After the birth of a child, changing diapers and timing feedings become part of a parent’s daily routine. For young, inexperienced fathers, these may be daunting tasks.
Quest, a new support program at the Pregnancy Resource Center of Southeast Kansas, will assist such men through the journey of pregnancy to building bonds with their child.
“If we can teach young men how to take an active role in the care of their children, it could make a positive impact on how future generations in their family care for their children,” said Kevin Wade, program facilitator.
Many young fathers don’t live in the same house as their child, limiting opportunities to bond, Wade said.
Such absentee parents are at a higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence, added Rose Elliss, PRC director.
Quest will meet the first Saturday of each month beginning at 10 a.m. in the Pregnancy Resource Center, 1 S. Jefferson. Fathers are encouraged to bring their children with them to the meetings.
Besides teaching basic parenting skills, the classes will also serve as a support group for new fathers.
Piqua Knights of Columbus and a private donor have provided funds to purchase materials and DVDs for the classes.
“We would like the community to know that Quest is for all fathers. We are not targeting just teenagers, single parents or low-income people,” Elliss said.
Cost to attend is $25 for a year’s worth of sessions or $2.50 a session. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the fee.
All money goes back to Quest for programs and snacks at the meetings. Wade does not receive a salary as facilitator.
To sponsor a father or register for the class, call PRC at (620) 365-3308.
All programs at PRC are made possible through donations. The agency does not receive grants or federal or state assistance.
QUEST has been a year in making, Ellis said.
“I prayed for someone who could relate to young fathers. My prayers were answered in February when Kevin became youth pastor at First Baptist Church and agreed to lead the Quest program,” Elliss said.
Wade is originally from Tennessee. “I had run from my calling to be a pastor because I wanted to be a baseball player. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the talent to play professional ball,” he said.
He is now working on his master’s degree at Midwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
Wade is joined here by his wife, Lauren, and two daughters, Lezlie, 4, and Lillian, 2. They moved from Harrisonville, Mo.