FALLBROOK – According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, one in four children in the U.S. lives without a father, stepfather, or father-figure. That translates to more than 18 million American kids. In San Diego County, 21% of the children are in homes without fathers.
In 2022, Hope Clinic for Women added a fatherhood initiative as part of its strategic plan to be implemented in 2023. This January, Zion Lutheran Church in partnership with HCW sought and received funding through a grant with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to establish a funded Fatherhood Program at HCW with training through the National Fatherhood Initiative.
The program is designed with the purpose of teaching fathers (dads and dads-to-be) their role and responsibility as both the father and leader in their family.
HCW is currently training 20 volunteer fatherhood coaches to support dads to be better equipped to raise their child, support their partner, and utilize the tools they need to build a healthy home.
Ernie Gollehon, the Men's Director from Bakersfield Pregnancy Center and Bobbi Gollehon, their Nurse Manager, provided the leadership training for HCW coaches in April at the Health and Wellness Center in Fallbrook. BPC, like HCW, is a licensed primary care medical clinic that also provides pregnancy services and support as well as a Fatherhood Program that started in 2018.
On the last Thursday of each month from 6-7 p.m., the dads in the HCW Fatherhood Program (or those interested in learning more) are invited to join the fatherhood coaches at a Guy's Night Out located at the Health and Wellness Center where wings and pizza are always served.
HCW invites dads and dads to be to the next Guy's Night Out on Thursday, June 29. All fathers are invited whether they are already in the Fatherhood Program or not. It is a good way to learn more about it. There is no cost or obligation to join.
Dads in the Fatherhood Program earn rewards for participation and resources for themselves and their children. Joining the Fatherhood Program is as simple as setting an appointment to meet with a fatherhood coach on site or on the phone.
Those interested in joining the Guy's Night Out on June 29 may call HCW Program Services Director Erika Luis-Chavez at 760-728-4105, ext. 12 or email her at [email protected].
Submitted by Hope Clinic for Women.