The DYCD Fatherhood offers fatherhood programming in three distinct categories: Young Fathers (16-24 years-old), Older Fathers (over the age of 24), and Fathers with Prior Involvement in the Criminal Justice System. The Fatherhood Initiative is designed to help each father increase engagement and responsibility in his relationship with his child/children; and provide material and financial support to his child/children.
Since 2002, DYCD has been committed to enhancing children's development through programs that encourage fathers to become personally involved with their children emotionally and financially, and help fathers relate to their co-parents. DYCD's Fatherhood Initiative helps fathers reconnect with their children and develop essential parenting skills by helping each participant (1) increase engagement and responsibility in his relationship with his children; and (2) provide material and financial support to his children. DYCD's program is informed by studies that show that children with involved fathers are less likely to get into trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood, and that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills for infants, greater patience for toddlers, and better intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents. Children with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self-control and pro-social behavior.
The circumstances confronting non-custodial fathers must be addressed in order to empower them to establish a positive, healthy, supportive relationship with their children. These can include: reconciling the conflicting roles of adolescence and fatherhood, and completing school or finding entry-level employment; surmounting challenges such as chronic unemployment, homelessness, or poor health; and addressing particular difficulties resulting from long-term absence due to cycles of incarceration, reentry, and recidivism. In order to assist fathers with these issues, contractors provide up to six months of case management, with follow-up services as needed for up to one year, and devise service plans that address five core areas: parenting skills development, effective co-parenting with the child's guardian; employment/education; child support; child visitation/placement. Services provided include: parenting skills classes; individual and family counseling; mediation and conflict resolution training; assistance with child support and arranging child visitation; father-to-father mentoring; GED and ESOL referrals; employment counseling and referrals.
Since the announcement of the Mayor's Fatherhood Initiative, DYCD has been a vital partner to other city agencies, such as the Department of Probation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Administration for Childrens' Services and the Housing Authority, in providing these and other services to dads. DYCD also sponsored the citywide Mother's Day Recognition events for fatherhood programs, and participates in the statewide "Dads Take Your Child To School" campaign.
For more information about DYCD and its fatherhood programs click here.
Read about the First DYCD Fatherhood Commencement Ceremony
View DYCD's 2013 Progress Report
View DYCD's Next Steps for 2014