KEYS TO SUCCESS
One key to our early and measurable effectiveness is our mentors holding graduates accountable to the goals that they created for themselves during the program. We require Level I program attendees to state what they’re going to become and accomplish, and to take ownership of what they state as their “Plan of Action.” We then work with each individual vigorously to establish and begin implementing their plan even prior to release.
Typically our graduates’ plans prioritize becoming productive community members, gaining and sustaining viable employment, and building or restoring strong family support structures. This is the core of their becoming our definition of “Fathers On The Move.”
Long-Term Mentoring & Guidance
Also key is our graduates being assigned mentors (previous program graduates) who “walk with” them for 12 to 18 months after graduating the program. We encourage and motivate our graduates to stay in contact with each other for support. Within 48 hours of being released, graduates must inform us as to whether they are at home or in a halfway house. From this point forward we connect them to an FOTM local support system, which involves partnering with “hand-holding” mentors who help them re-integrate into community living.
Beyond the 12 to 18 months of structured post-release support is a “forever” active relationship between pre-release graduates, post-release graduates, and FOTM itself. Far more than mere associations, these relationships and activities include program graduates visiting and supporting those still in the program by encouraging them with their own stories and positive experiences and achievements, providing formal and informal mentoring, attending new class graduations, and volunteering for various FOTM activities. This forms a sustained and positive FOTM “Brotherhood.”
A remarkable aspect of our overall support is that some graduates from either level of our Fathers Program also serve as formal and informal mentors for FOTM’s Youth Program. Not only does this interaction and involvement enrich the experience for pre-release participants and graduates, it also provides positive reinforcement for post-release graduates by reducing the likelihood of slipping back into negative lifestyles and activities.
Method of Expanding
We believe our methods of introducing and establishing FOTM’s presence and activities in new locations have been and continue to be essential to our successes. For example, when FOTM seeks to establish an operation in a new county, we first develop relationships with the Mayor, Sheriff, Police Chief, and others. There is no overestimating the positive effect of having not only the permission and approval of these key and influential figures, but in most cases their advocacy.
Once established in a new community, Founder and Executive Director Bishop Glover leads in integrating FOTM with various public offices. For example, he sits on the Orange County Reentry Council and Criminal Justice Advisory Boards.
FOTM’s Program consists of two levels, each presented over 12 weeks
Our Level I program provides skills and support needed to integrate into mainstream society, as well as housing assistance, resume building and job readiness skills, education on child support enforcement systems, parenting and communication skills, referrals to community services, and assistance navigating the criminal justice system. Weekly mentoring sessions by phone or Zoom (online) monitor skills building. We also carefully monitor and evaluate behaviors known to be related to recidivism, employment, and family relationships. There are 12 Level I curriculum components, on which mentors and attendees spend a 2.5 hour session per week for the 12 weeks.
Level I graduates interested in developing mentoring and leadership skills are invited to enter Level II training. Level II focuses on building and refining leadership skills, and graduates can become certified FOTM mentors who work with Level I graduates. In addition to mentoring, Level II graduates can become leaders at our pre- or post-release centers.
The Level II curriculum is presented in another 12-week program that provides skills needed to become mentors and program leaders, and to coordinate housing and support services for post-release individuals reentering community living.
Uniquely Qualified Founder & Leader
Fundamental to our successes is Founder and ED Bishop Victor Glover himself having formerly been incarcerated, thereby knowing intimately the challenges faced by those we help, and practical and effective approaches to overcoming them. In the 22 years since his release from Wake Correctional Center in 1998, Bishop Glover has been a volunteer Minister at that same facility, during which time he developed the foundation for FOTM with ongoing first-hand experience with those it is designed to support. An interesting and meaningful side note to these years is that the current Warden of the Center was a Guard when Bishop Glover went from incarcerated to released, and then ministering, mentoring, and supporting those incarcerated. Having directly observed Bishop Glover’s activities and initiatives over two decades, the Warden is well aware of and supportive of FOTM and its efforts. We and those we support are immensely grateful to the Warden.