The mission of the Forestdale Strong Fathers Initiative is to encourage and facilitate fathers’ emotional and material engagement with their children. Active and loving fathers have a central role to play in the well-being of their children, families and community. With the support of New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), Forestdale’s Strong Fathers Initiative serves an estimated 200 fathers and their families every year.
- Forestdale’s Solutions-Based Casework (SBC) case management approach is a means to establish & implement best practices that create flourishing partnerships with families and the services they need. SBC translates & organizes theoretical foundations into goals for behaviorally -specific action plans in efforts to address individual and family level objectives. The plans target necessary skills in critical risk areas (i.e., educational attainment & employment, parenting skills, mental health services, and more) that are then demonstrated, documented, and celebrated.
- The Parenting Skills Development 3 month workshop series (PSD), is offered 3x (cycles) per year, starting July of each year. PSD combines the DYCD 24/7 parenting skills curriculum with group discussion and ancillary enhancements to support practical parenting skills and better address the concerns of our urban fathers. We help build involved, responsible and committed fathers. Free, flexible and bilingual (English/Spanish) training are offered in our Forest Hills and Hollis locations.
- Additional workshops (i.e. Male Accountability/Domestic Violence, Anger Management, Abusive Partner Intervention, Co-Parenting and Child Support)
- Career & Financial Empowerment Counseling, vocational assessment, referrals to Community services, Partners for HSE preparation and testing and job skills training
- Peer Support Groups- Alumni Fathers have formed a group, which provides a Bi-weekly venue for mutual support around parenting, relationships and jobs.
- Co-parenting activities (i.e. joint counseling sessions, referral for mediation, and joint family activities)
- Entitlements Assistance- as part of our case management model, we assess the needs of our Strong Fathers’ participants and help them with the identification of entitlement benefits (i.e. Medicaid, SSI, TANF, and more) they are eligible for and work with them to obtain those benefits.
- The Annual weekend Fathering Retreat is an opportunity for current and past participants to bond and learn in an off-site setting
- 95% program graduation rate
- In Fiscal 2018, approximately 200 fathers (166 were non-custodial) participated in our Strong Fathers program leading them to increase their engagement with and financial support of their children. Both are measures that have been demonstrated to improve the lives of children, significantly.
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