Established in 1859 as the Union Industrial Home for Children and formally called UIH Family Partners, the newly dubbed Father Center of New Jersey sets out to continue “building a foundation of hope for the future” for boys and men alike across the state of New Jersey. Having been around for years, with a core mission of fatherhood work and implementation of job readiness and workforce development, the organization works with men who are unemployed and underemployed providing them with job training necessary to acquire essential workplace skills.
The Center provides a program for young boys who are in ninth grade through the academic school year called Healthy Relationships. It is intended as a prevention program, seeking to help young boys and men alike to stay in school, receive mentorship, and speak about career options while preparing them for the future ahead of them. Services reaching adults, from a young age well into their sixties, include Bridges to Success, the Dads in School Network, and Dress2Impress, which provides suits and business attire to participants for interviews, on-site interviews for individuals seeking a job, and professional head shots to build a professional workforce presence.
“Our mission is to support men in gaining the skills and meeting the responsibilities of fatherhood. We believe that when we strengthen fathers, we strengthen families.”
-Karen Andrade-Mims, Father Center of NJ Executive Director
Every year (the Saturday before Father’s Day), the organization hosts an annual awards breakfast and fundraiser called Platinum Dad, which honors men including fathers, role models and mentors all across the state while also helping to raise money for its programs.
The Center continues its mission, despite the pandemic, of building foundations of hope for the future by providing support virtually. They have essentially turned their office number into a hotline by organizing staff and members to man the line, answer questions, provide resources, and COVID-19 information throughout the day. As part of an effort to offer training services, Father Center of New Jersey hosts live sessions on Facebook and Zoom.
Headquartered in Trenton, where they were first established, and operating from another office located in Burlington City, Father Center of New Jersey will soon move its Trenton location from North Broad Street to 1 W State Street, a building owned in downtown Trenton by tech firm Maestro Technologies. This new location will supply a bigger space and will provide clients with state of the art training.
For more information on getting involved, please visit https://www.thefathercenter.org/