When it comes to support for parents, fathers can sometimes be overlooked. At Family & Children’s Agency (FCA), our Fatherhood Initiative focuses on dads so they can get the support they need to be role-models for their children and help their development.
Angel Garcia, FCA’s Fathering Home Visitor, works with fathers in a group setting as well as one on one. He said dads often feel a stigma around asking for help because many men are taught to suppress their feelings. He works to give these dads a safe space and an opportunity to build a parenting community.
“There’s a lot of focus on mothers, which is important, but moms aren’t the only caregiver. What dad teaches a child is just as important,” said Angel.
Some of the topics frequently addressed in the Fatherhood Initiative are finances, emotional support, and a lack of confidence often stemming from a language barrier. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Angel has been speaking with the dads in the program nearly every day to help them deal with unemployment, job seeking, and the added stress and pressure that being in social isolation brings. Angel also works with some single dads, and they often talk about co-parenting strategies.
Communications skills are also a vital part of parenting and creates a united parenting front so children have consistency. This allows dads to better appreciate the issues their children face at home, offer their own experiences, and support their partners.
In an effort to help families get out of the house during the virus pandemic, FCA delivered a plant and seed activity to families including seeds, soil mix, and instructions. One dad in the program already had a hobby gardening but never had his kids participate. This activity gave him the incentive to include them in his passion, and they are excited to watch their plants grow!
We at FCA wish all fathers, including those in our Fatherhood Initiative, a happy Father’s Day!