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

Location and Contact Information

The Center on Fathering is at 325 North El Paso St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

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

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 a sliding scale to determine cost for some services.

Center on Fathering Front Fall

Center on Fathering

More Information

It doesn’t matter the source of conflict, when dads experience conflict and stress it will impact the quality of their relationship with their children. The Conflict Resolution for Dads course helps dads understand the impact conflict has on their lives and gives them innovative ways to deal with that conflict, so they can have a quality relationship with their children.

Class Syllabus

  • Session 1: INTRODUCTION & THE GENESIS OF CONFLICT – Introduction and Pre-Assessment Measures; Defining Conflict.
  • Session 2: CONFLICT, ANGER & EMOTIONAL STATES – The Nature of Conflict; Sources of Conflict; The Certainty of Conflict; The Conflict/Response Continuum; Early Intervention vs. Terminal Responses; Conflict and Learning (Productive vs. Unproductive).
  • Session 3: CONFLICT AND GENDER – The impact of stereotypes on conflict; Biological and Emotional Responses to Conflict; How men and women respond to conflict.
  • Session 4: THE CONFLICTS WITHIN AND THE CONFLICTS BETWEEN (Part One) – Self-Esteem and Key Definitional Relationships; Self-Defeating Behaviors.
  • Session 5: THE CONFLICTS WITHIN AND THE CONFLICTS BETWEEN (Part Two) – The ABC’s of Emotional Disturbance; The Benefits of Balance and Being Centered.
  • Session 6: THE POWER OF OUR MINDS – The Connection Between Communication and Conflict; Spheres of Concern, Influence, and Control; Delusion of Control and “Learned Helplessness”
  • Session 7: THE “OLD” & THE “NEW” – FINDING WHAT WORKS – Key Concepts of Conflict Resolution; Traditional vs. Innovative Conflict Management Strategies; “Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration”.
  • Session 8: THE WAY WE THINK…THE WAY WE ACT – “Getting out of the Box”; What is a Paradigm?; The Process of Change; Finding Win/Win Approaches to Conflict; The Conflict Partnership Approach
  • Session 9: DEALING WITH THE “BIG 3” – CONFLICTS WITH YOUR CHILDREN, PEERS, AND SIGNIFICANT OTHER – Specific techniques and strategies for dealing with those individuals most likely to contribute to stress and conflict; how those conflict situations interfere with your ability to be an effective father to your children. An opportunity to hear about feedback from a woman’s perspective.
  • Session 10:  CONCLUSION & TAKING THE HIGH ROAD – Course Closure And Post-Assessment Measures; Dealing with Different Realities; Modeling Effective Conflict Management Strategies; Open Discussion/Topics of Concern; Certificates of Completion.

Fathers connect their capability to be an involved father with their ability to provide for their children’s needs. The Center offers the Fathers as Providers program to help dads improve their employment related skills and at the same time embrace the importance of their role in the life of their children.

The Fathers as Providers class meets daily, and is a two-month curriculum. Dads can enter the program at any time. Dads do not need to be receiving TANF benefits to be a part of the Fathers as Providers class.

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 Mondays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Nurturing Fathers Program is a 13-week group-based curriculum for developing attitudes and skills for male nurturance. This is a parenting curriculum for fathers who have had past or current histories of domestic violence. The class of eight to sixteen fathers meet weekly for approximately 2 hours.

Program activities address:

  • The Roots of Fathering
  • Nurturing Ourselves/Our Children
  • Fathering Sons/Fathering Daughters
  • Discipline Without Violence
  • Playing with Children
  • Managing Anger/Resolving Conflict
  • Teamwork with Spouse/Partner
  • Balancing Work and Fathering
  • Communication and Problem Solving
  • Cultural Influences
  • Dealing with Feelings
  • The Father I Choose To Be

Mission

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.

Funding

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.

Community Partner

Community Partnership For Child Development offers preschool programs to preparing young children for success in school and in life

Community Partner

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is a national resource for fathers, practitioners, programs/Federal grantees, states, and the public at-large who are serving or interested in supporting strong fathers and families

Community Partner

TESSA offers confidential support and services for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and their children

Community Partner

Colorado Dads is a service of the Colorado Practitioner Network for Fathers & Families (CPNFF)