Forest Hills organization awarded $75K in support of Strong Fathers program

Forestdale organizationin Forest Hills gets $75K for Strong Fathers
The Forestdale Strong Fathers initiative is to encourage and facilitate fathers’ emotional and material engagement with their children. (Photo via Forestdale/Instagram)

Forestdale, a child welfare agency headquartered in Forest Hills that serves families in Queens and Brooklyn, received a generous award of $75,000 from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the Amazin’ Mets Foundation to support one of its core parenting programs, Strong Fathers

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and the Amazin’ Mets Foundation made the contribution to Forestdale in honor of Father’s Day. 

The funding will be used for counseling, peer support, material assistance, intensive relationship-focused parenting classes, visit coaching and co-parenting workshops. 

Bill Weisberg, executive director of Forestdale, said the generous awards will help fathers create and maintain “positive, healthy and long-term relationships” with their children — consistent markers of success. 

“We appreciate the continued support of the Cohen Foundation and are excited that the Amazin’ Mets Foundation has joined in supporting our Strong Fathers program,” Weisberg said. “We know the difference that it makes for children to have a positive father figure in their lives. That relationship impacts their well-being and the course of their school performance and future relationships. So, it is terrific when foundations share the same view.”

Both organizations have supported Forestdale programs in other ways, such as recently sponsoring a Mets Holiday Shopping Spree and donating tickets to a Mets game at Citi Field to Forestdale families and to the benefit auction. 

Fathers who want to be great parents for their children while overcoming significant obstacles, such as job loss, violence or society’s historical and current practices of racism and marginalization, turn to Forestdale for support.

“We’re always so stressed out. I work three jobs. I have the stress of getting food on the table and a roof over our heads,” a father wrote. “I’m struggling to make the time to come to therapy. Help with basic needs makes a huge difference.” 

Forestdale helps fathers navigate crises, stabilize their situation, and ensure they are equipped to be active, committed dads who provide increased financial and emotional support to their children.

Last year, the program reached more than 350 fathers who learned how to become the champions their families need. 

Forestdale has been stable support for dads in low-income families and neighborhoods in Queens for over 24 years, encouraging and facilitating fathers’ emotional and material engagement with their children. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, research shows that father involvement is associated with various physical, emotional, and mental benefits related to child well-being.

Established as a child welfare organization in 1854, Forestdale delivers innovative, evidence-based services that promote healing, resilience and opportunity for children and families. Since moving its headquarters from Brooklyn to Queens in 1941, Forestdale has served the nation’s most diverse borough focusing on low-income and immigrant clients, both in and outside the child welfare system.

As of 2020, Forestdale also provides preventive services to Brooklyn families at risk of child removal from the home. The organization’s mission is to ensure that children and families have the fundamental assets they need to thrive and live independently, with a goal to end the intergenerational transmission of poverty and trauma.

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