- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for Barnstable Fatherhood Program to host graduation ceremony
Coria Holland, Communications Director
Barnstable — The Barnstable County Fatherhood Program—comprised of District, Juvenile, Probate & Family, and Superior courts— will host its graduation on Monday, June 18, 5 p.m., at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 3055 Main Street, Barnstable. The Barnstable program is one of the longest running initiatives of its kind and is the oldest of the nearly 20 Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS) Fatherhood Programs in the state.
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, nearly 300 fathers have completed the program and 560 children have benefitted from their fathers’ improved parenting skills.
Nine probationers, who range in age from 18 to 47, are scheduled to graduate from the 12-week program which features sessions on child support, navigating Probate & Family Court, child development, and maintaining healthy relationships.
One of the most compelling and heartfelt sessions is when the participants are asked to write letters to their own fathers. Many are filled with raw emotion and are not the typical Father’s Day greeting card wording. Two of the fathers will read their letters before an audience that will include the graduates’ children, the mothers of their children, family, and friends.
Barnstable District Assistant Chief Probation Officer (ACPO) Barry Nunes and Orleans District ACPO R. Wayne Chase, who both currently facilitate the program, said the sessions never fail to change the thinking and attitudes of the fathers. Barnstable Probate & Family Probation Officer Christopher Hercun also helps facilitate the program.
“The rewarding part is when you see the men really embrace fatherhood. Some are chasing the drug or alcohol and then they realize that there are these little people who really rely on them,” Chase said.
The Barnstable program, similar to Fatherhood Programs across the state, is based on the Five Principles of Fatherhood:
1) Give affection to my children
2) Give gentle guidance to my children
3) Provide financial support to my children and mother of my children
4) Demonstrate respect at all times to the mother of my children and
5) Set a proud example by living within the law and without the taint of alcohol/drug abuse.