Teen dads learn parenting skills in correctional facility

New Jersey fathers play an important role in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, some parents divorce or separate, and the children’s mother often takes the lead in parenting. However, some public programs aimed at educating parents have been successful. Even though some fathers may not have exclusive child custody rights, they can make the most of the time that they spend with their children.

Some teenage fathers who become incarcerated have little opportunity to learn about raising their children. After they’ve been away from their children for several months and even years, fathers are likely unsure of how to interact with their children. Some fathers may be as young as 14 years old. Fortunately, a program called Baby Elmo has helped young fathers to connect with their children, and it seems to be working better than similar programs. The children’s mother and other family members participate in the program, which could be one reason for Baby Elmo’s success.

The Baby Elmo program may encourage fathers who have been incarcerated to later seek additional child custody and visitation rights. Fathers who have completed the Baby Elmo Program may also be more likely to provide financial support for their children. Most important, the fathers may be less likely to commit additional crimes, fearing that another jail sentence would remove them from their children’s lives. If the program’s success continues, other correctional facilities may also adopt the program.

In most cases, children benefit from spending more time with both their mothers and their fathers. An attorney can help divorced or separated parents find child custody arrangements that meet the needs of everyone involved, especially the children.