What makes your idea unique?
Dads United for Parenting (D-UP) was created to tackle the profound social and family problems that stem from absent fathers. Studies have demonstrated that children who grow up in fatherless homes are more likely to drop out of school, become incarcerated, and struggle with unemployment. While a number of support groups exist for women and mothers, there are relatively few fatherhood programs; D-UP fills this void. Because many non-custodial fathers struggle to find the stable employment needed to financially support their children, D-UP works directly with the Midtown Community Court’s onsite job-training program. It is this combination of job training and a nurturing fatherhood curriculum that makes D-UP unique. Participants receive job skills training, learn how to create a resume and interview effectively, and work with an onsite job developer to find employment. At the same time, D-UP participants engage in a comprehensive parent education curriculum, which explores child safety and developmental needs, communication, structure, and effective discipline. To help participants increase their emotional engagement with their children, D-UP also coordinates numerous events and outings, giving participants the opportunity to spend quality time with their children. A community educator from a local museum also teaches participants about art and encourages them to take advantage of the wonderful array of cultural opportunities that exist in New York City with their children. Finally, D-UP hosts guest speakers who lead program sessions on a variety of issues, including navigation of the family court system, child custody and visitation issues, and other legal issues.