“Just take my son to the park, have a little picnic with him. You know he can’t eat that much, but feed him Gerber. As long as I see my son, that’s the best Father’s Day I could ever have.”
Joel Ramirez, 17, father in L.A. Fathers Program
Most new fathers will tell you that they didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into. When parenthood is unexpected, young fathers can find themselves feeling very alone. The L.A. Fathers Program, operated by Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, is a support and skill building network for young dads in the Los Angeles area.
Photo credit: NPR.org
Fathers, most between the ages of 15 and 25, take part in an eight to ten week program, receiving job training and placement, case management services, parenting education and workshops to help them with their relationships, as well as physical supports like diapers, transportation tokens, and baby food.
During Father’s Day week, NPR featured a story on the L.A. Fathers Program, talking with program participants, like Joel Ramirez, and project coordinator Frank Blaney, about the program. “I always told myself, never, I’m not going to drop out of high school,” said Joel Ramirez, “Cause a lot of my brothers didn’t finish high school and they’re working minimum wage and I don’t want to be like that. I want to give my son all I can, and I want to give myself all I can. To me a high school diploma is more than a GED – school really helps.” The L.A. Fathers Program will be helping Joel in lining up a summer job and, when he’s 18, work on his resume. The Program is helping change his idea of what it means to be a dad.
Listen to the original story and read the article on NPR.org.
Learn more about the L.A. Fathers Program and the Office of Family Assistance Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage grants and programs. Find a list of OFA funded Responsible Fatherhood programs by state, by visiting the Connect with Programs map.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse