For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Fathers Care Network: Teaching Fathers the Importance of Parenthood
Father's Day is the celebration of fatherhood and the important father figures in our lives. But far too many children are living without the benefit of the emotional and financial support of a father.
Father Care Network, a new community partnership funded by the Pascale Sykes Foundation, seeks to reconnect fathers with their children. Participants attend classes that emphasize parenting skills, child developmental milestones and the importance of the presence of a father in a child's life.
Agencies selected to strengthen families in Atlantic County with the implementation of the Father Care Network include the Atlantic County Justice Facility; The Women's Center; Career Opportunity Development, Inc.; Youth Advocacy Program, and the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office.
Men incarcerated at the Atlantic County Justice Facility are among those targeted for participation. Upon completion of the courses, many inmates will have an opportunity to meet and visit with their children, with the consent of the child’s mother or guardian and law enforcement.
"There is extensive research which substantiates the importance of fathers active involvement in their children's lives as it relates to their emotional health and welfare. Not only does this program help to foster a loving relationship between an estranged father and his child, but it also serves to promote self-sufficiency through employment and to accept responsibility as a parent, said Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive.
Each of the partner agencies brings something to the table. The Youth Advocacy Program and CODI provide case management and employment opportunities, while the Women's Center provides parenting and life skills training and facilitates the relationship between the father and the mother. The Pascale Sykes Foundation also requires a secondary adult be identified who can serve in a parental role should one of the parents become unavailable.
"Our hope is that the men who complete this program will step up to accept their roles as fathers and the responsibilities that entails as well as to appreciate their significance in the development of their children and their future happiness and success."
For additional information, please contact John McLernon, Director, Community Relations and Social Services, at (609) 909-7546 or Claudia Ratzlaff, Executive Director, The Women's Center, at (609) 601-9925, ext. 210.