DADS' Connection

We're with you every step of the way.

About Us

Over 24 million children are growing up in a home without their biological father. Statistics show that if a father is invloved with his child for the first two years of their life, 80% will stay involved. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, feel better about themselves, and are more likely to have good physical and mental health, and, avoid high risk behaviors such as truancy and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

The mission of the DADS' Connection is to provide opportunities for personal growth and development to men, by empowering them to become responsible fathers to their children and involved members of our community.The majority of our fathers served have been affected by the most common obstacles of employment barriers, such as the lack of education, poor job skills, poor employment histories, criminal backgrounds, and limited transportation. Our program seeks to promote stability in the father -child relationship as well as increase the opportunities for fathers to enhance job skills, education, Job retention, and to consistently meet their Child Support commitments to their children. Most of the fathers involved in our program have come from fatherless homes, and are trying to break the cycle of fatherlessness, poverty, abuse, and neglect.  

Program Goals:

  • The first goal of the DADS' Connection is to assist fathers to overcome barriers of employment through case management services and collaboration and coordination with other community resources. We have reached out and worked with Hagerstown Community College, Valor Ministries, The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Horizon Goodwill employment and legal expungement assistance programs, Western Maryland Consortium, Pro Bono Legal Program, Job Club through Gatekeepers Reentry Program, and Department of Motor Vehicles. Each of these agencies have programs that can assist fathers gain job readiness skills and/or remove barriers to gaining employment.
  • The second and third program goals are to connect fathers with jobs and increase the financial support to their children by meeting their child support obligations. Washington County had an unemployment rate of 6.7% while the Maryland state average was 5.3%. In spite of these numbers, 45% of fathers receiving services through the DADS' Connection obtained employment exceeding the program goal of 40%. The average hourly wage  was $9.71 exceeding the program goal of $8.50. This translates into 50% of the fathers who gained employment are working in jobs paying $10 or more an hour. One way we have been able to give our fathers an advantage in the job market has been to help them gain a job skill such as Forklift Operator training. Through Hagerstown Community College and DADS' Connection services, ten fathers have received  Forklift Operator certification making them more attractive to local warehouse employers.
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The DADS' program will continue to connect with our community fathers to identify their individual needs, and determine what services or community resources would be available to assist with their personal journey toward success.