“There are multiple ways to great fatherhood,” says Adnoris “Bo” Torres, the fatherhood coordinator of the “Padres Fuertes” initiative at Family Futures, a new program designed to specifically serve fathers of young children in the Latino community. With healthy father-child relationships in mind, Torres seeks to serve a population as diverse as the many countries from which it hails.
Family Futures serves families by providing parent support, education and prevention-based programming. Strong Beginnings, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded program hosted by the Spectrum Health Foundation, provides maternal-child health support to women of color and has recently branched out to include African American fathers. Each utilizing their specialized skill sets, the two programs joined forces to conduct a 2014 study called “Familias Fuertes y Saludades,” or “Strong and Healthy Families.”
The 29-page report published in 2014 utilized human-centered design to explore what Latinx families truly needed from local organizations in order achieve equality in their communities and successful family relationships. Why Latinx? Regarding existing research about fathers and parenting in this growing population in the United States, “there just wasn’t a lot out there,” says Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, program manager at Strong Beginnings’ Healthy Start. With 10 successful years serving the African American population in Michigan, Strong Beginnings sought to branch out to other groups of color and the group wanted to work with the Latinx community.