The Fatherhood Project | Connecting fathers and children
The Fatherhood Project (TFP) is a non-profit fatherhood organization in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by empowering fathers to be active, informed & emotionally engaged w/ their children & families
Our partners at the Boston College Center for Work and Family recently released an Executive Briefing on New Parents in the Workplace. The report offers guidance to organizations seeking to provide a culture of support for new mothers and fathers, and highlights the benefits of parental leave for mothers, fathers, and children.
Fathers are increasingly on the front lines of childcare, and we at The Fatherhood Project and the National Basketball Association Players Association Foundation are pleased to provide these dads and the organizations that work with them the Massachusetts Resource Guide for Fathers. Here, you will find national, statewide, and community-based resources that can support fathers in their role as a parent and caretaker. Whether they need help meeting their family’s needs, caring for their children, or supporting their own health and well-being, there is a
resource that can help. The Guide is very comprehensive and the Table of Contents will serve to help find your way to a resource that serves your needs.
Thank you to the NBA Players Association and all of our community partners who understand the critical role fathers play in the lives of their families, and who work to support them each step of the way. Finally, thank you to all fathers out there striving to be the best dads they can be for their children.
The Fatherhood Project is excited to announce that we have been selected as one of 13 non-profit organizations to receive a grant from the ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS® program. The grant will support our Dads in Recovery program, which provides substance-using fathers with psycho-educational counseling that supports their recovery, helping them to establish or repair their relationship with their children while parenting with increased skills, confidence and competence.
Graduates from our program have reported that
They had warmer, more affectionate relationships with their children with more open communication and less conflict
The amount of time spent with their children doubled on average.
They felt more confident across a variety of domains including teaching, discipline, understanding and responding, and tending to their children’s needs.
Their desire and ability to abstain from alcohol and drug use increased.
Several graduates also reported using the tools they learned in the program to re-establish relationships with their children after having no contact for many months, and in some cases, years.
“Addiction and mental illness affect millions of people and their families every day, and require an integrated approach to treatment that is scalable in communities across the country,” said Richard Pops, Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes. “Medicines play a role, but importantly, it is the innovative programs, like The Fatherhood Project’s, designed to support people affected by these diseases and led by passionate leaders on the front lines that will ignite sustainable and meaningful change for patients.”
The award will allow TFP to run five additional Dads in Recovery groups next year in the Greater Boston and Lowell areas.
Thanks to a shared interest in encouraging engaged fathers, The Fatherhood Project has recently partnered with the National Basketball Player’s Association Foundation (NBPA) to create resources for fathers and promote active fatherhood in Massachusetts and in NBA cities across the country. We are excited and pleased to have such a strong partner, because, as the NBPA Foundation states on their website “Fathering is influenced by culture, which must support and reinforce messages and behaviors that lead to fathers taking active roles in the healthy development of their children. This requires deliberate actions and messages that tell stories of fathers engaging with their children.”
For their part, NBPA has launched the #everydaydad series, which “tells stories about NBA players – from their childhood to their child’s birth – in order to celebrate fathers and fatherhood and provide inspiration for legions of fans to celebrate their own relationships with their dads and their kids.” They are also collaborating with fatherhood organizations (like TFP) around the country to enhance our work and impact a larger audience.
Part of the NBPA’s work promoting engaged fathers includes sponsoring fatherhood conferences, such as the Crescent City Dads Fatherhood Summit in New Orleans this past Friday. The Summit was hosted by Crescent City Dads, which is a joint effort between NOLA FOR LIFE and Healthy Start New Orleans to give fathers the tools and support they need to be the best dads for their kids.
I had the opportunity to lead a panel on Engaged Fatherhood there, and was pleased to be joined by two fathers of NBA players, Charles Paul (father of Chris Paul) and Karl Anthony Towns, Sr. (father of Karl Anthony Towns, Jr.). These two fathers have helped to raise not only great professional basketball players, but great men, and are working to impact men outside of their own families as well. They are part of an organization called Fathers and Men of NBA Players to demonstrate the importance of fatherhood and to reach out to players who have no relationship with their own fathers.
I enjoyed my time getting to know Mr. Towns (left) and Mr. Paul (right). They are both outspoken, confident champions of engaged fatherhood. They shared their personal family histories in an intimate way. They revealed their commitment as fathers to raising children who believe in education, responsibility to others and a strong internal moral sense. Despite significant financial pressures in their early lives as fathers, leading them to work two jobs, they were strong voices in their children’s lives. We share the mission of emphasizing the importance of fatherhood with men and teaching future fathers they can “change the world” through emotional engagement. We know through research that children’s outcomes improve emotionally, socially, academically and behaviorally when fathers are involved.
TFP is excited to have connected with such dedicated organizations that share our mission, and we are looking forward to future collaboration. Look for more info about #everydaydad, Crescent City Dads, NOLA FOR LIFE, and Healthy Start New Orleans on our social media channels as we share throughout the month.