Parenting program a help for local dads

By Nicole Daughhetee
Courier Staff

COUNTY — The Parenting Place, affiliated with Prevent Child Abuse America, has a brand new program called “Fathers 2 Dads” headed by Joey Medoro, the agency’s new Fatherhood Specialist.

Prior to working with The Parenting Place, Medoro was part of Healthy Families America in Upstate New York. While there has been a great need in Pickens County for a fatherhood program, there was no funding available until recently.

Fathers 2 Dads began just a few weeks ago, but the program is already gaining momentum.

“My focus is working one on one with dads who are struggling,” said Medoro. “Dads need to know the important role they play in the lives of their children.”

National statistics dating back to 2002 show that the children who grow up in fatherless homes make up 63 percent of youth suicides, 85 percent of those with behavioral disorders, 70 percent of the children involved with the Department of Juvenile Justice and account for 71 percent of high school drop-outs.

These numbers are staggering, and Medoro believes that the numbers have only increased over time.

“My hope is to be able to start small support groups for dads. I am here as an advocate for these fathers,” said Medoro. “I allow them to develop their own goals — whether they want to work on job skills or earning their GEDs. If there is something I can’t help them with, I give them the resources they need to achieve their goals.”

Medoro is trying to reach out to local churches and other agencies throughout the county to let them know that the Fathers 2 Dads program is up and running, and to educate people about what the program entails.

“Sometimes fathers don’t ask for help because of pride or because they think an agency is only out to get child support from them. That is not what we do in the Fathers 2 Dads program,” said Medoro. “We want to help fathers become great dads by giving them the support they need.”
Medoro’s passion for this program came from his own personal experience growing up in a home without a positive male role model and wishing programs like Fathers 2 Dads had been available when he was younger.

“Dads come in here with stresses and struggles, and I want to help them be the best dads they can be,” he said. “I know the effect not having a dad had in my life. I know there is a great need for fatherhood programs and I can empathize.”

Enrollment in the Fathers 2 Dads program is simple. Medoro says the Parenting Place receives referrals from DSS, but the program is open to any father who is in need of help and support. All they need to do is call The Parenting Place at (864) 898-5583 or visit their website at to learn about all the programs the agency has to offer.

A father himself, Medoro knows how difficult parenting can be, another reason why he is such a strong advocate for other fathers.
“The Fathers 2 Dads program name came to me because of something my own daughter once told me,” said Medoro. “Any man can be a father, but it takes love, time and an investment in your child’s life to be a great dad.”