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February 21, 2002

Child development office gets parenting program grant

Pitt's Office of Child Development (OCD) has received a grant of $45,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to implement the Inclusive Parenting and Visitation Access Program.

The new initiative will be part of the Fathers Collaborative, a coordinated, personalized case-management system overseen by OCD that provides a variety of supportive services to noncustodial fathers in Allegheny County.

The inclusive parenting program is designed to help noncustodial fathers increase the level of involvement with their children by facilitating more respectful relationships with the children's mothers. Approximately 50 couples will be recruited to the program.

The new program will:

* Reach out to these mothers to engage them in the program;

* Offer parent education for both fathers and mothers to help them focus on what is best for the child;

* Facilitate the "Mom's Group," to assist custodial mothers with working through issues with the noncustodial fathers, and

* Oversee "Dads and Kids," a monthly program of structured activities for noncustodial fathers and their children.

The program will be conducted through contractual arrangements between OCD and the Single and Custodial Fathers Network, Inc., a partner of the Fathers Collaborative.

Other partners in the Fathers Collaborative include the Healthy Start, Inc. Male Initiative Program; Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh; the Greater Pittsburgh Fatherhood Initiative, and the Domestic Relations Office of Allegheny County.

For information, contact Kathryn Rudy, 412/624-7425.

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