University of Pittsburgh
November 4, 2003

Fathers Collaborative Receives Grant to Help Recruit Noncustodial Fathers Through Community Outreach

Pitt-administered program promotes responsible parenting

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Noncustodial fathers who want to become more active in their children's lives may have a better chance now, thanks to a $250,000 grant to the Fathers Collaborative, a personalized case management system that provides services to meet the needs of those fathers. The funding, from the Heinz Endowments, will help to recruit fathers into the program.

"Fathers will be sought out directly through the effective outreach efforts of five of Allegheny County's Family Support Centers," said program administrator Kathryn Rudy, also director of community and internal services in Pitt's Office of Child Development (OCD). "Mothers will be instrumental in getting fathers recruited into the program as well."

The centers—two of which are in Duquesne, the others in Lawrenceville, Homewood, and Northview Heights—will help to screen applicants and refer noncustodial fathers to the right services, all in the interest of helping these men develop and maintain active roles in their children's lives. A Fathers Collaborative individualized plan may include resource sharing, help with child support and child custody issues, and information on employment, health, education, and other topics. Since its inception in 2001, the Fathers Collaborative has removed child-access barriers and provided supportive services to more than 400 noncustodial fathers, and to custodial fathers as well.

The collaborative provides a seamless network of services, rather than the sometimes fragmented services provided by other programs and providers. Partners include OCD, Pitt's School of Law, Healthy Start, Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, McGregor & Patterson Law Office, and the Family Support Centers.

The Heinz Endowments is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the country, working within Pennsylvania and elsewhere to develop solutions to challenges that are national and international in scope.