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New Lawrence Program Educates Dads About Childcare

A new program that teaches men how to build positive and lasting relationships with their children is starting here in Lawrence.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five children were living without a father in Lawrence and Douglas County families in 2014.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is looking to change that by educating fathers on the super important role they play.

“Just think about when you were a child, when you watch a super hero movie. Sometimes we as adults think ‘wow, these guys were great.’ For our children, we are the super heroes,” Healthy Dad’s director Jery Marquez said.

Marquez, who is a father himself, said the program is a place where dads learn about childcare and can provide support for one another.

“The most important thing here is that dads have the opportunity to share and sometimes it’s definitely heart breaking to hear their stories,” Marquez said. “It goes really, really deep inside our hearts when we share our experiences.”

The program works closely with fathers in the Douglas County shelter and jail. Classes are also offered to the public, taking place every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.