610-987-2248   |   info@berksiu.org

ELECT Fatherhood

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We can help.

By responding to the specific needs of pregnant and parenting youth, the Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Project ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training), ELECT Fatherhood Initiative, and Pregnant & Parenting Teen Program, help young people to raise healthy children and become better parents. Our programs teach skills that lead to success in school and economic self-sufficiency. Teens receive assistance in obtaining their high school diplomas or GEDs. At the same time, they learn effective parenting skills and are encouraged to become more responsible adults and better informed parents. BCIU’s programs combine to provide year-round services for pregnant and parenting teens in Berks County school districts.

What makes our Initiatives successful are the total support we provide to students. Program staff visit with students in school and in their homes throughout the year to assess individual needs.

Ongoing group counseling sessions are a successful component of the programs. Students attend parenting classes and workshops on child development and nutrition. Collaboration with community organizations allows for training in such topics as domestic abuse, self-esteem, and job training, as well as, in-home support services.

School attendance is monitored, and incentives are awarded to eligible students for improved school attendance.


According to a recent “Kids Count” study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who grow up without fathers are:

  • Five times more likely to be poor
  • Twice as likely to drop out of school
  • More likely to end up in foster case or juvenile justice facilities
  • Girls are three times more likely to become unwed teen mothers


BCIU’s ELECT Fatherhood Initiative aims to increase awareness of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, foster better relationships among fathers, their children and their families, and strengthen the family bond. The program also assists young fathers in re-establishing positive interactions with mother and/or child.

  • Fathering support group
  • Instruction in anger management and conflict management
  • Self-discipline instruction
  • Child health and safety instruction
  • Life-skills training and family budgeting
  • Helping participants to establish paternity, if needed
  • Job readiness and job search component
  • Mentoring, tutoring, and homework assistance


To be eligible for services, participants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be fathers (custodial or non-custodial), under the age of 22
  • Be enrolled in a middle or high school or an approved GED program
  • Be a Pennsylvania resident


Students are eligible to receive the following services:

  • Case management and support services (biweekly support group).
  • Information about community resources for health care, legal assistance and other services.
  • Parenting and child development education.
  • Vocational and consumer and life skills counseling.
  • Access to subsidized child care.
  • Transportation to and from school, child care and appointments in the community.
  • Mentoring by positive male role models and, in turn, to serve as role models to younger teen fathers.
  • Instruction in anger management and conflict management.

Program Contact Info

ELECT Fatherhood Initiative

Lisa Jims-Pisano

Christina DeJesus

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