FOSTORIA - Sometimes, a father needs a little help to know what's best and First Step Healthy Family Resource Center will help fathers get the skills they need to be involved in their children's lives through National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad program.
The agency plans to launch a 12-session workshop Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning next week for area fathers. Sessions are to offer parenting, relationship and communication skills they need to be involved, responsible and committed fathers.
"We want to move our dads to commit to making sure their children have an involved, responsible and committed father who will connect with them heart to heart. We hope this class will help connect the hearts of fathers to their children," said Sami Reamer, First Step's community resource coordinator, who is to facilitate the sessions with Mark Detillion and Carlos Rodriguez.
"It can be as simple as remembering to tell your kids, 'I am with you; I believe in you; I am proud of you,'" she said.
The 24/7 Dad workshop was developed by fathering and parenting experts at the National Fatherhood Institute and focuses on characteristics men need to be involved fathers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This community-based program helps men develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to get - and stay - involved with their children.
24/7 Dad focuses on key fathering characteristics - such as masculinity, discipline and work/family balance - and helps men evaluate their own parenting skills as well as their fathering role models.
Fathers who have completed the 24/7 Dad class report greater personal motivation to improve relationships and report having gained greater understanding of their potential positive contributions to the lives of their children.
More than 24 million children - every one in three children - in America live apart from their biological fathers. First Step hopes this class will help develop strong male role models, which will in turn positively impact families.
"If we're going to help the next generation raise healthy, non-violent families, we need to show them what that looks like now. It's difficult to be what you don't see. Little boys and girls need to see what a great dad looks like," said Reamer.
First Step is also hoping others in the community will join in. The agency plans to include a light supper for participants, sponsored by churches, organizations and businesses. Local groups still are needed to prepare or purchase meals for the small group.
For more information on the 24/7 Dads sessions or to volunteer, contact Reamer at (419) 435-7300 or sreamer