To address the problem of absentee fathers, Dr. Hershel Swinger created Project Fatherhood SM at Children’s Institute, Inc. in 1996 to re-engage low-income fathers, particularly in urban settings, in the care and upbringing of their children. Through therapy, support, parenting education and other services, fathers learn to be more loving, responsible parents and active participants in their children’s lives.
Project Fatherhood SM helps fathers to be better parents through:
- Individual and family counseling
- Group support
- Significant others group
- Therapeutic activities for children
- Preventing child abuse and neglect
- Helping fathers to make healthier decisions in relationships
At the heart of the program is the Men in Relationships Group (MIRG SM), which provides comprehensive support at no cost for culturally diverse biological fathers.
Over the years the group as proved useful for other men in caregiving roles such as stepfathers, foster parents and relative caregivers such as uncles and grandfathers.
Thanks to the vision of Dr. Hershel Swinger, dedicated work of the CII staff and years of federal funding, Project Fatherhood SM to expand across Los Angeles County in a significant way. Over the course of a decade, more than 9,000 fathers and 12,000 children across Los Angeles County have participated in the program.
Today, Project Fatherhood SM continues to exemplify Children’s Institute’s commitment to developing leading-edge programs that deliver lasting impact to the children and families the organization serves.
_*The Project Fatherhood SM Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Grant is part of the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance.