University of Pittsburgh
February 11, 2002

University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development Receives $45,000 Grant to Develop Additional Access Services for Noncustodial Fathers Throughout Allegheny County

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

February 12, 2001

PITTSBURGH The University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development (OCD) has received a grant of $45,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to implement the Inclusive Parenting and Visitation Access Program, designed to help noncustodial fathers increase levels of positive and active involvement with their children by facilitating more respectful relationships with the children's mothers.

The new initiative will be part of the already-existing Fathers Collaborative, a coordinated, personalized case-management system overseen by the OCD that provides a comprehensive and flexible menu of supportive services to noncustodial fathers in Allegheny County. Approximately 50 couples will be recruited.

The need for the Inclusive Parenting and Visitation Access Program became apparent to the OCD over the past six months, as the Fathers Collaborative worked with 146 noncustodial fathers to help them secure employment so they could maintain their child support payments. The staff noticed that even after these fathers paid child support, many wishing to visit their children still met with resistance from the children's mothers.

The new program will:

• reach out to these mothers to engage them in the program;

• offer parent education for both fathers and mothers to help them focus on

what is best for the child;

• facilitate "The Mom's Group," to assist custodial mothers with working

through issues with the noncustodial fathers; and

• oversee "Dads and Kids," a monthly program of structured activities for

noncustodial dads and their children.

The program will be conducted through contractual arrangements between the OCD and the Single and Custodial Fathers Network, Inc., a partner of the Fathers Collaborative.

Other partners in the Fathers Collaborative include The Healthy Start, Inc. Male Initiative Program; Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh; the Greater Pittsburgh Fatherhood Initiative; and the Domestic Relations Office of Allegheny County. For more information, contact Kathryn Rudy in Pitt's Office of Child Development at

412-624-7425.

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