St. Louis nonprofit aims to build better fathers - KMOV.com

St. Louis nonprofit aims to build better fathers

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Dads meeting at FSC (Credit: KMOV) Dads meeting at FSC (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A St. Louis service agency is addressing the issue of fathers being absent from their children's lives.

Father Support Center (FSC) has four locations across the St. Louis area with over 100 fathers in the one-year program.

Jason Pilarski is a dad of four, an Iraq veteran and now a better father.

Pilarski said he dealt with depression and PTSD, which forced him to not know how to deal with emotions.

“I kind of found myself saying I don't care, I don't care about seeing my kids,” said Pilarski while dealing with depression and PTSD in 2015.

He knew it wasn't right and wanted to get help through FSC.

“Jason came in he was upset because he wanted to be a better father, he wanted to take care of his kids,” said Willie Streeter, FSC facilitator.

Pilarski is one of 13,000 fathers the program has helped over the last 18 years. Many fathers enter the program with a wide range of issues like depression, unable to find a job to pay child support, to not knowing how to properly communicate with the child’s mother.

FSC has a six-week intense curriculum dedicated to building better fathers.

“It's one thing for a father to participate outside the house, but it's another thing when a father has committed to participating inside the house,” said Streeter. “We strip down all his egos all his issues all the finger that he's pointing everywhere else. And we make him take a look at himself and we make him own up to his responsibility and his role with his child and what he could be doing that's more productive that could produce a better outcome for his child if he was more involved.”

Streeter was also struggling being a dad. He's now a strong single father of five - leading fathers who were once disengaged, into now nurturing parents.

The program also provides job training, family therapy, and several other resources to give fathers support.

With the help of FSC, Pilarski was able to spend time with his four children in early October - something he hopes will be more often.

Pilarski is thankful and on Wednesday he will graduate from the program.

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent, if you say you're a perfect parent you're lying to yourself and your kids, said Pilarski.

If you are interested in learning more about Father Support Center CLICK HERE or call 314-333-4170

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