Ypsilanti’s Corner Health Center began “Fathers for Family,” a new expansive department that helps provide resources and mentorship to new fathers-to-be. This service will help the new parents navigate the complexities of fatherhood.
The Corner Health Center provides clinic-like services while remaining a primary care office. Complete with an interdisciplinary team of health practitioners such as physicians, nurses, and social workers. The health center provides young people with health care, mental health, and supportive services during their transition from childhood to adulthood.
Located at 47 N. Huron St., In Ypsilanti, Michigan, the nonprofit organization is a community staple.
Beginning this May, the center will offer a 10-week curriculum to teach the parents new skills and strategies for their upcoming fatherhood adventure.
Those who attend will receive resources that range from baby supplies, such as cribs, pack-and-plays, car seats, diapers, and baby food.
According to the Corner Health Center website, the new Fathers for Family department will provide young fathers with support and resources to be successful caregivers.
Operating the new department is Community Outreach and Health Education Manager Ashley Anderson. She calls the Fathers for Family program an equal and equitable service to their ongoing “Sweet Pea” service.
“Sweet Pea” is a maternal-infant health program that provides home visits, classes, and dedicated mental health professionals for moms.
“Fathers for Family will be classes, programming groups, and changing some of our clinical practices to include fathers,” Anderson said. “Services will be accessible in a variety of ways. Some things will be on the webpage in the form of educational videos. Other things will be in the form of groups.”
According to Anderson, for the Fathers for Family department, the health center is currently planning several meetup sessions, which will run from May through August.
“We’re currently planning the meetup sessions for dads and kids. They can hang out, connect, do something fun, and receive some education,” Anderson said. “We will also have a mentorship program to connect with an older father in the community. We will provide services so young dads are supported and feel empowered to be the best father they can be.”
Parents will have access to a wide range of courses throughout the department if they are interested in participating in the program.
According to Anderson, Classes will include courses on topics such as what to expect during a clinic appointment and safe baby and birthing classes. Both classes will last one session.
“Our goal is to provide what the community says they need or where we see a need, and nothing exists,” Anderson said. “We had patients asking for these classes, we had community partners asking for something for young dads, and we didn’t have anything. People were asking for this, so this is a need.”
Regarding the department, Anderson says the Corner Health Center is currently looking for funding to hire a father to become the department’s new Fatherhood Coordinator. This position will assist in running the groups and help operate the department’s planning.
According to Anderson, the health center is looking for a local community member with mentorship and coordinator experience to assist in running the new department.
“Men express that if we have a group for fathers, we want there to be a father right in the group,” Anderson said. “We want it to be somebody who looks like us, I don’t want to be the face of it, because I’m not a father, I’m hoping this happens and we receive the funding soon.”