Portriats of a Father; the R.E.S.E.T

Editor’s Note: On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week, Fathers Forever sits in on Child Support Enforcement Court hearings at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, NC. Each week, we hear countless stories, or testimonies, that shine light on break downs in communication and effective co-parenting among men and women who also are Mom and Dad.

This week blog consist of five father’s testimonies that have successfully completed our 24 week curriculum. On the last class before graduation the graduates must complete the Exit Interview and below is what they wrote– Again the names has been omitted to protect the guilty.

 

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #3 December 2012

“My experience with Fathers Forever has been great. Some accomplishments while enrolled are that I have a better understanding of the importance of child support, and I also acquired a job after being enrolled in Fathers Forever. The relationship with my daughter’s mother has improved a whole lot. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to attend the program it was a humbling and mind altering experience.” -J.A

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #4 April 2012

“When I first started I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be here, but after attending it became real informative and I could speak, express myself, and talk about anything. The staff is comforting and understanding. Over time I started to have conflict with my child’s mother and would come to them and get straight up answers. The program is great and I would refer to anyone for honest answers. I will continue to come to the program and help, and stay involved.” -C.T

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #5 August 2012

“My experience with the program has been a good one. I learned a lot and understand the importance of being a father. I stay contacted with my case worker and I try to contact the mother of my child every chance I get. I enjoyed the activities and made a commitment to myself to miss No Classes!! I first started coming to this program without being ordered and I was very upset that I didn’t finish. I understood and I was already doing my father duties with five of my kids and to this day, I am going even harder with my same five and doing my best to include the sixth one. I appreciate the staff for trying to help me find a job and most importantly the encouragement.” -A.M

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Fathers Forever Graduating Class #3 December 2012

“Since I have been involved in Fathers Forever, I have used the information I have learned to further my relationship with my wife and kids that are in the house with me and the one outside the home. The class has really taught me how to be a leader, mentor, and most of all a loving father.” -J.D

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #4 April 2012

“Well with me I am really not the talking type, so I would really just sit back and listen, learn, and take in as much as I could. I have learned a lot and heard a lot of good stories in class. When I am done next week, I will be back to visit class and sit in and learn more. I would like to thank Mr. Glen, the staff and Ms. Ruth.” -A.P

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #5 August 2012

“When I first came here, I didn’t want to be here, but after three classes I stared to feel a little comfortable and thing stared to change. I felt a scene to show up to every meeting, and I have only missed two classes, but I made them up. Now I and my young men are living it up, we sit and talk to each other just about every other day and life is good. I still haven’t built a good relationship yet, it’s still shaky but we are move on with my young men.” -P.B

 

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The Ladies Man

The client stated, “Being in this class has been a very good experience. I have learned a lot about myself, what it means to be a good father to my kids, and new techniques about being a father. Watching the movie and doing the activities also helped me to see things in a different light. It reminded me of my responsibility as a man and a father. I really needed this class and I hope that every other father sees what I saw and learns something to help them in their lives.”

This father came to us like 95% of the other fathers–court ordered, after being found in criminal contempt for not paying their child support as ordered. The client stood a little over 6 feet, handsome, well groomed, manly man, with well-defined muscles. He was articulate, with a charming personality and a friendly smile, quite “a ladies man”, as I was told by him later. On the outside, he looked like he had it all together; however, on the inside he carried a tremendous amount of pain, regret, anger, and frustration, along with a lot of bitterness, un-forgiveness, and some addictions, as well. He verbally participated in some of the class discussions, but often it seemed as if he was hearing things for the first time; however, he would nod his head and smile in agreement with what was being said from time to time.

It wasn’t until one day after class, when I spent some one on one time with him, that I heard his story; I could hear the pain and anger in his voice as he talked about his life. He stated from age 6 until 14 he and his sibling was physically abused by their biological father, until he was later incarcerated for abusing them. He and his sibling were put in foster homes and at age 17 he ran away. The client stated he had been in and out of jail a lot of his adult life for selling drugs. Then, in tears, he thanked the staff and me for the changes he had made in his perception of fatherhood. He said, “At age 39, I have 5 children and because of these classes, I can now see how much my kids need me; and I need them just as much.” He concluded with this statement, “From this day forward I am going to be the best father I can be”.

