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Dads Assisting Dads (DADS) Program


You can be part of the DADS program if...

You are a father

AND

  • You or your child is involved with CYF

OR

  • You or your child is involved with Juvenile Court

AND

You get a referral from your/family’s CYF caseworker or Juvenile Probation Officer

 

The DADS program…

  • is a voluntary commitment you make to do what you can connect with your children and make those relationships better.
  • brings speakers in to talk about topics that are important to you.
  • helps you understand and speak up for yourself as you go through the child welfare system.
  • gives you a chance to have fellowship with other fathers and share your stories.
  • arranges fun group outings for you and your children.

The Details

  • DADS hosts group meetings two evenings a month* with guest speakers who lead discussions on important topics such as
    • How fathers can understand and best navigate the child welfare system
    • How fathers can stay involved with their children
    • What to expect as a child gets older
    • How to find and use community resources
    • How to get and hold a (better) job
    • How to find and keep a safe place to live
     *Child care and dinner are provided. Fathers who attend all the sessions earn a certificate.

    DADS curriculum overview 
  • DADS organizes group outings to sporting and cultural events and locations such as:
    • Carnegie Library
    • Carnegie Science Center
    • Heinz History Center
    • Pittsburgh Steelers training camp 
     
  • DADS hosts events for the entire family (fathers, mothers and children)
    • All-Pro Dads Workshops and anniversaries 
     
  • DADS provides support and advocacy for fathers during
    • Conferencing and Teaming meetings
    • Court hearings
    • Permanency planning meetings
    • School meetings
    • Support group meetings               

About DADS

Mission

Having the love and support of both a mother and a father is a vital part of every child’s life. Whether the parents are together or not, their positive involvement can significantly benefit a child’s future.  Because of challenges like incarceration and drug and alcohol abuse, many fathers miss the chance to be fully involved with their children. Fathers in the DADS program join because they want a different outcome. They want to better connect or reconnect with their children and be positive role models. The DADS program teaches fathers the skills they need to be the best dad they can be. It also gives them the information they need to advocate for themselves.

History

The Dads Assisting Dads Support (DADS) program was started in May 2010 within the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF). The mission of DADS is to help fathers who are involved in the child welfare system better understand the system so they could become, or stay, a part of their children’s lives. The program has expanded to include other important topics of interest to fathers. In 2011, DADS joined the All-Pro Dads program to increase the variety of opportunities available to fathers and their children to strengthen their families. From 2011 through 2012, the DADS program was used as the starting point by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s State Roundtable Father Engagement Workgroup to create a statewide approach to involving fathers in the lives of their children.

DADS as the Foundation for Pennsylvania Father Engagement Programs  

Contacts 

Al Martin at 412-402-8612
Jerry D. Harvey at 412-350-2824