FuturoNow Dads Speak OutNo Comments
The FuturoNow Family Strengthening Initiative: Fatherhood Project (FSIFP) is a community-centered program addressing the responsible fatherhood needs of primarily low-income Hispanics in a four-county region of Southern California (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties). The Hispanic population living in these counties is facing high rates of poverty and unemployment. Rising divorce rates, increasing numbers of births to single teen mothers, and increasing numbers of children being raised in single parent homes are also significant problems for the population served by FuturoNow.
Launched earlier this year, FSIFP have already begun to see the overwhelming impact in the lives of many fathers and their families. Here are a few stories highlighting the first six months of the grant.
1. Dad’s Increased Awareness of Spousal Needs – A participant’s wife commented to the FuturoNow Team that in the past years she had to always accommodate her husband’s needs. She stated that whether she happened to be ill or not, she still had to wake up early in the morning to prepare his lunch and coffee before he left to work at 4am. She said that something really surprising happened this last time when she happened to be sick with a cold. Her husband stopped her from getting out of bed because she was ill. He took care of his own needs and allowed her to stay in bed so she could get better. She thanked the advocate for the program that her husband is participating in as she sees how her husband is becoming more sensitive and aware of her needs.
2. Dad Moves From Gang to Nurturer – A dad who was involved in the gang life has indicated that as a result of the FuturoNow Fatherhood Program, he is building up the self-worth of his children. The dad comes from a Machista family culture where a positive father/son nurturing environment was not a top priority. He has been incarcerated and since he is been out, he wants to change his family culture. Now he looks to be a nurturing dad focusing on the small things. He tells his children that he is very proud of them (a girl 8 and a boy 4) and that he is happy to be their father. This dad also mentioned that he is beginning to dedicate a night every two weeks for a date with his wife. He also started doing other small things. For example, he gives a kiss to his wife when he drops her off to work. His son has witnessed this and is now asking his dad for a kiss for himself. This is something that the dad has never done.
3. Dads Consider Increased Commitment – Some unmarried fathers have shared with the Facilitators/Advocates that they are seriously considering getting married. They have learned and seen, through the classes, the positive benefits and impact that marriage can have on their health, their children’s lives, and their spousal relationship.
4. Teen Dad Takes Step Towards A New Start - As a result of serving as an intern with a FuturoNow partner, a young man has spoken with his child’s mother and asked her if they can have a fresh start. He asked her to tell him what is that he needs to change to make himself a better person for their relationship. He also decided to enroll into school for the upcoming summer session.
Way to Go Dads!
FuturoNow Fatherhood Project’s Community and Faith-based organizational partners include Avenues of Hope, KidWorks, KingdomCauses Bellflower, Solidarity, Youth Speak Collective, Taller San Jose, San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, and Good Soil Industries. House of Ruth works closely with the project to address domestic violence and child maltreatment issues.
For more information on the FuturoNow Fatherhood Project, click here.
Happy Father’s Day!