New Fatherhood Program to Open Doors in Barnstable County This Spring
A new Fatherhood Program for court-involved men in Barnstable County will open its doors on Monday, April 7th. There has not been a Fatherhood Program in the area for several years.
The Barnstable County Fatherhood Program will enroll participants from Barnstable District, Orleans District, Falmouth District, Barnstable Superior, Barnstable Juvenile, and Barnstable Probate & Family courts. Participants are ordered by a judge to take part in the program.
“We have many single fathers here at the Cape. Although they express interest in wanting to be a part of their children’s lives, many times because of their own situations, they lack the skills or guidance necessary to be a good father,” said Barnstable District Chief Probation Officer James Butcher.
The 12-week session will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Barnstable Village. Program facilitators will include Barnstable District Assistant Chief Barry Nunes and Orleans District Assistant Chief Wayne Chase. The program will be offered twice a year and feature guest speakers such as judges, clergy, and social service providers.
The Fatherhood Program is based on the “Five Principles of Fatherhood.” This pledge begins with: “As a father it is my responsibility to: 1. Give affection to my children; 2. Give gentle guidance to my children; 3. Provide financial support to my children and the mother of my children; 4. Demonstrate respect at all times to the mother of my children; and 5. Set a proud example for my children by living within the law and without the taint of alcohol/drug abuse.
There are currently 11 Fatherhood Programs statewide, including the new Barnstable Fatherhood Program. The first Fatherhood Program was established more than 20 years ago by now retired Chief Bill Mitchell and newly-retired Deputy Commissioner Stephen Bocko.