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Department of Human Services kicks off ‘Strong Fathers’ campaign

Although local construction projects continue to struggle, there is still plenty of building to be done in Pagosa Country. I’m talking about the skill-building of fathers in our community that supports better outcomes for children and families.

In a recent meta-analysis conducted by Sarah Allen MSc and Kerry Daly, PhD, of the University of Guelph, Canada found:

• Children of involved fathers are more likely to enjoy school, have better attitudes toward school, participate in extracurricular activities and graduate.”

• “They (children of involved fathers) are also less likely to fail a grade, have poor attendance or have behavior problems in school.”

• “Children of involved fathers are more likely to demonstrate a greater tolerance for stress and frustration… have superior problem solving and adaptive skills… be more playful, resourceful, skillful and attentive when presented with a problem…and be better able to manage their emotions and impulses in an adaptive manner …”

• “Children who have involved fathers are more likely to grow up to be tolerant and understanding…be well socialized and successful adults…have supportive social networks consisting of long term close friendships…and adjust to college both personally and socially.”

Cleary, building strong fathers is an important element of building a strong community! As we continue to address a broad range of social and economic challenges, we must look to reinforce our infrastructure, at the family level, so that we have the strength and skills necessary to solve our broader concerns.

Since September of 2006, the Archuleta County Department of Human Services, working with community collaborators, has worked with an average of 50 fathers a year to improve their involvement with their children. The services provided include classes in budgeting and family financial empowerment, paying for tutoring and fees to secure a GED, emergency housing, mentoring and one-on-one coaching.

Looking to the future, we are seeking input from the community as to how best to support and build into the lives of fathers. Stop by the Department of Human Services and lets talk about how we can work together to build “Strong Fathers” in order to grow “Strong Children.” Fill out a 30-second survey and receive a $20 work shirt supporting Dads in Pagosa Country. Together, we’re “Building a Strong Pagosa.”