IVROP will receive $800,000 in federal funding over three years for each of the two projects, “Juntos” for togetherness in families and “Padres” for fathers, Camacho said.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, according to a press release.
Camacho sees these grants as a win-win as IVROP will be able to serve 200 fathers and 300 couples over the next three years.
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“(The fathers in Project Padres) will learn how to be a good parent and also be able to gain the work-force skills they need so they can go to work,” Camacho said. “We’ll help place them in a job so they can contribute to their child or children.”
Camacho said IVROP will receive referrals from Child Support Services to help fathers who are receiving public assistance, those who are delinquent in their child support payments and other fathers who were previously incarcerated in jail or prison.
“Many times they feel handicapped and they’re not contributing,” Camacho said. “Research shows that their kids are more likely to be in trouble so this will serve to hopefully curtail some of those issues.
“I think (the fathers) have to show an aptitude and interest in something. Certainly we’ll work on the basic soft skills for employment but we’ll work with them on parental discipline, learning how to show your child you care for them (and the like).
It will help them to use those skills to become a better father,” she said.
With these grants, Project Juntos will also be able to expand to help more than in years past, said Edwin Obergfell, IVROP project coordinator.
Obergfell said IVROP will provide services to building healthy marriages by teaching relationship and parenting skills, conflict resolution, financial management and job or career advancement skills.
“We’re using a nationally recognized, evidence-based curriculum called PREP Within Our Reach,” he said.
With it, the grant will “really help families, not only to stay in a good, healthy relationship but look at the advantages of being a complete family and living a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Camacho and Obergfell said both programs are being staffed at IVROP and should be under way soon.
According to a release by the Administration for Children and Families, only 60 healthy marriage grants were awarded to organizations around the U.S. In addition, 55 Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood grants and four Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project grants were awarded. IVROP was one of only two organizations in the U.S. that were awarded both types of grants.
For more information on Project Juntos or Project Padres contact the IVROP office in El Centro at 760-482-2600.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org