UPDATE: Fatherhood Connection to begin

Pastor Reggie Cox

(Updated with open house information) Madison County Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald reminds professionals in the community that DSS and The Fatherhood Connection are hosting the next session of Fatherhood Connection. The next 13-week session will begin Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pathways Wellness Center at 148 Main St., Oneida. The group will meet weekly for the two-hour session and a meal will be provided.

In addition, Pathways Wellness Center will host an open house this afternoon (Sept. 20, 2017) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Fitzgerald said there is still space in the group, and rolling enrollments will be accommodated even after the first session is held.

Transportation and child care will not be provided.

This program was provided last fall/winter here at DSS under a grant from OCFS. Throughout the 13 weeks, there were 14 fathers who participated with all participants gaining something and many making remarkable gains in either having children returned to their custody, gaining employment or becoming positively engaged in the children’s lives.

Groups have also been happening more recently at the Madison County Jail with a men’s group meeting for seven weeks and a women’s group currently meeting. Having personally participated in the men’s group at the jail on a few occasions, I am encouraged that those 12 men who were in the group will have finally made changes within themselves that will lead to fewer arrests, engaging in less use of illegal drugs and becoming a positive influence in their family’s lives.

There is no fee to participate and all men who are fathers (in whatever form that is – dad, step-dad, granddad, father substitute, etc.) are welcome.

“If a father attends one session or all 13, they will gain essential skills and insights,” Fitzgerald said. “We also welcome any fathers who might have attended earlier groups- they are now our alumni and can talk about how the Fatherhood Connection made a difference for them.”

“We hope to serve all fathers referred but if we do have to limit participation, we will strive to enroll those who will gain the most and let you know if we had to put a referral on a waiting list,” Fitzgerald said.

For more information, call 315.366.2248.

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