Brent Kieft Brent has been teaching parenting classes with Families First for 15 years. He teaches Appreciating Your Adolescent, A+ Parenting and Becoming a Love and Logic Parent. It is his passion to help families. He encourages parents to put into practice the Three Rs: Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience. These foundations help families develop great relationships between parent and child. Brent and his wife Anne have raised two children. Both children are now adults and live outside of the home-they are self-sufficient! Brent also was a classroom teacher for 30 years. He brings his experience as a father and teacher to his expertise helping parents. It is a privilege and honor for him to help families.
Fred Buschhoff Born in New York City, Fred Buschhoff found his way to Colorado following a job offer to work as a special education teacher at Denver Public Schools.
Fred was married in 1973 to his wife, Lynn, and is the committed caretaker of a cat named “Rotunda, who has eating issues and is in denial,” he says. Fred Buschhoff has years of teaching experience to back up his extensive education. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in Special Education from the University of Oregon, and a D.Ed. in Special Education Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
About his involvement with parent education and families, Dr. Buschhoff says: “Part of my responsibilities, one that I truly enjoyed, involved teaching parenting classes to PTA groups. I worked for 15 years with parent groups in the areas of discipline and positive self-concept.” After retiring from a long and successful career with Denver Public Schools, Fred “knew he wanted to stay involved with parents and their efforts in raising healthy children.” After reading an article about Families First in the Denver Post, Buschhoff took the initiative and sent them a copy of The Constructive Parent (his then recently-published book on parenting).
It was a match made in (parent-education) heaven. Families First and Dr. Buschhoff shared common values and a common goal: to “build positive relationships” between parents and children through providing tools for successful parenting. Eleven years later, he remains a valued member of the Families First team.
Norma Johnson was born and raised in Kansas with her parents and four siblings. Her adult years have been spent in Nebraska, New York, and Denver. She is married to Bob and they have three daughters, a son-in-law and three grandsons.
Norma has a B.A. from Tabor College, KS. Her teaching experience started in the inner cities of Wichita, KS and Omaha, NE., and then moved to Denver where she taught at both the elementary and high school levels. With Norma’s contractual teaching business, Life Skills Resources, she moved into adult education: Community College of Denver, a family homeless shelter and finally family resource centers. Her association with Families First as a parent educator began in 1993 while teaching at Crawford Family Resource Center. She developed and currently facilitates the Families First “Parenting with Confidence” parent education course.
Norma’s advice to today’s parent is that parenting is an awesome privilege. Build a strong relationship with your child through listening, affirming, celebrating, setting limits, consistency, and lots of laughter. Norma says, “Inspiring individuals to move beyond their present situation is one of my proven skills.” Norma’s hobby is having stimulating conversations at Starbucks.
Christina Dalpiaz Born in Barnesville, Ohio, Christina Dalpiaz found her way to Colorado via California. Stationed at Moffett Field while serving in the navy, she visited Colorado on the weekends—and found “the right place” between “slow” Ohio and “fast-paced” California—our own Colorado.
Dalpiaz, a family therapist, has a rich background in cognitive and behavioral therapy from which she draws and she has a strong commitment to a positive future. Her grandson who is a junior volunteer at Families First is a “blessing” and a source of “hope” for her.
After her active duty tour, Dalpiaz participated in the home-based visitation pilot project for Head Start. It was during this time that she made an important discovery: that “parents, when given the opportunity, wanted to be the best that they could be.” She made the decision then professed, “It’s far better to help parents help their children than for me to help their children.” Given her new goal of helping parents help themselves, it was only a matter of time before she found a place to explore and achieve her goal: Families First.
Dalpiaz says of Families First: “What I love most about Families First is the flexibility and support of everyone working toward a common goal. She applauds the children’s group as they are profoundly shaping the minds of our youth.
