By Rebecca K. O’Connor
The SB Sun
July 1, 2023
Recognizing higher rates of Black infant mortality in California, the Perinatal Equity Initiative, or PEI, was launched in 2018 to address causes of this disparity and look at best practices. Under the PEI, San Bernardino Fatherhood, a nonprofit based in Highland, was contracted by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health to provide fatherhood services. Working with the fathers and partners of pregnant and parenting African American women with a child under a year old, the organization aims to assist in the elimination of Black infant mortality.
Recognized by the state as an impactful intervention, the organization’s 24/7 Dad program, educates men on the tools, behaviors and attitudes needed for fathers to help their children thrive. The program provides 12 group sessions that each last two hours. Participants explore their family history and experiences with fatherhood and then learn the characteristics of a 24/7 Dad. Characteristics include self-awareness, self-care, fathering, parenting and relationship skills. Participants are also given guidance on maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship with their child’s mother. The next 24/7 Dad program will be offered at the end of July at a location that has not yet been announced.