This father, in spite of his criminal record, graduated from Father Forever with a job; arranged for payroll deductions; and is now making his monthly child support payments.

Another success story in “The Portrait of Father: the R.E.S.E.T.” Every Thursday and Saturday we educate and empower fathers. You can help by becoming a monthly contributor or making a donation of any amount. http://www.afatherforever.com/donateonline.html

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© Copyright 2014 Glen Warren/Fathers Forever. All Rights Reserved

Portriats of a Father; the R.E.S.E.T

Editor’s Note: On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week, Fathers Forever sits in on Child Support Enforcement Court hearings at the Wake thCounty Courthouse in Raleigh, NC. Each week, we hear countless stories, or testimonies, that shine light on break downs in communication and effective co-parenting among men and women who also are Mom and Dad.

This week blog consist of five father’s testimonies that have successfully completed our 24 week curriculum. On the last class before graduation the graduates must complete the Exit Interview and below is what they wrote– Again the names has been omitted to protect the guilty.

 

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #6 December 2012

“At first child support didn’t matter to me because I didn’t see my child. That was one of the reasons I wouldn’t pay. I was trying to be active in my son’s life because I never had a dad in my life. Now that I have been in Fathers Forever I understand the importance of paying my money to child support and I am very proud of myself. The program, Fathers Forever, made me look for a job even harder. I succeed at my goals and now I am a proud graduate of Fathers Forever. Thanks to Glen and his staff! My only goal now is to see my child when I want to and teach him how to become a better person and man in this so called world we live in. I’m proud and satisfied to say I graduated from Father Forever.” -A.S

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #4 April 2012

“When I first started I thought it was a waste of time. I don’t want to come at all but the staff made the program very comfortable and open. My relationship with the mother of my son and mother has improved greatly. It also helped lose the anger I had against my son’s mother. It made me appreciate, understand her and the child support system. I became less hostile against the child support system. Fathers Forever changed my life. They helped me become a more mature man and father for my kids.” -A.P

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #5 August 2012

Fathers Forever has changed my prospective and my perception of what it takes to be a father but has not changed the relationship with my kid’s mother. I know what I got to do to be in my children’s lives…All eight of them!!!” –B.S

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Fathers Forever Graduating Class #4 April 2012

“Glad I’ve entered the program because I was able to vent with my problems and get feedback whether I liked it or not. Accomplishments: I found a job, better my relationship with my son’s mother and my personal views on things.” –D.P

Fathers Forever Graduating Class #6 December 2012

“I wanted to be a part of the program to show that I was willing to do what I can. I was injured and unemployed. I had surgery to help me with my injury, Glen and his staff has offered support and advice to help keep me on track. Now I have a part time job and moving forward to getting a full time job. I hope my presence and input has helped improve the program as much as they have help improve me. Fathers Forever has helped me stay on track, hope for the future and not.” –J.C

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Mr. $20,000 “I’m Forgiven”

Editor’s Note: On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week, Fathers Forever sits in on Child Support Enforcement Court hearings at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, NC. Each week, we hear countless stories, or testimonies, that shine light on break downs in communication and effective co-parenting among men and women who also are Mom and Dad. Here, I have recounted one such story in the words and voice of an ex-wife of a man who was referred to us at Fathers Forever, rather than being sentenced to jail. It is through her words of experience, and those of others, that we can truly measure the impact of our work.

I forgave him for around $20,000 in back child support. All I wanted was for him to spend time with his son.

After three years of marriage, we called it quits. Our son, now 13, really loved his dad and wanted to spend as much time with him as he could. During the week, he would ask, “Is my Daddy coming to get me?” I would say, “Maybe the weekend,” but a lot of times, the weekend never came. Sometimes, it would come and go without even a phone call.

I was frustrated and angry. I would ask my social worker what could be done to make him spend more time with his son. Unfortunately she had no answer. He was ordered to pay $340 per month, but he’d only pay about half of that amount- if he paid any at all over the last 10 years. My caseworker set a show cause hearing because he hadn’t paid anything in almost four months.

At court, he stated he was living with his girlfriend and working a part time job. I had an opportunity to speak, so I asked the judge if he could order him to spend some time with his son. The judge was not very happy that he wasn’t paying his child support and, it seems, he was disgusted with him for not spending time with his son. The judge stated he couldn’t order him to spend time with his son but he would order him to Fathers Forever and he did. He also had to pay a $500 purge, or go the jail.

