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Day 2 Day Dads program helps men be better fathers
 
Published Thursday, June 10, 2021
by Freda Freeman, Correspondent

RALEIGH – Marquee Yarborough, 30, of Zebulon, is working each day to be a better father for his three children: Ja’Zaivin, 7; Nevaeh, also 7; and Ja’Kye, 5. One way he’s doing that is through fatherhood programs run by the Family Resource Center South Atlantic.

Yarborough was incarcerated when he found out about the Family Resource Center’s Day 2 Day Dads program through other inmates who recommended he sign up for the classes. Released on bail in September, after serving 26 months, he continues to take classes.

Yarborough, who shares joint custody of his children, said he wants to be a steady presence in their lives. “I said I’m going to take this class serious and really be there for my kids. Growing up, I didn’t have a father figure in my life, so by me having three kids, I was away a lot because I was working so much and then the jail thing happened, so it was like I’m missing too much time with my kids,” he said.

The Family Resource Center in Raleigh has provided support services for families in 15 counties, primarily in Eastern North Carolina and the Triangle area, for 25 years. In addition to the Dads program, the organization holds annual fatherhood conferences with workshops and featured speakers. “We provide fatherhood programs, we work with families who have children with special needs, we work with middle and high school students on bullying and provide sexual avoidance education. We help parents of preschoolers prepare for school readiness, we help families with juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system,” said Derrick Byrd, a co-founder and executive director.

The FRCSA received a five-year $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources in 2015 to establish the Day 2 Day Dads program serving Wake, Durham, and Edgecombe counties. Although the grant ended in September, the Center, which receives state and federal funding, will continue to provide the program with support from Wake County Human Services.

“There is such a void when it comes to programs that are specific to dads, so we were very excited because we were the only ones in North Carolina to receive a grant to be able to institutionalize some infrastructure that would be available to dads throughout the Triangle area. Throughout the years, we’ve been able to provide a number of different services to dads. We’ve served close to a thousand fathers in five years,” Byrd said.

The program, which is free, is based on a 12-session curriculum that includes Inside Out Dad for fathers who are or have been incarcerated; 24/7 Dad for fathers in the community; Love Notes for young fathers ages 16 to 24; and Strengthening Families Program for fathers and their families. The program also provides information about domestic and family violence, teen dating violence, child abuse and neglect, child support, visitation, job readiness skills, and job placement assistance. There are group sessions, one-on-one training, and a fatherhood support group that meets monthly.

“We talk about many different topics in the curriculum. We talk about what it means to be a man, co-parenting, grief and loss and anger, child and adolescent development, men’s health. One of the things we’ve found is that usually by the fourth session the guys are really engaged and into it. What it does is help to create a very safe space for men and fathers to be able to share and understand that they are not alone in some of the challenges and barriers that they are experiencing,” Byrd said.

Yarborough said the classes are helping him improve his parenting skills and learning how to relate to each child individually. “I’ve learned we’re all going to make mistakes in life. Your kids are going to always look up to you, they’re going to always be there watching the things that you do, so it made me reevaluate myself. I kind of turned everything that was a negative into a positive,” he said.

Yarborough recommends the program to other fathers who may be struggling or facing challenges. “The people there are really willing to help you no matter what issues you have,” he said.

The FRCSA will hold its annual N.C. Fatherhood Conference on June 19. The virtual conference is from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There will be guest speakers, informative workshops, and the father of the year will be recognized. Youth over 13 may attend. For more information, go to ncfatherhood.com or frcsa.org.

 

Comments

Great program every community needs it. This provides all dads with the tools to succeed.
Posted on June 10, 2021
 

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