“You can’t go back and change the beginning,
but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
~ C.S. Lewis
The New Year is here and like millions of Americans, I’m ready to make some resolutions and changes of my own.
To urge me on, I have the wonderful quote above by British writer C.S. Lewis hanging in my office. It speaks volumes about so many things, but it also makes me mindful of the dads that reach out to National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) for help. They are muddled in battles with the mothers of their child, courts, custody, visitation, child support, etc. Some of the stories really tug at my heart as I envision a man who is feeling helpless and worse, hopeless. Even more so, I envision a child that is stuck in the middle of these battlefields that can negatively impact their stability and future.
Being that we don’t serve dads directly, my mind is eased that thousands of organizations exist that currently or plan to help dads. And the great news is that you and the dads you serve aren’t alone in these battlefields. NFI has a number of resources and programs to help YOU help dads “start where they are and change the ending.” I like to call this transformation which is defined as: “the act or process of changing completely: a complete change.” (merriam-webster.com)
If your organization is offering evidence-based programs such as NFI’s 24/7 Dad®, (AM or PM) or InsideOut Dad®, you are equipping these dads to be transformed into involved, responsible, and committed fathers. They get to understand their “beginning” but also get to learn about the possibilities of a changed “ending.” If you also offer other interventions to get over some of the obstacles, like job training, housing, mental health support, etc. you are further boosting the transformations.
Even better, by providing resources and programs for moms to help them understand and work with the father of their child, you better the odds for the successful transformation of both parents, and that can strengthen the outcomes for the child.
If you’re not quite ready to start a fatherhood program, you and the dads you serve can use our FatherSource® Program Locator Map to search for agencies and organizations that offer father-specific resources, programs, and support in their community.
The ultimate goal is to see transformed fathers. That’s why we feature impact stories from dads and organizations who have experienced NFI’s programs and found the motivation they needed to change the ending. For example, here is a dad from Montgomery County, MD Housing Authority sharing how the 24/7 Dad® program impacted him and transformed his relationship with his son. The ending looks promising!
To that end (pun intended), I wish everyone on the frontlines of father engagement work a very happy and blessed New Year, and the stamina to go forward in 2022 helping dads start where they are to change the ending for themselves and their families!