A nonprofit organization

Uninvolved fathers damage their families. Our goal is to equip our partner organizations to present this course material to men in small church groups, businesses, prison ministries and recovery centers. We believe that this course will enable men to:

  • Understand how their past life has impacted their life and their family.
  • Understand how their role as a father will impact their family for generations.
  • Reconcile their past relationship with their father.
  • Gain the tools and skills needed to become a committed and involved father.

Our organization, DadsFirst (i.e. a dad’s first responsibility is to his family), offers a variety of seminars and small group materials designed to help men move forward in their fathering.

  • Founded in 1992, DadsFirst teaches fathering skills and reaches small church groups, recovering men, incarcerated men and men reentering society after incarceration.
  • DadsFirst is a Christian, faith-based organization that believes that God the Father models the essence of successful family relationships for men.
  • DadsFirst provides a path that enables uninvolved fathers to reconnect with their family.  
  • DadsFirst has successfully trained on the local level (Lino Lakes State Prison, MN Adult & Teen Challenge and other life-transition ministries, corporate settings and churches).

Chris’s Story:  “I came to class looking for "baby information" specific to being a father. My wife and I took the classes offered by the hospital (birthing, breast feeding, and all about babies). They were very informative, but not geared toward being a father, especially beyond the first few weeks.  These are, of course, essential, but I was looking for more.  “In the class from DadsFirst, I got what I wanted, lots of father specific information.  Besides great ideas about what a good father will do with their child/family, we got lots of information about the consequences of when a father is absent or uninvolved.“We took time to examine the relationships and parenting techniques that we experienced with our own father, and for me this was the most beneficial part of the class. It has also motivated me to make sure I put the effort into my entire family.  Thanks Chuck.”   Chris age 33.  First Time Dads program offered through pre-natal courses at Allina Hospitals.


Robert’s Story: Robert is the father of a four-year-old daughter and two sons, five and six.  He attended our six-week course at the kids’ grade school.  When he started the class Robert and his three children were living out of his car. In spite of limited income, Robert had custody of his children and took this responsibility seriously.  He didn’t know what it meant to be a dad but had a great desire to be the best father he could. He completed the six week course for Dads of Pre-school Kids with a new understanding of that role and the skills needed to be an involved father.  He says he now has a new lease on life with a job, an apartment, and his three children in second, third and fourth grades. DadsFirst program for Black and Hispanic Dads of pre-school children in North Minneapolis.


DaShawn’s Story:  DaShawn erupted to his feet. “I’m not talkin’ bout that (expletive) man. I hate him.” With eyes bulging and veins popping, he pounded the table, yelling while his violent past oozed out of every pore. He stomped out off through the kitchen while I was thinking he really just wanted to shoot us. We were in the 3rd lesson of the 10 week series on Fathering at a halfway house in south Minneapolis. There were 14 men jammed around a table for 8 - blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and a lone white guy. They included ex-inmates and recovering addicts, all on their way back to the streets.  In a few minutes, pounding noises came up from the basement. “He’s banging out his frustrations on the punching bag down there.” Better the bag than me, I thought. The lesson asked the men to identify positive and negative ways they were similar and different to their father. “Let’s think about some negatives you see in him that you may see in yourself, things you hate and want to stop.” Another question asked “How did your relationship with your dad impact your fathering, relationships with women, co-workers, friends, and so on?” This was a tough crowd but the questions went to the core of their experience and pulled out answers that mattered for changing how they looked at life. One man concluded, “I always said I am nothing like my dad, but now I see it, I’m just like him. I have some changes to make.” DadsFirst 10 week program for halfway house residents.

Organization Data


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Children & Family


4900 HWY 169 N Suite 303
Minneapolis, MN 55428


612 327 5859