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The Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center (YVPC), based at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, seeks to reduce violence and create a supportive and healthy environment for youth, ages 10-24.  The Center works with youth, families and the community at large to implement programs that reduce risks for violence.  The center is funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Fathers and Sons is one of four youth intervention programs within the YVPC. It is a unique program for African American fathers or father figures and their 10-14 year old sons. Our goal in the YVPC Fathers and Sons Program is to emphasize family relationships, parenting behaviors, parent-child communication, cultural pride, and community service as critical components for strengthening father-son relationships to prevent youth risky behaviors, with an emphasis on violence prevention.

Families in the YVPC Fathers and Sons Program come together 10 times over a 6-week timeframe to participate in the intervention, during which they have the opportunity to do the following: 
  • engage in mutually beneficial activities to enhance their relationships
  • obtain information about parent/child responsibilities and expectations
  • practice relevant skills
  • address barriers to achieving goals
  • communicate about risky behaviors and violence
  • share experiences with others facing similar challenges
Youth participating in the program are recruited from the designated YVPC intervention area located in Flint, Michigan, which encompasses a two mile radius surrounding Hurley Hospital.
The Fathers and Sons Steering Committee developed the program curriculum using a community-based participatory process. This collective effort has been invaluable in helping to understand and address issues vital to the creation of a culturally relevant intervention. The program brings together the expertise of community-based organizations, the local health department, and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The lead community organization for the Fathers and Sons Project is the Odyssey House.



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Center for Research, Ethnicity, Culture, and Health
School of Public Health - University of Michigan
1415 Washington Heights, 2858 SPH I
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029
Phone: 734-647-6665 Fax: 734-763-9265

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