The FATHER Project at CHI St. Joseph’s Health, Park Rapids, MN, received the Minnesota Communities Caring for Children 2017 Pinwheel Award for excellence in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
The Pinwheels for Prevention Award recognizes communities that have a strong commitment to the prevention of child abuse and neglect through collaborative efforts of public, nonprofit, and community services, activities and initiatives. Since 2011, the FATHER Project has made a positive impact in the community by providing life-changing support for families. The project’s mission is to help fathers, custodial or non-custodial, or anyone filling in as a father figure learn healthy parenting skills and behaviors, and how to overcome barriers that prevent them from providing emotional and financial support for their children. Participants learn an array of fathering skills that include healthy disciplinary approaches, parenting and communication styles, and co-parenting skills. Some participants go on to become “citizen fathers,” a special achievement for dads who excel in the program and demonstrate strong leadership and fathering skills.
During the past six years, more than 375 dads have enrolled in the FATHER Project “By eliminating barriers and providing a variety of services, we have addressed many social issues affecting our community,” said Marlee Morrison, CHI St. Joseph’s Health’s community health director. “We continue to help each individual along the path to achieving goals and becoming independent, productive members for their families and communities.”