AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Mission Amarillo will soon be launching a new training and mentoring program called 365 Dads for young fathers in Amarillo ages 25 and under.
The organization says since typically the mother ends up being the primary caregiver for the child, they normally have more access to programs and services.
They decided to create 365 Dad because of the lack of resources, services and programs available for teen fathers.
The goal of this program is to help better equip the dad to be a good father, help build a consistent relationship between the father and the child, and also develop a healthy co-parent relationship with the mother.
“But what you typically find in a community, there’s usually very little for the dads and that’s because the dads aren’t the primary care provider and a lot of the dads have checked out. And if we give them the tools to be able to be involved in their child’s life, then we increase the likelihood that they’ll stay involved with their child’s life for some time to come. We’re even hoping we can arrange legal services to where they can come up with a basic child custody agreement,” said Jeff Parsons, executive director at Mission Amarillo.
The dads will have 24 weeks of training. It will be split into two sessions. The first 12 weeks consists of group training and after those first 12 weeks are done, they will have access to a mentor for the next 12 weeks.
After the 24 weeks are complete, they will continue their relationship with their mentor, meeting one-on-one weekly.
“The goal is for the mentor to stay in the young man’s life, the young dad’s life as long as he needs him,” said Parsons.
Parsons says this new program will complement their Be-Loved program which is a mentor program for teen moms because their co-parent will be the first to have the opportunity to join 365 Dad.
“As they gather monthly, to kind of talk through life, a lot of the issues they come up with and a lot of things they talk about are issues with the dad, we want to try to strengthen that,” said Parsons.
They plan to start the program later this summer.
The organization will start limiting the number of people enrolling in their programs because they found they are able to make a greater impact with fewer people.
“The pandemic kind of caused us to kind of limit the number of people in our programs. And as we’ve come out of that, one of the benefits of that is we found that if our numbers are just a little bit lower, we can have a greater involvement in the lives,” said Parsons.
You can look on their Facebook page for updates regarding 365 Dad.
The organization will host it’s annual fundraiser ‘FamFest’ later this May to help raise money for all the programs they offer.
If interested in donating to the non-profit, click here.