; traditional versus contemporary fathering roles; fathering styles.
  • Session 2: The Importance of Fathers – Why you matter to your children; “Cat’s In A Cradle” and “Field of Dreams” Videos; roles of fathers; what you remember about your father; what it means to be an involved dad.
  • Session 3: Genograms – The family roadmap; why we are who we are; learning how our childhood growing up affects our children as well; a look at the way family dynamics impact our roles as fathers.
  • Session 4: Child Development – The impact dads have at the child’s early age; child development and brain research; differences in development at the infant, childhood and adolescent stages; the how-to’s of potty training.
  • Session 5: Discipline (part I – The Need For Discipline) – The importance of discipline; the consequences of punitive correction; styles of disciplinarians; how fathers discipline; goals of misbehavior.
  • Session 6: Discipline (part II – An Effective Combination) – The issue of spanking; the use of time-outs; changing behavior by changing the child’s environment; the power of positive discipline; other effective discipline techniques.
  • Session 7: Bonding, Attachment, and Other Special Issues – How dads bond with their children; what is required for building a bonded relationship; finding “windows of opportunity”; the emotional side of being a father; blended families; ADD/ADHD.
  • Session 8: Fathers and Play – An interactive opportunity for dads and their children; A time for children and their dads to be together.
  • Session 9: Mid-term Review – (Review video from Fathers & Play Week); a discussion of play and the setting of limits; ways to enhance play; a review of materials covered to date.
  • Session 10: Communication – Key concepts of communication; building communication skills; “I” messages versus “you” messages; the impact of Nuerolinguistic Programming (NLP) on communication; how communication differs at various developmental stages; becoming an active listener; long distance communications.
  • Session 11: Building Relationships – Review of bonding/attachment materials; dysfunctional relationships; self defeating behaviors; tools of relationships; aspects of co-dependence; button pushers; appreciating personal differences; the whole family dimension.
  • Session 12: Father/Child Relationships – The special things dads give and receive from a relationship with their children; the uniqueness of father/daughter and father/son relationships; how and when to talk with your kids about sex.
  • Session 13: Self Esteem/Stress Reduction Techniques – The role of fathers and a child’s healthy self esteem; how to communicate a sound self worth; stress reduction for dads.
  • Session 14: Dealing with Anger and Conflict – How do you see yourself?; how do you deal with conflict?; how anger affects us; anger awareness; key concepts about conflict; conflict resolution concepts; parent/teen conflict resolution tips.
  • Session 15: Conclusion – Post-test evaluations; perceptions of change; uncovered subjects; unanswered questions; continuing the process; ABC News Fatherhood video; Certificates of Completion.

Statistics show that between 45 percent to 50 percent of young men grow up without a father or a positive father role model in their life. The Father to Father Mentoring program offers support and encouragement to dads who might otherwise disengage from their children’s lives. The mentors are dads who are interested in sharing their knowledge with other fathers.

Mentors and the participating dads commit to meet a minimum of once each week. The typical mentoring relationship lasts between six and 12 months.

A Program for Incarcerated Fathers

Involved fathers are important to their child’s development and well-being. But how can dads be good dads when they are separated by incarceration? The InsideOut Dad™ program provides practical and innovative ways to help overcome the physical and psychological challenges that incarcerated fathers face Inside (while incarcerated) and Out (after release). An optional topic, “Reentry: Being a Dad on the Outside,” is also included.

The 12 Topics include:

  • Ground Rules
  • About Me (Self-awareness)
  • Being a Man
  • Spirituality
  • Handling Emotions
  • Relationships
  • Fathering
  • Parenting
  • Child Development
  • Discipline
  • Fathering From the Inside
  • Closing

The Fathers Support Group is open to all fathers and is a place where dads can come to discuss joys, concerns, issues and questions about how to be a more engaged father. The group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


The mission of the Center on Fathering is to strengthen, encourage and support fathers to be actively and positively involved in the care and development of their children.


The Center receives the majority of its funding from money allocated to the El Paso County Department of Human Services. The remainder comes from private foundations, state and federal grants, or individuals.