10 years in Denton
October 2020 marked 10 years of NewDay Services’ FOCUS for Fathers program service in Denton, Tx. With two ongoing classes, over 1,400 fathers have benefitted from the program, impacting their collective 3,900 children.
Each week, fathers who have been referred to NewDay Services by the state’s Child Protective Services gather (temporarily online in 2020 due to COVID-19) to grow, learn as fathers to create safe and loving homes for their children. Facilitators Joey Fremder and Paul Juarez together with Program Director Bob Robinson lead weekly classes that go beyond basic parenting skills. NewDay’s trauma-informed FOCUS for Fathers curriculum works to address any factors that have happened in the father’s own life that might hinder him from being the father their children need today.
Recently Denton’s program was highlighted in a North Texas Daily article through a story about Paul Juarez’s own journey through fatherhood. The article captures the heart that many FOCUS facilitator’s carry, a heart to see the lives of fathers transformed.
When father’s graduate, they leave the 10-week program equipped with tools and values to live by. Recently a father named Bill*, who was in the middle of the FOCUS for Fathers course reached out to Bob Robinson. He apologized for calling Bob at home at a late hour. He said he had no one else to talk to. Bob had built a good relationship with him, not only teaching in class, but also calling him each week to check in on him. The two have had some deep conversations and Bill had shared a lot of his struggles with Bob. Bill had a two-year old daughter and he shared that he just found out his girlfriend was unexpectedly pregnant. This news was particularly alarming because due to the recent pandemic, Bill lost his job. With this financial stress in mind, the father and his girlfriend felt overwhelmed, ready to quit and explore other options besides going through with the pregnancy.
Bob was there, on that late-night phone call to encourage him to do the right thing and that God would help him financially get through this. Bill asked Bob to pray with him, bringing peace to his uncertain situation. Bill will graduate in November 2020, gaining not only knowledge and tools to be a better father, but also with mentors who are in his corner as he fights through life’s battles.
Over the last 10 years of this Denton fatherhood program, over a thousand fathers like Bill have also gained the support they need to succeed in their journeys. Joey, Paul, Bob and the many volunteers who serve, have created real avenues for change in the lives of at-risk fathers. Here’s to an impactful 10 year in Denton, and to many more fathers and their families that will benefit from this program.
*name changed to protect identity of participating father