Healthy Dads


Fatherhood Initiative

The Healthy Dads Healthy Families program provides the skills and knowledge men need to build positive, lasting relationships with their children.

The program is:
  • For fathers by fathers
  • Offers support and mentoring
  • Teaches important skills
  • Provides incentives 
Classes are ongoing, free and open to any dad or father figure in Douglas County. Child care and snacks are provided.

The program follows the "Quenching the Father Thirst" curriculum provided by the National Center for Fathering.

To enroll or for more information

Contact Healthy Dads Coordinator Jery Márquez at
785-856-5338 (work)
785-393-3802 (cell)

For class flier, click here.
For news release about the programclick here.

Success story

Douglas County resident Joe Ricley describes "Healthy Dads" program as "a blessing." He said he found support and community resources through the program. To read his story, click here.


The Healthy Dads Healthy Families program is offering a free, five-day training for fathers who are seeking to sharpen their job and parenting skills.

The class will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 5-9 at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St. in Lawrence.

Lunch will be provided and the Health Department can help arrange transportation.

For a flier with more information, click here.

For information or to enroll: Contact Jery Márquez at
785-856-5338 (work)
785-393-3802 (cell)

Why Dads Matter

Children without a father figure in their lives experience a range of social problems, including increased rates of poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, substance abuse, poor health and emotional problems. Research also indicates that fatherless children are more likely to struggle academically and are less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.

The National Center for Fathering classifies father-absent homes as a national emergency with an estimated 17 million children, or 23 percent of the U.S. population under age 18, living in a home without the physical presence of a father. In 2014, 1 in 5 children in Douglas County were living without a father in a family, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.