MISSION AND MAJOR PROGRAMS
We are an all-volunteer group. All money - 100 percent - goes directly to program services and activities. There is also no overhead of any type.
The group promotes fairness, equality, family and, most important, the best interests of the children. We also promote mutual respect and cooperation between the genders, encourages the involvement of both parents in the lives of children, and is dedicated to making divorce less adversarial and encouraging all of the parties to work together. These then provide the best role models for the children.
Our theme: "Kids Need Both Parents"; encouraging men and women to cooperate, show mutual respect, and work together--in the best interest of children. A second theme is thus, "Reconciliation and Cooperation - Not Gender Warfare. "Although our group would more accurately be called the "National Center For Cooperation and Equality," the names, the "National Center For Men" and "Kids Need Both Parents Center," much more effectively signal to the public that non-custodial parent's issues, such as assuring access and sharing parenting, are squarely in the domain.
Our favorite quotes are, from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," and, anonymous, "The first duty of society is justice. "Also, "Live your life ... so that when your children think of fairness, caring, cooperation and integrity ... they think of you."
The group is completely gender-neutral in its approach to issues, philosophy and life. We welcome both men and women, mothers and fathers, and the entire extended families. If one parent has access difficulties, then that parent's entire family may also become shut out, and the children lose. We therefore serve everyone - parents, grandparents, extended families, men and women. Our concerts downtown are especially a celebration of fatherhood, motherhood, parenthood, children, and families. We support the family and marriage, especially if people are considering bringing children into the world.
SUPPORT AND COUNSELING
Our weekly support groups provide an opportunity for people to constructively express their feelings and concerns, while finding emotional support and camaraderie. People know that they are not alone and not the only ones going through a particular situation that might be difficult. Non-custodial parent issues are the ones most frequently raised. Maintaining a relationship with one's children, and not losing one's parental identity, is a common and very painful concern, especially since there are virtually no services available for such people, fathers or mothers. However, all issues, especially issues including some elements of gender or gender relations, are welcome. We welcome non-custodial moms and dads, and all victims of domestic violence. We help people to create parenting plans to see their children. We help parents to become and remain involved in their children's lives, especially during and after divorce.
From the base of this support group, counseling services, mentoring, counseling retreats and other services and activities branch out and become available to the public. Telephone counseling is a large part of our counseling activities. We also encourage communication, working together, and education. We help the grandparents and the extended families, too. We also outreach to the public and let them know we are available to help - that there is someone to talk with. There are approximately 300,000 non-custodial parents in Oregon. We serve the entire population of Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Our goal is to help men and women to cooperate, communicate and work together for the best interest of the children. Over time this has an extremely positive and crucial impact on the community, as children from broken and
divorced households are at highest risk for all of our social pathologies, including gangs, crime, delinquency, drugs, dropping out of school, health problems, and teen pregnancy. These problems are costing the taxpayer increasing sums
of money, without apparent solutions. We are getting to the root cause and doing something very constructive. We also do a weekly radio show and cable TV show, both entitled "Fathers and Families," and put out the Equalist Review as time and funding allows.