DETERMINED DIVAS!!!! a.k.a D.D.'s
|These four fabulous fierce social workers have taken the Fatherhood Initiative and run with it. These women have gone from couch potatoes to determined divas!!!! Originally the girls were talking about working out to get healthy and it has evolved into four determined divas who are now prepping for the Fatherhood Awareness Day 5K Race, 1 Mile Family Walk, Kids Run in Waterbury's Library Park on September 22, 2013. These divas have become motivated and focused over the past two months. Their journey started with a common thread of all four divas having very involved fathers in their lives. The divas' fathers have played a significant part in their lives that have molded and shaped their lives from childhood into adulthood. The divas meet up four times a week, at 5:00a.m., at the track and have been spreading the word that Dads Matter Too!
They are all members of the Fatherhood Engagement Leadership Team (F.E.L.T). The mission of the F.E.L.T. is to educate, inform and empower fathers while strengthening and increasing their roles in the lives of their children.
Meet Carla Perrella
a program manager out of the Torrington DCF area office. Carla has been with the agency for the past 16 years. She is a single mother of two children ages 16 and 9 and understands the importance of having a father figure for her children. Carla's father has taken on the role of a positive male figure to his two grandchildren. "Poppie" as everyone calls him will be participating in the one mile walk with his grandchildren starting at Library Park.
is a Social Work Supervisor from the Waterbury DCF area office and has been with the Department since 2001. Sheila is a mother of two, whom after her heart surgery almost a year ago, never thought she would be running a 5k. She was inspired by the Fatherhood Initiative and decided to join in this journey with her other divas. Sheila just like Carla has a father, who has always been actively involved in her life and has been as involved in her children and grandchildren's lives. Sheila attributes her life success to her father's involvement; hence the reason why she joined the F.E.L.T. team and embraces the Department's initiative to have fathers involved in children's lives.
Next is Tamara Bonilla,
a mother of one and just like her other divas has a father who has been a pillar in her life whom she often consults with when making significant decisions. Whether close or at a distance, he continues to be a great support in her life, as well as his grandchildren. Tamara has been working for the agency for almost 15 years and is a Social Work Supervisor. Tamara has seen how the lack of father involvement has impacted the children whom she has come in contact with through the years. For this reason she decided to become a member of the F.E.L.T.
Lastly, Velda Padgett-Skipwith
is a mother of two and has been employed by the Department for 16 years and is a Support Worker for the Foster and Adoptive Support Services (F.A.S.U.). Velda's father is a major part of her life. He has a silent, quiet strength that she admires. Several years ago Velda's brother passed away and her father was left with no one in his immediate family to carry on his last name. When Velda had a son, she and her husband decided to pay tribute to her father by naming her son after her father. Velda's father has always been involved in her life and continues to be active in his grandchildren's lives.
These Determined Divas have come together for a common cause to support the Fatherhood Initiative that is occurring statewide. These divas believe in the direction the agency is heading and are continuously promoting fatherhood engagement in their daily work. The Determined Divas have never participated in a 5K race before and are determined to mark this off of their bucket list!
For more information about the Fatherhood Awareness Day, check out the "Dads Matter Too!" links:
The Region 5 Fatherhood Engagement Leadership Team (F.E.L.T.) invites all staff to come out and join us on September 22, 2013 for the inaugural statewide "Dads Matter Too! Fatherhood Awareness Day" at Library Park in Waterbury, Connecticut. This event is in an effort to raise awareness and support Connecticut's Statewide Fatherhood Initiative. The event will feature the following:
- 5K Dads Dash Road Race
- 1 Mile Dads Matter Too! Walk free to everyone
- Fun Run for Children
- Statewide Resource/Provider Booths
- Recognition Ceremony
All DCF staff are encouraged to participate and spread the word to all fathers/father figures/mentors/coaches/teachers as well as anyone who would like to join in an support the cause that "Dads Matter Too!" Throughout this day of family fun there will be interactive games, activities, and live entertainment for all to enjoy. This event also will provide an opportunity for community providers to showcase their services and introduce families to existing resources throughout the state.
This is where we need staff to help out the F.E.L.T! There will be an award ceremony that will recognize dads, foster dads, adoptive dads, and father figures. This will be an opportunity to highlight their dedication and commitment to children. We would like to acknowledge one father from each office during this ceremony, someone who exhibits his commitment to children and families. The deadline for submission is September 8, 2013. Please send all material to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions should be 100 words or less and should highlight how children's lives have been impacted.
The F.E.L.T. is seeking volunteers for this event. If anyone is interested in volunteering please contact email@example.com to express your interest. The F.E.L.T. is also seeking provider representation from across the state. Booth space is still available! If you know of any providers that may be interested in participating in the event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. The F.E.L.T is also seeking donation and sponsors to support this event and sustain it for years to come. If you know anyone who may be interested in sponsorship/donation please contact Marcia.email@example.com.
The F.E.L.T. would also encourage DCF staff to check out the Region 5 Dads Matter Too! Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dadsmatter2 or the Region 5 website. We would appreciate if all staff would like and share the page and encourage your Facebook friends to do the same!
All DCF employees and immediate family members interested in participating in the 5K can register at www.JBsports.com at a discounted rate of $15 per person if registered prior to race day.