2007-06-01 / Community

Fathers First Gives New Dads

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begins with building a relationship with the young man to help him be part of the solution. Jones said outcomes are better when the solutions are tailored to specific needs.

"There's no quick fix," said Jomael Young, who is an outreach coordinator at the organization. "The key words are self-assessment. There is extra drive to do what needs to be done if they figure they can fix it themselves."

Since the inception of Fathers First, they have worked with over 350 fathers, making home visits, running support groups, working on issues such as co-parenting, visitation rights and even questions of paternity. Groups meet every Thursday, said Jones.

"Any dad in the community who might need guidance [is welcome]," he said. "We first started with adolescents; now we have men in their 40's and 50's come. It's unique, beneficial. They build relationships, a support network."

Fathers First operates under the umbrella of the Visiting Nurse Service. It works in collaboration with at least a dozen organizations including Beach Channel and Far Rockaway High Schools, the Addabbo Family Health Center, St. John's Episcopal Hospital and the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), and is funded by the New York City Department of Health.

For more information, Fathers First can be reached at 718-318-8040. They are located at 86-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. in the Dayton Shopping Plaza.

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