The Coast News Group
Vista Community Clinic
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Vista Community Clinic expands Dads’ Club program

REGION — Vista Community Clinic is expanding its Dads’ Club, a program dedicated to supporting fathers and father figures in various stages of their journey towards positive parenting and personal growth.

Fathers enrolled in the program will learn about positive parenting practices, child development, behavior, healthy relationships and the significant role of fathers in a child’s healthy development.

VCC initially recruited program participants through its prenatal and pediatric departments. Over the years, the program has evolved to offer comprehensive case management services, addressing a variety of needs including housing coordination, treatment and recovery, legal assistance, employment readiness and more.

Today, the Dads’ Club serves a diverse community, including fathers with open Child Welfare Services cases, individuals facing legal challenges such as DUIs or domestic violence cases, and those experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. The program also supports fathers navigating custody and visitation issues and provides assistance to those struggling with child support payments.

In the latest phase of the Dads’ Club program (2023-2025), VCC has secured funding from the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) to continue its vital work in reducing child abuse and neglect among parents.

In early 2024, VCC was awarded additional funding from the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency to further expand Dad’s Club with a focus on fathers and father figures with high Adverse Childhood Experience scores.

Key features of the program include free evidence-based parenting workshops designed specifically for Dads, employment readiness assessment, intensive case management and a range of support services delivered through virtual and field visits, as well as phone consultations.

The “24/7 Dad” curriculum, currently offered virtually via Zoom twice weekly in both English and Spanish, comprises a 10-part workshop series covering essential topics such as family history, communication, positive discipline and co-parenting.

The Dads’ Club program also offers intensive case management support for up to six months, connecting fathers with vital resources such as housing referrals, employment assistance, food support, child support guidance and access to healthcare services.

“Recent success stories from the program highlight the transformative impact of the Dads’ Club. We had a client who, upon enrollment, was experiencing homelessness. Through dedicated support and referrals, the client secured temporary housing and embarked on a journey towards stability, including participation in parenting workshops, employment searches, and building a resume to facilitate child reunification,” said Rey Suarez at VCC. “Vista Community Clinic remains committed to fostering positive fatherhood and supporting families in our community through the Dads’ Club program.”

For those interested in participating in the Dads’ Club program, agencies can complete an Agency Referral form for a client and send it to [email protected]. Alternatively, individuals can self-enroll by calling 760-631-5000 ext 7181.

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