Strengthening Family through Project Fatherhood

The Guzman Family


When Saul Guzman temporarily lost custody of his children—it was the end of the world as he knew it. He had been on a difficult road—struggling with addiction and anger—and unsure how to step onto a new path. What he didn’t know was that help was only steps away—literally.  When Saul was ready to begin the journey to reclaim his life, all he had to do was walk across the street—Children’s Institute and Project Fatherhood were there.


In the past, Saul knew how to ask for help in troubled times. He’d been in recovery for eight-years, drug-free for four. But in 2011, he found himself stuck in an old cycle: “I was still with the mother of my children. She kept using. Hiding it.” That dynamic fueled tension at home — arguments played out in front of the children. “I got frustrated. Then I relapsed. When I couldn’t take any more.” He got clean again—reclaimed his children—but that six month relapse would later cost him in court, and would launch a formidable struggle to get them back.

Determined to reunify his family, he just didn’t know how to start.

“I tried three different places, he says. “Finally a family preservation worker said there’s a program called Project FatherhoodSM at a place called CII. And I said, ‘Wait. I know that place!’”

Early on, Saul was fearful about sharing his struggles and fears with the men in the group, but there was value in hearing other fathers testifying: “What I needed—and what they gave me—was someone who was going to tell me: ‘OK, this is what you’re going to face and we can help you through it.’

“A lot of other fathers tell me that they notice how good I’m doing now. And I tell them: It’s because of my groups. I have a program that keeps me focused and strong. It teaches me a lot of parenting skills and how to communicate with the kids both emotionally or mentally. And they’ll say: ‘There’s a place like that?’

“Yes, right down the street.”


Infographic

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Project FatherhoodSM provides comprehensive parenting skills to men in caregiving roles, including fathers, stepfathers, foster parents and relative caregivers.

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When people ask me what Project Fatherhood is all about I tell them it’s a place where men get the support they need. And there is hardly any other place like it.Saul Guzman

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