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From Dad, With Love: The ‘Greatest Gift’ Campaign

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County launched their “Greatest Gift” Campaign in December,  in a recruitment effort for the Best for Broward Babies Fatherhood Mentorship Program. Open to new and expectant fathers aged 20 – 39; the Fatherhood Mentorship Program, slated to begin early January, will  provide free weekly seminars, resource materials, tools and assistance to help participating fathers become, and remain, active in their children’s lives.

“Fathers don’t often realize the important role they play in both healthy birth outcomes and the overall well-being of their children,” stated Cynthia Holmes, Community Health Program Manager for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Broward. “The greatest gift campaign allows every father the opportunity to give their children and family the greatest gift this holiday season; a commitment to becoming a better father.”

With nearly one of every three children in the United States living without their biological father in the home, there is an ‘absent father’ epidemic attributable to nearly all social issues facing America today. Studies show from conception through adulthood, children being born to single mothers, or growing up in homes without a father, face a lifetime of obstacles including, poor education results, higher rates of delinquency and poverty, and are four times at risk of death within the first year of life.

Generously funded by the A.D. Henderson Foundation, Community Foundation of Broward, and the National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, the Best for Broward Babies Fatherhood Mentorship Program is one facet of a yearlong initiative to strengthen the family unit and reduce the rate of fetal and infant deaths amongst the black population in Broward County. Using curriculum developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative, each week a local professional or community business leader will speak on a variety of topics, including job training, financial literacy, health issues, child development and more. A dinner and mentor pairing with members of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale will provide one-on-one support to each of the thirty men granted the opportunity to participate in the B4BB Fathers pilot program.

The Best for Broward Babies initiative targets issues identified in the Pediatric Autopsy Project conducted by the Broward County collaborative formed in 2003. The collaborative, including the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Broward Health, Children’s Services
Council of Broward, Healthy Mothers, Health Babies Coalition of Broward County, and the Broward County Health Department, established the Pediatric Autopsy Project to examine escalating fetal and infant mortality rates and racial disparities in those rates. The project concluded in 2007, and identified that 40 percent of fetal and infant deaths are preventable. Suggested strategies were interventions focused on SIDS, maternal medical causes, social stressors and lack of father involvement. As a result, a public awareness campaign on Maternal Health, Safe Sleep Practices for infants, and medical “Model Behavior” trainings in Broward’s delivery hospitals, round out the first year strategy.

Existing, new or expectant fathers wishing to register for the B4BB Fatherhood Mentorship Program may call (on or before January 7, 2010, or register in person at the following Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County locations:

  • Lauderhill Unit: 1900 Boys & Girls Club Dr., Lauderhill, 33313
  • NFL YETT Center: 2621 S.W. 15th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, 33312
  • Nan Knox Unit: 832 NW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, 33311
  • Harold Reitman Unit: 3025 W. Broward Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, 33312

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  5. LIVESTRONG® Community Impact award goes to Broward Health

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Jan 3 2011. Filed under Broward County, Families, Latest news, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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