Fathers, like mothers, play a significant role in their children’s psychological and emotional development. When fathers are actively involved, children are less likely to experience:
Youth sexual activity
High school drop out
Fathers are irreplaceable in the lives of their children
There is a direct link between positive father involvement and child well-being
Fathers contribute to their children’s safety and stability.
Dads Parenting Groups
It's a fact — fathers are important to their children. Their positive involvement contributes to child safety and well-being. Dads Parenting Groups focus on self-awareness, self-care, parenting skills and relationship skills.
Do You Want to Improve Your Parenting and Fathering Skills?
Our Father Engagement Unit sponsors the services and activities below to enhance fathers’ parenting and fathering skills, and to promote and celebrate the importance of fathers in Fairfax County.
24/7 Dad™ parenting group
Access to Fairfax County resources
Access to father-child friendly community activities
Characteristics of a 24/7 Dad™
Caring for self
12 Sessions and One Orientation Meeting – Free for all participants!
Sessions in Spanish
2022 Sessions take place virtually.
April-June Sessions start First Wednesday in April (This is canceled for 2022.)
Sept.-Dec. Sessions start First Tuesday in Sept. (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Sessions in English
2022 Session take place virtually.
Feb.-April Sessions start the First Tuesday in Feb. (This is canceled for 2022.)
May-Aug. Sessions start the Fourth Monday in May (6-8:30 p.m.)
For more information, contact Bennie Herron 703-324-7308, Mercedes Alonzo 703-324-7677 (Spanish) or Champana Bernard 703-324-3611.
Pocket Dad Video
Dealing with Anger
Have you checked out our library of videos with tips on effective fathering? Explore this classic video by our Father Engagement staff that reinforces how keeping your cool is an important tool of the engaged father.
DFS staff, Marcus Garr of the Parenting Education Programs and Bennie Herron of the Father Engagement Program made a joint appearance on the June 5, County Conversation podcast with host Jim Person to talk about dads! Listen to their conversation to learn how each program’s classes and other services help dads to embrace their role in the family and parent with confidence! Tune in to the interview through the SoundCloud podcast.
WUST’s Spanish-Language Program 1120 AM
La Voz del Condado de Fairfax – WUST’s Spanish-Language Program 1120 AM
On Tuesday, March 17, Yuri Villacorta and Mercedes Alonzo from the Children, Youth and Families Division were guests on “La Voz del Condado de Fairfax” discussing Fairfax County services that support families and prevent child abuse and neglect. They focused specifically on our Father Engagement Program and issues in parenting that are specific to dads. If you missed it, you can listen to the interview
Dad's Eye View
Dads Parenting Group Facilitates Domestic Violence Discussion
The term domestic violence strikes a different chord in all of us; this much was evident during a recent Father Engagement Unit Dads Parenting Group. The unit took advantage of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month to tackle this tough subject matter with the men in the group, many of whom have direct experience with the issue. Learn more about this discussion.
A Fraternity’s Charge: Volunteering for Dads
The brothers of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity (Psi Alpha Alpha chapter) challenged their membership to find a program that helped empower dads. “We’re a male organization and we’re fathers. Unfortunately, there’s an absence of fathers, particularly in minority communities. We want to assist with that to the best of our ability,” Craig Spraggins, president of the Psi Alpha Alpha chapter, said. Learn more about their story.