Why Being Dad Meets on Their Turf
Maurice* had just discovered he was going to be a dad. He was eager to learn what being a father was all about and made an appointment to come back to our clinic for his first Being Dad lesson. Before he left I said, “If you can’t make it for any reason, call me. I can come to you.”
Sure enough, when I got to the clinic the morning of Maurice’s appointment, there was a message awaiting me. He couldn’t make it. So I called Maurice back and set up a meeting in a public library near where he lives.
Maurice is like a lot of men who are fathers of unintended pregnancies. He was worried about the future, but committed to his child. Wanting to do the right thing but wary of entering the clinic. There’s no one reason why these men aren’t comfortable in the clinic setting. Maybe it’s because we focus on women’s health or because the staff is mostly female. Maybe it’s because these young men are anxious and overwhelmed. Whatever the reason, Care Net is working to overcome that barrier by going to men where they are through our new fatherhood program, Being Dad.
Being Dad is flexible, engaging and mobile. It lets dads know that they matter and helps each expectant dad to become an involved father. Being Dad consists of twenty topics for dads to choose from that will help them learn how to be a good dad. And it’s designed so we can meet men wherever they are to teach them the skills they need to be engaged fathers.
Being Dad is bigger than Care Net. It relies not just on our staff and volunteers but on partnerships with local churches and nonprofit organizations. These connections help us reach men who need our services but would never come to us, and allow us to build networks with local men who are passionate about helping young dads become involved fathers.
Together we can extend into the community to minister to men in our neighborhoods and in our churches. Together we can make sure people hear this critical message: Dads matter.
We can’t do this alone. Will you help us equip young fathers to be the best dads they can be?
*Name changed to protect privacy.