The goal of the NYCHA Fatherhood Initiative is to provide an atmosphere within NYCHA Community Centers in which fathers can gain parenting skills and sustainable life skills while participating in an array of cultural, educational, recreational and social events which foster engagement between dads and their children.
The first NYCHA Fatherhood Initiative event, in which fathers were greeted by service providers and agency representatives along with a diversity of cultural and recreational activities, was held at the Williamsburg Community Center on July 31, 2010. That event was followed by similar ones (involving more than 400 fathers) in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, along with a June 18th kick-off for Staten Island. At each event, the NYCHA Social Services Department administers a Pre Assessment Survey which is used to better assist and direct fathers to the types of programming/resources that best fit their needs. After the launch, fathers have the option of attending subsequent free workshops with their children by registering at their borough’s Community Operations Office.
Additionally, NYCHA is in the early stages of implementing an Early Literacy component to the fatherhood initiative. This component will feature literacy skills and reading technique training for fathers who participate in the workshops with the intention of enabling them to employ these methods as they read to their children.
For more information about the NYCHA Fatherhood Initiative click here, or for a workshop in your borough, see below:
The program is currently conducted by two Department of Youth and Community Development Contractor Agencies. Coalition for Hispanic Family Services conducts Fatherhood Programming for fathers ages 25 and older while Friends of Island Academy focuses on fathers below the age of 25. Friends Of Island Academy provides specialized services for fathers 24 and under including parenting workshops, assistance navigating the child support and family court system and financial literacy training. The NFI program is currently operating every Wednesday 6:30-8:30pm (for fathers 24 and under) and the last Saturday 11am-1pm of the month (for fathers 25 and older) at Williamsburg Community Center, 195 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y. 11206. Contact Person: Eric L Cumberbatch, 718-453-1296
The Bronx site is partnering with multiple Department of Youth and Community Development fatherhood curriculum providers, such as Friends of Island Academy, Claremont and Visiting Nurse Services as well as core city agencies and internal NYCHA departments to offer workshops and services that help remove barriers that fathers face while also creating an environment for engagement between fathers and their children. Bronx NFI workshops take place at Justice Sonia Sotomayor Community Center (formerly Bronxdale Houses) 1000 Rosedale Ave, Bronx, NY 10472 every first Saturday of the month from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Contact Person: Louis Soler, 718-409-8640
Manhattan Community Operations has partnered with Friends of Island Academy to conduct Workshops for fathers 24 years of age and younger. The workshops will entail parenting workshops, assistance navigating the child support and family court system and financial literacy and early literacy training and recreation programs. Workshops will take place every Thursday 6:30-8:00pm and the last Saturday of each month 12noon-2pm beginning on February 24th 2011 at King Towers Community Center, 2 West 115th Street, New York, N. Y. 10026. Contact Person: Mauricio Morales, 212-306-3000
Queens Community Operations has partnered with Forestdale Inc. to provide educational, employment, family counseling, family financial literacy, conflict resolution and parenting skills. Workshops are currently taking place every Tuesday at Woodside Community Center, 50-19 Broadway, Woodside, N. Y. 11377 from 6:30-8:30pm and every Thursday at Beach 41st St Community Center, 426 Beach 40th St, Far Rockaway, N. Y. 11691 from 7:00-8:30pm. Contact Person: Byron Cave, 718-969-6240.
The Staten Island portion of the Fatherhood Initiative is currently being planned with an anticipated launch date of June 16th 2011. Contact Person: Byron Cave, 718-969-6240