Crime Lab, Poverty Lab The Dovetail Project

Research suggests that children who grow up with present, engaged fathers have better outcomes than children who do not. Yet many young fathers in Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods lack the resources and training—and, often, the role models—to be engaged parents in their children’s lives.

The Dovetail Project, a winner of Chicago Beyond’s GO Innovate challenge, provides young fathers the skills and support they need to play a significant role in raising their children. Through a curriculum focused on parenting, life, and job skills, the program teaches fathers about their roles, rights, and responsibilities. In addition, it provides participants information on felony street law and helps them navigate the criminal justice system so that they can remain an active presence over the course of their children’s lives. As part of its focus on soft skills and work placement, the Dovetail Project also offers participants training in financial literacy and job interview preparation.