Fathers Supporting Fathers group to become nonprofit


Fathers Supporting Fathers organizers include, from left, Cory Thomas, Natasha Simms and Dalieta Mears. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

DOVER — Lost men won’t stop and ask for directions, the stereotype maintains.

Seeking guidance for being a better dad doesn’t come any easier.

A soon-to-be Dover nonprofit is hoping to evoke more questions and answers for guys about fatherhood.

Hidden Pearl LLC plans to hold group sessions with fathers interested in increasing impact in their family’s lives.

Natasha Simms said her organization was never trying to make money from counseling dads, and converting to 501(c)(3) status will allow it to seek grants as a nonprofit.

Driven by the motto “Connecting the Community One Event at a Time,” the first Fathers Supporting Fathers meeting will be held Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Elizabeth W. Murphey School at 42 Kings Highway in Dover.

There is no charge to attend and all are invited.

Moving forward, the support group plans to gather the third Saturday of each month.

Organizers described the upcoming get-together as “a program designed to give fathers of all ages and races a group of support with like minded men who share the same desire to be the best father they can be and have a willingness to learn different parenting techniques and styles.”

Cory Thomas, a insurance business owner and father of five, will participate as a counselor, along with social workers Ms. Simms, Dalieta Mears and Janet Lucien.

The second annual Black Pearl Father-Daughter dance was held in June at Elizabeth Murphey School in Dover. (Submitted photo/Black Pearl)

Mr. Thomas emphasized to interested attendees that “It’s OK to ask questions. It’s OK to humble yourself and say I don’t know what I need to do or what works best. It’s OK to gain insight by asking for help.”

Mr. Thomas admits, “Women see things that we don’t see through different emotions that we can learn from.”

Developing parenting skills will allow men to easier connect with their families they may be distanced from. A dad’s impact is vital to the fabric of a family, according to Ms. Simms.

“Most of the times when the father is missing from the home it has significant negative effects on the mother, the grandparent, the kids,” she said.

Added Ms. Mears, “We hope to engage fathers who may be disconnected and uninformed on the law of custody and visitation.

“There’s a big emphasis on giving guidance on how to secure a role of having an impact in their children’s lives.”

Working for the Division of Family Services as a master family service specialist, Ms. Simms has seen ample cases of the perils of a broken family.

“A lack of income often means the mom works two jobs and the children act out looking for attention,” Ms. Simms said. “Young men don’t know how to treat women or be a respectful young man and women look toward older men to engage with in some relationships that could become very negative situations.”

The cycle may repeat itself without positive male role models to learn from.

“A lot of time men don’t have fathers so when they become fathers they don’t know how to be one themselves,” Ms. Simms said.

The mission statement for the upcoming group meetings reads:

“Father’s supporting Father’s raising children provides fathers with the opportunity to enhance personal growth, and build self-confidence.

“This is done by offering an environment that supports friendship, and the opportunity to exchange parenting techniques. Fathers supporting Fathers seeks to educate, empower, encourage and support fathers in all facets to ensure that they feel confident in raising their children.

“Fathers are assisted in becoming comfortable in their role as father and/or single father.”

In June, Black Pearl held its second annual father-daughter dance at Murphey School.

Anyone with questions or interested in participating can contact Ms. Simms at 922-2311 or email HiddenPearlllc@yahoo.com.

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