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  08/09/2017 DOJ teams up with the church in St. Croix Fatherhood Initiative  

ST. CROIX, V.I. – The difference between being a father and a dad, the importance of fatherhood, managing your anger and communication styles are among the topics being discussed at a Fatherhood Initiative being conducted on St. Croix.

The Responsible Fatherhood Program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Justice’s Paternity and Child Support Division (PCSD) and the church.

Eight fathers were selected for the project and they are attending two sessions per week for four weeks with facilitators, Pastor John Gilbert of the Frederiksted Baptist Church and Pastor Anthony Grainger of the Kingdom Citizen International Church, to discuss a number of important issues pertaining to fatherhood.

Attorney General Claude Earl Walker explained the significance of the program.

“This is our second set of classes as part of the pilot program so that we may continue to shape this important initiative. This time, by involving the church, we are acknowledging that a role exists for faith-based organizations to help make fathers better and as a result, to rebuild families. We have been reaching out to the clergy for some time now, and Pastors Gilbert and Grainger have heeded the call and offered their time and talents. So, we are thankful,” AG Walker said.

AG Walker strongly believes that this venture is beneficial to these delinquent fathers and to the society, in general.

“While the emphasis has been on supporting many segments of our society, there is room for improvement for PSCD and faith-based organizations to provide substantive support for fathers who are barely active in their children's lives,” AG Walker said.

Assistant Director of PCSD Douglas Mapp said finding work for the group of fathers is one important aspect of the program.

 “When they complete this fatherhood program, we have employers who are waiting for them to go through the first wave so that they can consider them for jobs,” Mapp said.

Mapp said he anticipates starting another fatherhood program in about three weeks after this one ends.

“This is going to be a continuous and ongoing experience here as long as we can do whatever it takes to

keep the facilitators in place.  I see growth in this thing,” he said.

The program began August 1 and will run until August 25, and is being conducted at the offices of PCSD.  Upon completion of the program, the fathers will be awarded with Certificates of Participation.  The Fatherhood Buzz pilot project was held last September on St. Thomas. 

DOJ will continue to work with other governmental and non-governmental agencies to improve the Fatherhood Initiative.


  DOJ teams up with the Church in St. Croix Fatherhood Initiative.pdf