Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A show of support for new dads - Troy, NY

Full article at timesunion.com

A show of support for new dads
Fathers Inc. aims to teach young men to become better parents

By Rick Karlin

Kenneth Braswell is starting Fathers Inc., a nonprofit group aimed at teaching young men with children how to stay involved with their offspring and be better fathers.

"What I'm interested in is where is the father in the family equation, and how do we build the capacity of the father to become involved in the growth of the child?" said Braswell.

While plenty of support systems -- such as in-school programs and Women Infant and Children nutrition services -- exist for young moms, there is a void when it comes to helping those who become fathers, he said.

"What I found was that nobody was providing services, particularly to fathers," he said.
An estimated one-third of the nation's youth are growing up without their biological fathers present, according to Milton Scott of the National Fatherhood Initiative, a Gaithersburg, Md.-based group created 10 years ago to confront the problem of absent fathers.

Braswell said he plans to affiliate with the group. He noted that more people are paying attention to the importance fathers play in the lives of their kids. The 43-year-old Troy resident has seen a growing interest in fatherhood also.

Braswell stressed that he doesn't see his group as a "fathers rights" organization that goes to bat for men in child support and custody cases. Rather, he sees Fathers Inc. as an educational resource. His ideas include offering courses on personal finance to help fathers keep up child support payments and efforts to keep young fathers in school.

"The training component is going to be the biggest component of what we do," he said.

For more information, contact Kenneth Braswell at 221-5184 or braswell@fathersinc.org. The Web site is http://fathersinc.org

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