In just a few short weeks, Antonio* went from being a client receiving fatherhood services to an advocate to the community about the importance of fathers and families.
Antonio attended the Creating Lasting Family Connections (CLFC) Fatherhood Program within Jefferson County Reentry Fatherhood Initiative. Antonio often spoke about his hair-cutting abilities. After completing the program, Antonio found the confidence to open his own barbershop in Louisville, KY. The barbershop was the physical fulfillment of Antonio’s dream.
Shortly thereafter, Jefferson County Reentry Fatherhood Initiative (JCRFI) staff approached Antonio about participating in Fatherhood Buzz, a national event coordinated by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. During this annual effort, community agencies partner with barbershops to promote responsible fatherhood and to provide resource material for fathers. Antonio immediately indicated an excitement and willingness to participate with us on Father’s Day weekend. Through hosting the event in his barbershop, Antonio demonstrated a desire to pass on what he learned to other fathers interested in successfully raising their children.
This is just one of the 275 low-income adult returning offenders whose lives have been impacted as a result this program. JCRFI has enhanced the skills of these parents or potential caregivers of minor children increasing their relationships skills with their partners and children. Parents or potential caregivers have also described higher levels of resiliency and economic stability.
- 98% of respondents reported “Strongly agree” or “Agree” that they feel capable of saying “no” when they need to, after participating in the program.
- 91% of respondents reported “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” that they have confidence in their ability to influence their own children regarding alcohol and drug related decisions, after participating in the program.
- 90% of participants reported that that they and their family have the ability to increase family bonding, after participating in the program.
- 85% of participants reported that they feel better about creating expectations and consequences in their family since they participated in the CLFC Fatherhood Program.
JCRFI continues to encourage and support fathers transitioning back into the community. As an aspect of this transition, we are working to leverage their specific skills and strengths to enhance their own economic stability just like Antonio with his hair cutting ability.
We are seeing fathers like Antonio offer support to other fathers in the local community creating a network of opportunity, wellness and hope.
*Antonio is a fictitious name used in this write-up based on our policy to protect the identity of COPES programming participants.
Learn more about COPES at http://www.copes.org.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance