This article appeared in the Summer 2014 News from the Village.
Though Chris* admired his father’s clothes, cars, and money, he learned the hard way how gangs and prison can ruin your life and the lives of loved ones. Chris plans to earn his clothes, cars, and money by graduating college and getting a good job. His father is cheering him on from a prison cell halfway across the country.
Deciding that it was time to show his father that he has become a mature, responsible young adult, Chris, a 20-year old college student, booked a flight and a hotel room with the help of CV staff so that he could travel to visit his dad. For ten years, Chris and his father have regularly exchanged letters and Chris feels his dad’s support despite missing his presence. Chris’ connection with his father is essential for his own success. Knowing there is somebody who has hope in his future and will always be just a letter or a plane ride away makes all the difference.
In all of the work we do at CV, we strive to provide at least one meaningful adult connection for our youth. For Chris, the connection with his father is an unlikely source of support, but a testament to the power of a father.
See the Outcome Corner below to learn more about CV’s new Fatherhood Project.
*name changed to protect privacy
Outcome Corner: The Fatherhood Project Finds Fathers
The Fatherhood Project is a new initiative to locate and make contact with fathers of youth in CV’s residential care. The intent is to increase resources and support for youth through either the father or his family.
In February 2014 when the initiative began, 29 fathers had been identified and contact had been made with only 15 of them. By April 2014, 46 fathers were identified and 30 have had contact with CV.
We are proud to have doubled the number of fathers with whom we have contact because it means twice as many family connections for our youth. Because of this success, we will be expanding the project to include more youth.