The Fatherhood Project: Center Educates Low-Income Dads About Family Law

To equip low-income dads with tools to better understand the responsibilities of parenthood, the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law has designed a special legal education program for them. Presented in collaboration with the Fatherhood Project of Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII), a large social services agency serving disadvantaged families, the program is offered at sites to men’s groups throughout central and south Los Angeles.

Building on three years of community education programs for low-income dads, the Harriett Buhai Center’s staff and volunteers were featured legal speakers at a recent CII-sponsored Fatherhood Conference on a variety of family law topics (See photo of volunteer attorneys, James Whiggam and Melissa McNair, with ED Betty Nordwind, present at the annual CII Fatherhood Conference on June 13th).

In two separate sessions they lead discussions and spoke to low-income dad attendees and a wide array of non-profit and government agency representatives serving the needs of poor  children and families throughout southern California. The audience members, thirsty to learn more about child custody, paternity and child support laws and policies, gave the presenters high marks. Several asked the Center’s representatives to speak to their organizations about fatherhood rights and responsibilities.

“The goal of the program is to educate dads and provide answers to their questions, so they can participate more fully in the lives of their children,” says Betty Nordwind, Executive Director of the Harriett Buhai Center. “We are happy to partner with CII in this successful endeavor and hope to see it expand as fathers respond very positively to it.”