- 195 Fathers enrolled in 2011
- 413 Children were touched by their fathers involvement in the program
Much work goes into helping fathers set and attain goals. Program staff conduct weekly group sessions where information is shared and skills are developed. Education and information covers a wide range of topics to improve responsible fatherhood.
Employment and Parenting encompass the vast majority of information and education.
Spending time with their children
Spending time with their children is often a challenge: Distance. Strained Relationships with the Mother. Lack of a father or father figure in their own lives to model the importance and value of spending time together. Feelings of being an inadequate father. All get in the way. The fatherhood program stresses the importance of fathers spending time with their children and work to help fathers overcome these barriers. Program often sponsor father-child activities where staff can reinforce parenting skills in a fun, safe and non-threatening environment. Fathers and children create new and happy memories at these events.
Lack of employment is a major barrier to responsible fatherhood. Fathers experience many barriers to employment from low-educational levels, limited marketable job skills, spotty work history, poor health, and lack of reliable transportation coupled with a highly competitive and sluggish job market. Overcoming these hurdles and gaining employment is quite an accomplishment for many of these fathers.
paid $128,630 in child support as a result of their employment
Relationships with the other parent
Many fathers report a strained relationship with the other parent which often prevents him from spending time with his child. Mothers and Fathers who lack communication skills and who have hurt and angry feelings often can not work together to co-parent their child in spite of the status of their relationship. Fatherhood program staff help teach communication skills, address anger management, provide mediation and help develop co-parenting skills. Even fathers who did not report a hostile relationship with the mother also improved upon an already workable relationship.
Results of Jobs not Jail: An Alternative to Incarceration
Besides serving participating fathers, the program provides an Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) for fathers slow to pay child support. Low-income fathers often fall behind in child support - not because they won't pay - but because layoffs, inclement weather, seasonal work cessation, illness or injury on the job, unreliable transportation, and other problems end their income. These fathers are not deadbeats; they are dead broke. With ATI, a judge can order a father facing incarceration to participate in a fatherhood program instead. Rather than sitting in a cell, fathers, with program counseling, can address employment issues and better meet their financial obligations. The ATI program requires the father to consistently pay child support and participate in the entire program in lieu of jail. The program's fatherhood support saves taxpayer dollars and reduces overcrowding in county detention centers where violent offenders belong.
- 56 fathers court ordered
- Paid $38,923 in child support
- Saved taxpayers $376,000 in incarceration costs
Results add up since 2003
From 2003 - 2010, our program has helped 717 men step up to being responsible fathers with the potential to affect 1,319 children.
- Of the 429 unemployed fathers, 208 gained employment.
- In total, 461 of the fathers were employed. 247 got a better paying job or increased earnings in their existing job.
- 426 received job readiness education and job skills training.
- The program provided transportation to 198 fathers.
- 262 fathers reported a somewhat hostile to no relation with the other parent, 159 improved their other-parent relationship.
- 374 received parenting education.
- 306 fathers reported not seeing their child at all or only a few times per year. Overall, 361 (50%) of the participating fathers reported increased contact with their child.