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
The Responsible Fatherhood
Program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Justice’s Paternity
and Child Support Division (PCSD) and the church.
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.
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
AG Walker strongly
believes that this venture is beneficial to these delinquent fathers and to the
society, in general.
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
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
“This is going
to be a continuous and ongoing experience here as long as we can do whatever it
keep the facilitators in
place. I see growth in this thing,” he
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.
continue to work with other governmental and non-governmental agencies to
improve the Fatherhood Initiative.