Feb 24, 2013 10:22 PM by Annie Snead

Springs program making an impact on fathers

After seeing the impact the recession was having on families, the Colorado Springs Center on Fathering created a program to help dads specifically. We spoke to a father who was going through a very tough time about how it helped him.
"There really aren't that many programs set up for just fathers, a lot of times it's a focus on the mothers so this is unique in that way," said James Case.
Case was going through a really rough period a year and a half ago. He'd lost his business, so he moved to Colorado Springs with his family to start over, that's when his wife got sick and passed away. He says they were both alcoholics.
I was still drinking after she died, well on my way to joining her in the grave. DHS suggested that I try Fathers as Providers class," he said.
Case says the class was more than just teaching skills for getting a job.
"It was more a person to person type sounding board for what you're going through, counseling in a way," he said.
Case says the program also helped him understand what his sons were going through.
Program manager Ken Sanders says dads who are involved in their children's lives are more likely to worker harder.
"What does a true provider mean to a father? It's not simply giving financial assistance, while that's important, it's also being there to do things with your children, to play with your children to be there for school events," said Sanders.
The program started in 2011 after Sanders says they saw the tough economic times, particularly with fathers disconnecting from their children.
Sanders said in 2012 his program had a 53 percent employment rate and two/thirds of the dads completed the program.
For James Case, who's now working at a local restaurant, it helped him build a brighter future.
"I'm really excited for this coming year, a lot of good things are going to happen," added Case.
The program is a two month program, with an average of three classes a week and it's individualized for each dad. They focus on mainly on job readiness skills.


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