Focus on Fatherhood provides support for struggling parents

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MOBERLY - Ronnie Nickerson started attending Randolph County Caring Community's Focus on Fatherhood program just two months ago.

But it didn't take long for him to realize how important a father figure is for his four-year-old nephew, who Nickerson has adopted as his son.

"It made me actually wake up and realize what I got in front of me that needs me, and needs to be taken care of," he said.

Nickerson's nephew was just one of 25 million U.S. children living in homes without fathers, according to Focus on Fatherhood Executive Director Brian Williams.

The program is looking to change that by creating a strong camaraderie among participating fathers who face challenges with parenting, whatever those may be.

"It became our passion to say ‘How can we provide services so we can get that father connected back into the family?'" Williams said.

Nickerson leads group sessions with other fathers in the program where they exchange experiences, and gain advice from one another. He says the discussions have been especially helpful.

"I've learned something from different people. We all relate in different ways," Nickerson said.

Focus on Fatherhood is hosting a two-day Heart of a Father conference, which starts Friday night in Moberly in celebration of Father's Day. No registration is required.

More details about the program can be found on the Focus on Fatherhood website.