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Fatherhood Initiative helps dads become great parents

Fatherhood Initiative helps dads become great parents

Aug 14, 2017 | CFD

Happy Father’s Day! FCA’s Fatherhood Initiative Program promotes bonding and attachment for dads. Angel Garcia is the Fathering Home Visitor and works with men in the program to help them learn about child development, gain confidence in their parenting, and develop strong relationships with their children.

Being a first-time father can be scary. Many are not prepared and rely on the child’s mother to do most of the parenting. But fathers have an important role in the lives of their children just like mothers. While there is a great deal of support available for mothers and babies, there isn’t as much available for dads. FCA’s Fatherhood Initiative supports dads, helps them build confidence, teaches child development, and guides dads to reach their parenting goals.

As the FCA Fathering Home Visitor, I work with many dads who face challenges that have forced them to think critically about their role as a father. 

During COVID-19, many fathers/families faced economic and employment instability and the challenge of not being able to support their families. In addition, many are left with the lasting effects of the pandemic on their children. I’ve worked closely with fathers to teach parenting tactics they can use with their children while educating them about fatherhood and child development. It is amazing to see a father who lacked the confidence in parenting to now being involved in their child’s life as much as they can. Jared is one of those fathers.

Jared is a first-time dad to his 18-month-old daughter, Ava. Jared doubted his abilities as a father and lacked confidence. Due to the isolation caused by COVID-19, Ava struggled with communication and wasn’t hitting her developmental milestones. Jared and I worked together to create activities he could do with Ava to help her develop her communications, gross motor, and fine motor skills. Through these activities, Ava has caught up to her peers and she and Jared have formed a strong bond. Now, when Jared talks about his daughter he sounds proud and excited as he describes the progress she has made.

The most important thing for dads to know is they aren’t alone and there is support for them. No father is perfect, but if you give them the right set of tools they can blossom into the parent they want to be.

The most amazing part of my job is seeing dads achieve goals, from getting a job to changing a diaper, when they originally didn’t think they could.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in our community, and especially to those who are working hard to be the best parent they can be.