After a couple of months, I noticed a change; he started calling our son more. Then, one day, they talked on the telephone a little longer than usual. Before they hung up, my son said, “Mom, my Daddy wants to talk to you.” On the other end of the phone, the person that I used to know begin to speak.

He said, “I want to apologize to you for the way I have been acting. In class, Mr. Glen says the first step in righting your wrong is to apologize, and that an apology is a confession and a promise.” He went on to say he told our son he was sorry for not being a good Dad and he apologized to me for not being a good parent. He then made a promise he was going to do better. I must say, I was touched by his speech.  It wasn’t just what he said, but it was something about the tone of his voice that was different.   I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high, but I believed him.

Over the next few weeks and months, he started to spend a lot of time with his son. He even invited his son to the Fathers Forever graduation. My son was so proud of his dad that day. He still has the book from the graduation with his dad’s name in it; he keeps by his bed.

It hasn’t stopped. He has been doing so well over the last few months.  He gets our son almost every week now, calls him almost every day, and he even picks him up from school sometimes when I need his help. I wanted to meet his girlfriend since my son was spending so much time over their house, and I did. He still wasn’t paying all of his child support because he was only working a part-time job. I called his social worker, and we scheduled a court date to have his arrears – $20,000 – forgiven and to have his monthly child support payment reduced.

I’m not sure what the Fathers Forever program is all about, but this I know:  my son’s father has changed for the better. I’m glad I finally got to meet this “Mr. Glen,” the founder of Fathers Forever.  I thanked him and his staff for what they are doing. Fathers Forever, they returned my son’s father back to our son.

© Copyright 2014 Glen Warren/Fathers Forever. All Rights Reserved

The Transformation of Fathers Forever

When I first met this father, he was standing in Child Support court wearing an orange and white Wake County jail uniform.  He’d been arrested for not paying his child support a few days earlier and his case was now being heard by the judge.

He was unshaved and looked unkempt.  As he stood before the judge, he held his head down, maybe in shame or embarrassment, or both.  His countenance left him looking very sad and depressed. He was a soft spoken man, and he was articulate. He said he wanted to pay his child support but he couldn’t find a job to make the money to foot the obligation.

His story: he was a Desert Storm veteran who fell on hard times. He was laid off from his job, and was now working about 10 hours a week at a bowling alley. He was homeless and for the past two months, had been living in his car.  He had one daughter; she lived in another state with her mother. He hadn’t seen his only child in over a year and he was eight months behind in making his child support payment.

The Judge asked him a series of questions. She also expressed her disappointment with his payment history. At the same time however, she also was concerned about him and his current situation. She told him about Fathers Forever and for the first time during this process, I could see his face brighten up.

Logo_new copy 05-2010 gloriaThat’s the “magic” of Fathers Forever.  The father was released from jail and ordered to Fathers Forever. His next court date in 30 days would check his progress. I met with him and arranged for him to get a bed at a homeless shelter. They enrolled him in their program as well. He was really appreciative, especially because winter was fast approaching. He attended our weekly classes faithfully. Sometimes, he even walked.  He completed our 24-week program, completed the homeless shelter’s requirements, found a job, got an apartment and purchased a car, with the help of other local agencies by the time he graduated. He also started paying his child support.

At his second appearance before the judge, we were there to proudly report his progress. The Judge praised him for his accomplishments and asked him if he wanted to say anything.  With a very tender voice, he addressed the court. He thanked the staffs at both Fathers Forever and the homeless shelter. He also thanked the judge.

He also apologized to the Judge for not fulfilling his financial obligation and other responsibilities to his child. He also addressed his child’s mother. With tears running down his face, he said, “I promise, from this day forward, to help you raise our daughter.” Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom. Staff was crying, including me.

What a difference our 24-week program made in the father’s life. At graduation he shared this:

“I first heard about Fathers Forever standing in Child Support Court. I have been incarcerated for non-child support.  I was broke, depressed, unemployed and homeless. They linked me to different programs in the community and today I am employed. I have an apartment, a car and equally important, I am making my child support payments. I thank the Judge and Fathers Forever for making a difference in my life! They helped me get my dignity back as a man and father. For that, I am forever grateful.”

© Copyright 2014 Glen Warren/Fathers Forever. All Rights Reserved