Project Fatherhood (SM): News Article: Let’s Make Father’s Day Every Day

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October 3, 2017

Let’s Make Father’s Day Every Day

By Alan-Michael Graves, Director of Project Fatherhood SM

With the new school year well underway and many families recently experiencing sending their children back to school or off to school for the very first time, I think it’s extremely important that we continue to highlight the vital role that fathers and father figures play in a child’s early development.

This fall, Project Fatherhood SM spent the morning at Rosemont Elementary School in Los Angeles welcoming fathers who were celebrating the first day of school with their children. Watching the dads bring their children to school and take an active role in their child’s education was heartening. Our goal is to create more of these father-friendly spaces to help raise awareness about the importance of father engagement.

Statistics show that children who feel a closeness to their father are: twice as likely to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms.

While fatherhood is a near-universal experience for men, there are wide differences in culture, knowledge, and the skills fathers bring to parenting. Project Fatherhood SM is committed to creating a place and space for men to meet in groups to eliminate the psychological isolation associated with antisocial behavior. Combating shame and disgrace, men feel relief and self-respect when they realize their potential to be fathers. Also, if a man is not fulfilling his role as a father, the issues in his background that prevent him from doing so can be resolved.

As I reflect on the words of my mentor, the late Dr. Hershel K. Swinger advised that when doing this work, you must always remember (5) important things:

  1. Children are the reason for the work;
  2. Recognize the value of fathers to children;
  3. Appreciate the importance of fathers to the case planning and service provision process;
  4. Understand the issues unique to working with fathers;
  5. Effectively involve fathers in all aspects of case management, from assessment through case closure and/or reunification

This is, of course, just the start. To prevent child abuse and neglect, to curb family violence and make families whole, and to secure a decent future for every one of us, we must rally our village—our family members, social service agencies, elected officials, businesses, and anyone who comes into contact with families, fathers and children. We are all in this together and all of us qualify as partners in this community effort—for the sake of the children.

While they say it takes a village to raise a child, it will take our children and their fathers to raise our village.

Now that the work has begun, let’s pool our efforts for collective impact in the communities we serve. For more information on how you can get involved with CII’s Los Angeles Fatherhood Network and our work to change systems across the city, visit Now that the work has begun, let’s pool our efforts for collective impact in the communities we serve. For more information on how you can get involved with CII’s Los Angeles Fatherhood Network and our work to change systems across the city, visit lafatherhoodnetwork.org.

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