Rose of Durham successfully implemented ‘What a Difference a Dad Makes’ a ten week parenting program built on the content of the FIBOCC program in the fall of 2008. Since then the program has been offered a total of 16 times within our agency, and last year we partnered with another agency in our Region servicing men outside our age mandate of 30 to offer it twice a year.
So as of 2013 the program is being offered 5 times per year in Durham Region.
The program has been completed by 128 young fathers. Some of the successes witnessed have included young men obtaining new or increased access to their children, two young men have obtained full custody, many of the participants enter back into main stream education or obtain gainful employment, in addition to recognizing the impact their relationships or lack of relationships with their own fathers have had on their lives, and their desire to break that cycle.
One young man who took the group for the first time in late 2009 has been so impacted by the group, that he regularly attends every group offered as a mentor to young men entering the program. Many of the young men who complete the group express a desire to do the group again due to the connection they feel with the facilitator and the healing properties offered by the camaraderie built among their peers within the group.
We feel our group is successful due to the fact that our facilitator is a male and was also a young father himself. With the young men we see, many who have had problems with the law, there is a very tough exterior to get through. When they really feel like someone understands where they are in their life, and can relate on a very real level, it makes a tremendous difference.
Our agency, our staff, our board, and our community is proud of the work we do with young fathers in the community, and the healthier relationships between father and child that exist as a result.