Dads Are Dads Are Dads

Montrose County, Colorado has received a $1M federal grant to start a pilot fatherhood program:

‘Peg Mewes, director of Montrose County Health and Human Services, said Montrose was only one of only two counties in the state that recently cashed in on a $1 million federal grant program to help fathers with parenting.

The countywide program is open to any dad, but those who don’t have their kids living with them seem to need it the most, Mewes said.

The free program will help dads with parenting skills, legal rights and drug problems, and they’ll be encouraged to keep up their child support payments.’

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The Daily Sentinel

The county’s goal is to hire five ‘life coaches’ and enroll thirty fathers by the end of the year.

I don’t mean to belittle the struggles of divorced fathers, or Montrose County. I’m always excited to see new programs like this. However, I’m curious to know how they determined that non-custodial fathers most needed a fatherhood program. It seems to me—and I could be completely wrong—that there are more resources for legal advice and fathers’ rights than fatherhood in general.

The program is available to all fathers, but will all fathers be attracted to the program if its services are targeted toward a specific group of dads?

Mewes’ further comments imply that theirs will be a ‘fathers’ rights group’, because ‘many fathers have no idea what their rights are’. If, instead, they were to promote the significance of fatherhood, and provide men with the tools and support to become better husbands and fathers, wouldn’t that encourage divorced fathers to learn and demand their rights?

And, perhaps, to avoid divorce in the first place?

[See also Paying Daddy to Be Dad, about a New York State program which provides tax credits to non-custodial parents to encourage payment of child support.]

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