Haliburton’s Pregnancy and Family Support Centre wants to help families as a whole. That’s why they offer the Nurturing Fathers Program.  

The 13-week course is designed to help fathers, grandfathers, step-dads and more learn nurturing and parenting skills in a calm environment. 

 Doug Ross, one of the co-facilitators of the class, said it focuses not only on teaching necessary skills such as patience and emotions.

It also focuses on teaching fathers who didn’t have good examples that they can be good parents. 

 “I grew up without a father,” Ross said. “I absolutely wish there was something like this around when I had my first two boys because I had to teach myself everything.”  

The course has been offered for five years and has had approximately 25 participants see it through to graduation.

The men involved get together once a week and share a meal at the centre before their classes start. Ross said they are more open to sharing once they’ve all eaten together.  

Terry Goodwin, another co-facilitator and former corrections officer, said most of the referrals for the program come from corrections, Children’s Aid or the centre itself.  

He said most of the men who participate see progress not only in their relationships with their family, but outside of it as well. 

 “They’re taking the same stuff they’re applying with their children and applying elsewhere,” he said. “Like with their coworkers and bosses.”  

Lindsay Lester, employee at the centre, said the program was brought to Haliburton because there needs to be courses for both parents to create better communication and help a family.  

“The hope is that more dads that need this program will hear about it and see the end of it,” said Ross.  

The Nurturing Dads Program runs year-round depending on enrollment numbers.

More information can be found at the centre, bottom floor of Stedman’s Mall in Haliburton or by calling 705-457-4673.

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