Larry Woody is a parenting program manager who works with fathers through Focus on Fathers.
Focus on Fathers is a federally funded program funded by the Administration for Children and Families.
“We offer a 13-week parenting course for fathers, and if they attend, they have to take at least 12 of the 13 courses to get a certificate of completion,” said Woody. “If they participate, we provide gift cards for the Focus on Father program. It’s $ 150 if you complete 12 of the 13 courses.
Woody said the program offers courses specifically for fathers and another course that helps initiate a positive co-parenting relationship between parents provided to mothers and fathers.
Because there is so much violence in Philadelphia, a majority against and against black men, Woody said the Focus on Fathers team saw themselves as switches.
“The subject of the lessons is like discipline, values, getting along with your partner is an important subject. And what does it mean to be a man, men’s health, “said Woody. “We get into their heads. Now I’m going to tell you as a person in Philadelphia, you know there’s a lot of talk about gun violence and a lot of talk about tackling violence and we see ourselves as part of the solution.
Mayor Jim Kenney’s office has officially announced the Black Male Engagement Resource Finder, an interactive database that allows city residents to access resources in 12 categories.
Focus on Fathers is one of the resources listed under Paternity and Parenting Support.
“Our role is to provide and facilitate opportunities for our communities to engage with their local government and to ensure that our engagement is measurable. To bridge the gap of opportunity for black men and boys, we must build bridges to these resources and continue to ensure that our impact is more than a one-time experience, ”said Eric Westbrook, director of the office of the mayor for the engagement of black men.
According to a Brotherly Love Health Report, 23% of black men and boys are below poverty. There is a clear lack of access to opportunities related to poverty and gun violence across Philadelphia.
“We want this digital tool to serve as an interactive resource for our community to discover and enroll in programs and services aimed at helping black men in the city,” said Mynome Lorde, member of the Black Male Partnership VISTA Corps.
The database was divided into community development; youth development; economic development; education, health and well-being; homelessness and housing; legal services; mentoring; re-entry; prevention of violence; Workforce development; paternity; and parental support.
Organized alphabetically under each category are groups and organizations with contact information and websites to seek help directly. There are currently over 100 different resources available and the database will be continuously updated.