Sunday, January 25, 2009

Supporting Fatherhood in the Hudson Valley

Reading togetherOn Friday I met with a group of folks about starting a Fatherhood Alliance in the Hudson Valley. I'll keep you up-to-date about our discussions as we proceed. We welcome your thoughts and participation.

Some of the goals we discussed include:
  • Changing the language and expanding the meaning of the words used in the fatherhood movement, eg. child support means more than money; 'deadbeat' dads are usually 'deadbroke' dads who need job training and opportunities.
  • Strengthening the understanding and skills HV nonprofits need to engage and support fathers in their efforts to be responsible for their children.
  • Identifying and collaborating to fill the gaps in services that help fathers become more responsible.

Here's some information about some of the people involved and links to more about them.
  • Donna Linder and her staff members Ed , Ray, and Sherrie (apologies - I don't have everyone's last name) at ChildFind of America. Through their phone-based ParentHelp program, funded through the HHS Fatherhood money, they deal with the issues of separated parenting every day. I wrote the ParentHelp grant for them and know, firsthand the quality of the work they do.
  • Kenneth Braswell has been focused on fatherhood issues for a long time. You may know him from Fathers, Inc. which he started in 2003. He's the Director of the NY State Fatherhood Initiative for the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance where he works within the Center for Child Well-Being to involve non-custodial parents in the economic and social well-being of their children.
  • Alicia Marie Crowe, Attorney/Author of Real Dads Stand Up! What Every Single Father Should Know About Child Support Rights and Custody. It's a guide to help Dads stay connected to their children despite the failed relationship with the other parent.
More to come. I don't have everyone's information yet. But that's a start.
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