An organization cannot help every person

Certainly it is true that an organization cannot help every person that comes to it. If they told me they could not help it would be one thing. To give me the same resources I had been given by the previous counselor, which I had already contacted and determined that for important reasons such as religious differences, or scheduling difficulties, that I could not use their services, and to place the need for emotional support above survival, housing, food, daycare so I can work, and telling me not to return until I set up counseling was just an excuse to get rid of me because I was insistent on showing up in their office after they broke appointments without notice. I was and am desperate to find shelter for my daughter and me. I will lose my daughter to my wife within a month since I have no means of taking care of her.

My current situation is my fault for letting it happen but I was in love with my wife and was taken advantage of. I believed I could talk to her and gain control of her spending problems but I was too late when I discovered that there was no way to control her. I had $30,000 when we met in savings. I now have nothing. My debts exceed $50,000. The IRS is now planning to take my property and ability to survive. I am only trying to survive to take care of my daughter. When that need cannot be met there is nothing. Perhaps giving up would be less painful.

The Lancaster chapter of Fatherhood… has left a bad taste in my mouth and I could not support that organization or any with affiliation. In fact I have begun to speak publicly against the Fatherhood Init. in favor of more radical groups in support of Fathers.

Local Fatherhood Initiatives

An organization is only as good as the people who are running it.

There is no doubt that bringing more awareness to the public about the importance of fatherhood is a good thing. Unfortunately, a fatherhood initiative will most likely not be able to effectively help EVERY father in EVERY situation.
Each case is individual and some more severe than others.

The national organization that I think has the best chance of drawing all of the smaller groups together is ACFC, (This would be my personal choice). I believe that it has a lobbying organization they use for political action.

The fatherhood initiative is not all it is cracked up to be

I joined this organization in the Lancaster PA area. I was assigned to a counselor who I saw for approximately 4 months. We determined my most immediate needs were to gain control of my finances, find an apartment I could afford, find better daycare solutions that were more affordable and flexible due to my work schedule, and gain concealing. David, the counselor, was working on a list of landlords that may take me with my bad credit, which was created by my soon to be ex’s spending over a 3 year period of our marriage. He was fired for unknown reasons and the counselor I was then assigned to had no records of what David and I were working on.

He came up with his own agenda of me getting into counseling and ignored my needs to find housing. I was already attempting to find counseling that was appropriate for me but was having trouble due to my irratic work schedule and differences in priority. I felt becoming homeless with a 2 year old daughter was more of a concern than my mental health. The president of this chapter came into one of our meetings and decided I was not following my counselor’s plans I suggested I should ‘ seek counseling with agencies they were suggesting and not return until I had done so.’ He was really upset because I kept showing up in their office since they kept canceling meetings with me.

I have reported my feelings to the national fatherhood initiative and received no response. I feel this group is not interested in the real needs of fathers, instead they are interested in politics and funding.

My current situation is just weeks away from homelessness. My landlord is not intending to renew my lease and I can’t afford it anyway. My credit is totally messed up. I had phenomenal credit 3 years ago, got married and didn’t realize my wife could spend my savings and screw up my credit in just 3 years. I now have $50,000 debts and facing bankruptcy. My wife has decided to marry her newest boyfriend and wants to hurry the divorce so she can take my daughter from me. Can’t find anything good to say about this organization though I have learned from speaking to others that I am not the only one unhappy with the Lancaster chapter of the Fatherhood Initiative.

I wish I had an answer to your question

But all I can tell is what we’re doing in our community, which is starting/organizing a Fatherhood Initiative. It will be based upon similar principles of the National Fatherhood Initiative. We are in the planning stages now and will be applying for non-profit status in the next few months.

The basic principles of our fatherhood initiative will be to:

  1. Promote interaction between father (any type of father, married, divorced, single, custodial, non-custodial, etc.) in the way of organized events throughout the year for fathers, their children, and families.
  2. Provide information resources for fathers (same as above, all types of fathers). Especially for divorced/non-custodial fathers.
  3. Advocacy for the rights of fathers (mainly non-custodial fathers) who are unfairly denied access to the children, and therefore, are not allowed to maximize their “fatherhood potential”.
  4. Provide resources for legal services for fathers who are involved in litigation (i.e. have been issued an OFP, restraining order, served with divorce/custody papers, etc). We hope to obtain grants to get these services through legal aid.
  5. Media Awareness Campaign – To promote the importance of fatherhood in our community and state through media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper).
  6. To offer resources and services for disabled fathers and fathers of children with disabilities.
  7. To offer services for fathers who are victims of crime (abused and battered fathers) and provide information regarding legal action and shelter resources). This includes victim compensation for victims of abuse.
  8. To work with local courts, law enforcement agencies and corrections regarding parenting time for at-risk fathers (incarcerated, jailed, on probation, under an OFP, convicted of crimes, anger management programs, etc.) in which the fathers relationship with child is jeopardized/affected.
  9. Offer parent education for new/young fathers.

I hope this helps. It is my belief that we should take a holistic approach to fatherhood and this includes father’s “right to parent”.

P.S. The above list is not in order of importance…it was off the top of my head….I’m in a hurry right now but wanted to get this out. Thanks!