2005-05-27 / Community

Bring The Boys Home Workshop In Far Rockaway

Participating fathers learn how to take better care of their children.Participating fathers learn how to take better care of their children. A community workshop for fathers will be held in Far Rockaway at the Full Gospel Tabernacle on Friday, June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Presented by The Visiting Nurse Service of New York Infant Mortality Reduction / Fathers First Initiative, “Bring the Boys Home” aims to highlight the services available to fathers residing in the community.

Among the objectives of the event is to assess the community’s perception of the importance/significance of fathers and to provide fathers who have struggled, but have met with considerable success, an opportunity to participate on a panel discussion. There will also be workshops providing information about a father’s role in offsetting infant mortality.

Since it’s inception in 1997 the program has positively impacted the lives of more than 200 fathers and their children. The program has graduated more than fifty-five students some of whom have gone on to college, military service and other educational or vocational settings. According to Carolyn Leigh, “Not only are we addressing their educational needs but available services are comprehensive in that we provide career and guidance counseling, mental health services, and nutritional workshops all on site or we link them to other resources within the community. I’ve taught for many years and I’d have to say I love the arrangement we have here. We have a great collaboration with a lot of support, which enables me as a teacher to actually teach. I don’t have to worry so much about classroom management or discipline problems because the program is so structured.”

Internal staff development training has also been useful in creating a culture of inclusion, an environment where employees are comfortable interacting with and engaging fathers in similar ways they respond to mothers. All of the staff has explored ways of increasing their competency working with fathers. Services provided range from individual sessions, weekly support groups to couples counseling. Several fathers in need of more specific services such as paternity establishment and visitation assistance were supported or provided information on how to access help. Through established collaborations with community partners the program links fathers to

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