Children Need Fathers: The Young Parents Program/Project ELECT Fatherhood Initiative is designed to meet the needs of teen fathers and to support and encourage an active role in raising their child.
According to a recent "Kids Count" study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who grow up without fathers are:
• Five times more likely to be poor
• Twice as likely to drop out of school
• More likely to end up in foster case or juvenile justice facilities
• Girls are three times more likely to become unwed teen mothers
The Education Leading to Employment and Career Training (ELECT) program has been expanded to include program services to fathers under the age of 22. This initiative is in addition to the services already provided by the ELECT program.
Our goals are as follows:
1. To increase the awareness of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children
2. To encourage parental responsibility
3. To establish paternity
4. To strengthen families
Our objectives to meet those goals include:
1. To assist young parents to stay in school, or to return to school and graduate
2. To assist young parents to have and raise healthy children
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for services, participants must meet all of the following requirements:
• Be fathers (custodial or non-custodial), under the age of 22
• Be enrolled in a middle or high school or an approved GED program
• Be a Pennsylvania resident
• Earn less than $1,614 per month
• Have paternity established or be willing to establish paternity within three weeks of enrollment.
Where do participants receive services?
Students remain in, or enroll in, an academic program within their school district. Program staff meet with students a minimum of once a week at their school
What services are provided?
The Chester County Intermediate Unit's Young Parents program provides support services to parenting teens. Students are eligible to receive the following services:
• Case management and support services (biweekly support group).
• Information about community resources for health care, legal assistance and other services.
• Parenting and child development education.
• Vocational and consumer and life skills counseling.
• Access to subsidized child care.
• Transportation to and from school, child care and appointments in the community.
• Mentoring by positive male role models and, in turn, to serve as role models to younger teen fathers.
• Instruction in anger management and conflict management.
• Use of education materials and videos.
The Fathers Workshop
The Fathers Workshop is dedicated to support, counsel, educate, advocate and challenge fathers to become a strong and positive force within their families.
Fathers are encouraged to become role models, willing to provide the loving leadership and guidance necessary to nurture their children.
Through biweekly support groups, monthly programs and training institutes, the Fathers Workshop endeavors to strengthen fathers, thereby affecting their children, their family and their community.
For more information, please contact:
Terry Stewart, 484-237-5401 Supervisor, The Young Parents Program Chester County Intermediate Unit.