With a BA in psychology from CU-Denver, a MS in general psychology from Walden University and a certification in addiction counseling (CACIII), Dalpiaz matches a solid education with a common-sense approach to parenting challenges. She has written three books on parenting and families: Breaking Free, Starting Over: Parenting in the Aftermath of Family Violence, Parent In’ Style (formerly titled Here’s Your Chance) and Sparrows in a Hurricane: One Family’s Courage to Weather the Storm of Addiction and Mental Illness (all available online bookstores or www.chanceinc.org). She currently has a blog (www.chanceinc.blogspot.com) where she writes about using her healthy habits, happy homes approach. She is currently completing a relationship book entitled, How to Depolarize Your Jerk Magnet coming soon!
As a parent educator, Dalpiaz says she is most inspired by “the parents who take [her] class.” She recognizes that their contribution to the class provides life lessons to other parents as well as her. In her words: “They often give ideas and techniques to me. They remind me to hold regard for children as well.”
Her personal philosophy echoes her commitment to hope for the future. She quotes Ben Franklin: “When you are finished changing, you are finished.”
She offers the following advice to today’s parents: “Stop wondering if you are a good or bad parent and start asking yourself if you are effective—meaning does what you do feel good to you; does it feel good to your children; and is it working? Keep your power and the techniques that work and change the rest. Never give up on your children and always remember to take time for yourself.” Les Brown once said, ‘Children rarely listen to adults but they never fail to imitate them.’ Dalpiaz adds, “Teach your children how to love and care for themselves by you role modeling self love.”
Aside from her work with Families First, Dalpiaz is an international speaker who trains professionals as well as parents on the impact family violence has on children who witness it and she works with her own non-profit, CHANCE (Changing How Adults Nurture Children’s Egos, www.chanceinc.org).
Amy Cobb earned a Liberal Arts Degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder campus in 1988. She worked in sales and management for twelve years with Westword Newspaper in Denver, CO. She rounded out her career at Westword as Publisher from 1994-2000. In early 2001 her son was born and in 2002 she had a daughter to add to her family.
She realized she could run a multi-million dollar company day in and day out, but couldn’t figure out how to be the best parent to her two new “gifts”; so she went looking for information. She came across Love and Logic®, attended seminars, read their books and listened to their CD’s. She discovered the Love and Logic® approach resonated with her from day one.
In 2006, she joined the Families First family as a parent facilitator for a weekly Circle of Parents® group called “Parents of Pre-Schoolers”. In early 2009, she became certified to teach the Love and Logic® curriculum and has hosted classes in the Denver metro area. Realizing there is a tremendous need for getting information into parent’s hands, Amy became a Parent Educator with Rocky Mountain Parents as Teachers; a home based program for families with children ages birth to five years old. Keeping with that philosophy, in 2013 Amy joined Jefferson Center for Mental Health in their intensive home based therapy and parent education program.
Amy is passionate about getting parenting tips and tools into the hands of parents across the Denver metro area. When parents come back and say “I had a great week with my son/daughter”, that is what it is all about.
Harry Baker Harry began his affiliation with Families First by attending a Circle of Parents®, after attending for a while he became the Parent Leader encouraging other dads to attend and participate. He is a father of 5 boys and 4 grandchildren. He has a blended family, having two sons from his first marriage, combined with his wife’s two boys and then one of their own. He has been a Children’s Group Leader and led a structured program for the children while parents attend parent education classes. He joined the National Circle of Parents – Parents as Leaders team and Fatherhood Advisory Council in 2007. He is a certified National Fatherhood Trainer and Colorado Circle of Parents Facilitator Trainer. He currently facilitates a Parenting Tools for Dads group. Harry has worked at King Soopers store as a produce manager for 40+ years and enjoys spending time with his kids and grandkids.
Jennifer Richardson Jennifer has directed the Family Support Services since 1987. Her professional credentials include Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Addictions Counselor. She is a national trainer for Circle of Parents®. Jennifer represents Families First and champions children and families by serving on the Colorado Children’s Task Force, Colorado Fatherhood Steering Committee and the Douglas County Youth Initiative. She facilitates two Circle of Parents® regularly, one general parenting and one for single moms.