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UCHRA Fatherhood Initiative Taking Next Steps Through Partners

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Fatherhood Initiative Taking Next Steps Through Partners

UCHRA has partnered with local agencies to develop a three-focused approach to its new Fatherhood Initiative.

Director of Economic Development Megan Choate said she has been connected with resources and data through a partnership with Tennesseeans for Quality Early Education and the Brightstart program. She said the information they have shared has shaped the goal of getting fathers involved with their children from day one.

“Even with all of the resources that are available on the internet and things that are out there, far too many fathers lack the information that they need to understand how to best effect their child’s development,” Choate said. “So many parents just don’t understand the impact that they can make from their parenting practices.”

Choate said a roundtable with potential partners was scheduled for early January but was canceled due to inclement weather. She said representatives from core partners at Empower Upper Cumberland and leaders from the Department of Child Services will be present to educate attendees on what the initiative will look like.

“The goal is to build a community of resources that support the father in his journey to be the first and the best teacher,” Choate said. “We want to develop purposeful parenting.”

Choate said she plans to develop partnerships with local hospitals and midwives to focus on new fathers making a positive impact on their children in the most formative years of their lives. She said the program would also be in partnership with the judicial system in an attempt to keep fathers in their children’s lives and promote healthy co-parenting.

“Many current fathers don’t have role models in their own lives,” Choate said. “So because of this, our program will develop a mentorship program for those men who desire that assistance to help them navigate fatherhood.”

She said the three focuses with will be explained at the roundtable are solidifying a bond between father and child at an early age, creating social connections between fathers, and helping mothers learn the importance of a father’s presence in their child’s life. She said the initiative will provide counseling for couples to learn how to create a healthy co-parenting environment for their child.


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