When John first connected with ADVOCAP's Fathers and Family Stability Project (FFSP), he had just lost his job and was in danger of losing his housing. John had some contact with his daughter, but his visits were becoming limited due to his housing situation. As a part of his initial interview with the program, FFSP learned that John had grown up in the foster care system never having a stable residency or care takers. As a result, John’s best guess was not always the best strategy for parenting his daughter. Although he lacked parenting role models, John affirmed that he would do anything for his daughter.
Shortly thereafter, John enrolled in ADVOCAP's program geared towards unemployed or under employed fathers with young children. The Fathers & Family Stability Project works with 100 fathers over a three year period, assisting fathers in the areas of life skills, employment, education, relationships and parenting.
John first task with ADVOCAP's job specialist was to work on his employment. The job specialist assisted John in building a stronger resume and improving his job interview skills. Next John became involved with the fatherhood program's support groups connecting with other fathers to discuss parenting strategies. John would attend almost every educational function offered by the fatherhood program. He particularly enjoyed the events that allowed him to spend quality time with his daughter.
As a result of these efforts, John was able to find immediate employment through a work experience position and later, secure long term, stable employment. Even after finding employment, John has attended educational events regarding proper work conduct and how to advance in the work setting. These classes have enabled John to maintain full time employment. He even has been given opportunities to train new employees.
John has greatly improved upon his housing situation and was able to obtain more visitations with his daughter. The combination of a stable job and housing allowed him to successfully proposition the courts for more visitation time with his daughter.
Perhaps the most impressive gain made by John is the new found balance in his parenting style. As witnessed by both fatherhood staff and the other fathers in the support groups, John has become not only changed his parenting style significantly, but is becoming a gifted parent; John's daughter now beams when around him. Recently, John's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child asked John to take more responsibility in the day to day care of their daughter, including becoming the primary custody provider.
ADVOCAP's Fathers & Family Stability Project will continue to train, seek employment and encourage their participants in this program like John based on their belief in teaching people to help themselves and to become more self-sufficient.
To learn more about ADVOCAP visit http://advocap.org
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance