Focus on Fathers’ Family Night Out at Yankee Stadium
On Friday, May 30, 2014, 100 Bronx Defenders clients who are fathers visited Yankee Stadium together with their children to see the New York Yankees host the Minnesota Twins. The tickets were donated to The Bronx Defenders’ Focus on Fathers program by the New York Yankees organization. The evening offered a chance for these Bronx Defenders clients and their children to bond and enjoy one another outside of the stresses that brought them to The Bronx Defenders in the first place.
The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice launched Focus on Fathers last year to address some of the challenges that fathers face in the Family Court system. Our clients who are fathers are confronted with particularly daunting barriers to maintaining relationships with their children. Many grew up in difficult home environments or did not know their own fathers, and most are poor, unstably housed, marginally employed, and frequently arrested for minor offenses arising from these interrelated problems. Despite research pointing to the benefits for both children and their fathers of maintaining relationships with each other – from enhanced mental health and academic performance for the child to reduced recidivism for the father –numerous legal and societal barriers prevent fathers from maintaining crucial connections with their children.
Focus on Fathers provides specialized, comprehensive legal services to our clients who are fathers to help them address the demands they face in Family Court, such as the lack of resources available to them and the logistical challenges that make visitation and communication extremely difficult. In addition to providing legal advice and advocacy, the program provides opportunities for individual and group support sessions as well as referrals to supportive services in the community designed to help fathers cope with the emotional turmoil that they experience when separated from their children.
The Bronx Defenders is committed to helping our clients overcome the challenges that prevent them from developing meaningful relationships with their children and to continuing to raise awareness of fathers’ rights and responsibilities in the community so that fewer fathers’ relationships with their children will be needlessly disrupted. We look forward to strengthening and expanding Focus on Fathers – ensuring that our clients who are fathers fully understand their rights, are aware of community and organizational resources, and are provided with advocacy that will help them to maintain healthy, strong, and lasting bonds with their children.
To learn more about Focus on Fathers click here.