September 10, 2013

Early Childhood Resource Center focuses on critical role fathers play in children’s healthy development

Preschoolers with actively involved fathers have stronger verbal skills and are less likely to have behavior problems. The Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) is actively involved with a number of initiatives throughout Stark County that promote the important role fathers play in their children’s healthy development. The Fatherhood Coalition, 24/7 Dad, The Right Path for Fathers and Drumming with Dads are all examples of community initiatives improving the lives of children by focusing on their relationships with their dads.

Read about the ECRC's programs for dads and their children in the latest edition of the ECRC Community Chronicle newsletter.

Below is an article from the newsletter about The Right Path for Fathers program, which is designed to help long-term, non-custodial parents overcome barriers to employment, obtain jobs and make consistent child support payments. The Right Path program was also featured in the Canton Repository. Click here to read the article. The Early Childhood Resource Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

As seen in the ECRC Community Chronicle:

Right Path for Fathers Partnership Kicks Off with Help from a Federal Grant and ECRC

Working with the Stark County Department of Job & Family Services’ Child Support Enforcement Division, the Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) is providing support services for The Right Path for Fathers Partnership, a program designed to help long-term, non-custodial parents overcome barriers to employment, obtain jobs and make consistent child support payments. The Stark County department is one of only eight agencies nationwide to receive a five-year federal grant of $500,000 a year to fund fatherhood programs. The program’s pilot phase began in July, with full implementation scheduled for October.

Right Path fathers will have the opportunity to earn their GEDs, gain work experience and prepare to seek employment by enrolling in one of two job skills programs offered by Goodwill and the Stark County Community Action Agency. They will also be enrolled in the ECRC’s 24/7 Dad fatherhood classes.

“The ECRC’s 24/7 Dad program can make a significant difference for fathers who do not have a relationship, or have a minimal relationship, with their children, because it teaches them how to be a good father and how to play an important role in their children’s lives,” said Rob Pierson, deputy director of child support, Stark County Department of Job & Family Services.

To maintain father engagement, the ECRC will offer peer support sessions for fathers who have completed the 24/7 Dad program. For those who have support orders that don’t include parenting time or visitation arrangements, the ECRC will help them to develop a plan so they can start spending time with their children.

“The ECRC has always been a great community partner to work with for the best interests of families and children in our community,” said Pierson. “The ECRC shares the same vision we do and is always very cooperative, active and hands-on in joint ventures.”

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