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Can Support for Fathers Prevent Child Abuse, Neglect?

Programs supporting fathers are showing up across Idaho as a way to combat childhood abuse and neglect. (StockSnap/Pixabay)
Programs supporting fathers are showing up across Idaho as a way to combat childhood abuse and neglect. (StockSnap/Pixabay)
August 28, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Children's Trust Fund is accepting grant applications for programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.

Over the years, the organization has supported programs that range in scope. One of the more novel approaches involves initiatives supporting fatherhood, which are now found across the state.

The Children's Trust Fund is currently funding a Catholic Charities' fatherhood program in Idaho Falls.

Taryn Yates, grant manager for the Children's Trust Fund, says it's a useful way to get dads involved, and can be especially helpful for fathers whose own fathers during childhood weren't around.

"This is really encouraging fathers, especially young fathers, to take more of an active role right from the beginning, to read to their children, to play with their kids,” she states. “A lot of these initiatives that we're seeing are teaching them how to do that."

The Children's Trust Fund supports programs with a variety of other focuses as well, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the child-sexual abuse prevention network Darkness to Light, and more.

Yates emphasizes that fathers play a key role in supporting their children.

"There's just definitely that special bond that kids really respond to, and studies show that the outcomes are just much better when a child has their father as a strong presence in their life," she states.

Yates says her organization looks for programs that strengthen families. It also wants to help fund programs that serve vulnerable communities that tend to lack access to resources, such as families in rural parts of the state.

The Children's Trust Fund typically supports six to eight programs a year. Grant applications are due Sept. 8.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID