Frequently Asked Questions


What is Good Dads? 

Good Dads is a nonprofit headquartered in Springfield, MO, with chapters throughout the state. We encourage fathers to be Good Dads by providing inspiration, resources and events. Good Dads was established in 2015 after community leaders in southwest Missouri recognized the benefits of father engagement in the community.

Good Dads is for all dads—because any dad can be a great parent. All he needs are the right tools. At Good Dads, we’re all about fathers of all shapes and sizes: divorced dads, over-the-road trucker dads, dads who coach their kids’ sports teams, dads who don’t have custody of their kids, single dads, married dads, blended family dads, cub scout leader dads, dads with a history of addiction or incarceration, and any other kind of dad you could think of. 

All dads have the capacity to be Good Dads. We’re here to encourage, equip and empower all dads to be the best parent they can be.

We serve dads throughout Missouri and hope to expand outside the Show-Me State soon. Good Dads chapters host classes and serve fathers in and around Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, Hannibal and Stockton. We have additional class sites in Ava, Branson, Buffalo, Koplin, Lebanon, Mt. Vernon, and Rolla—and continue to add new classes in new communities. 

Head to our Class Locations page to find ongoing and upcoming classes for dads in our New Pathways program.


What is New Pathways? 

The New Pathways for Good Dads program serves low-income fathers as they work to be more engaged with their children. New Pathways dads learn via fatherhood development classes, relationships skills classes, child support training, mentoring, career resources and more. NPGD is both a guide for responsible fatherhood and a network of companions to help you reach your goals for being a good dad. Many, but not all dads in New Pathways have open child support cases.

The number and kinds of services a dad receives depends on his needs. Some dads have child support concerns; some do not. Some are becoming new dads; others have been fathers for some time. Some are in a relationship with the mother of their child; others are going it alone. Each father will have an Individual Service Plan designed to help him receive the maximum benefit from the program. 

Dads learn valuable fatherhood, relationship and stress/anger management skills through our Good Dads classes. They gain access to a wealth of services, including career resources and jobs assessments, family budgeting resources, and consultations with a child support specialist. Our participants have an opportunity to learn from other dads, develop meaningful relationships with their fellow participants, receive valuable guidance from their mentors and facilitators, and they have the support of all of us at Good Dads.

We want you to be the best dad you can be. Along the way, we will recognize your progress with investments, including awards, gift cards and other tools Good Dads need. In some cases, Good Dads case managers may write a letter of support to your parole officer or judge to make them aware of your accomplishments.

To be eligible, you must be a dad, live in Missouri and have at least one child under 18. To attend our classes at no charge, our participants must earn at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level and live within our contract area. If you aren’t sure if you qualify, please contact Good Dads.

The best way to enroll is to schedule a time to meet with a Good Dads case manager. If you live in the Springfield metro area, you are welcome to stop by our offices in Downtown Springfield [view map], where a Good Dads staff member will sit down with you to learn more about your needs and concerns. You may also call us at 417-501-8867 or send us a message via our Contact Us page. 

It depends. If you live within our contract area and meet our eligibility requirements, you may attend class at no charge. If you are not eligible under our contract, that does not mean you can’t participate. We want every dad desiring to improve his skills to participate in the program. You may be asked to pay for your own class materials.

Visit our Child Support Frequently Asked Questions page. If you still have questions, you may reach out to us via our Contact Us page or call our offices at 417-501-8867.

No. Depending on where you live, we may be able to refer you to trusted legal resources. 

We have upcoming and ongoing classes throughout the Ozarks, Kansas City area, Central Missouri and Hannibal regions. Check out our Class Locations page to see classes starting near you.

Participants are expected to complete two courses: A 16-week fatherhood skills class (Good Dads 2.0) and an 8-week relationships skills class (Within My Reach). Many of our dads are eligible to graduate within about 6 months, but depending on your circumstances, you can remain in the program for a maximum of 18 months.

To be eligible to graduate, participants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Complete all the coursework in the fatherhood skills class
  • Complete all the coursework in the healthy relationships class
  • Be employed, if possible
  • Make payments to any open child support cases, or otherwise be positively contributing to the lives of their children to the extend that they are able

Not at this time. We are working to expand our class options to one day provide courses for couples.

The best way to make a difference for dads enrolled in New Pathways is to become a facilitator. Good Dads hosts training events twice a year in Springfield, MO, that teach you everything you need to know to effectively lead a Good Dads class. You may also become a mentor to dads in the program by attending class, assisting the facilitator, encouraging conversation in the group, providing advice, helping with transportation, etc. You can learn more about our opportunities on our Volunteer page.


What schools are you in?

We are in nearly a dozen schools throughout the Ozarks. To see the full list of participating schools, visit our Strong Schools page.

You must purchase the Captain’s Starter Kit, which contains the materials you’ll need to lead a Strong Schools program, for $149. You may also need to budget for activity supplies (e.g., construction paper, markers, colored pencils, etc.). If your school does not provide breakfast, you may also need to account for the costs associated with furnishing food at your events.


How do I become a facilitator?

Facilitators for the New Pathways program are required to complete a training session hosted by Good Dads before they can lead a class. We host training sessions twice a year in Springfield, and in some circumstances, our team may be able to travel to your location to train your group, for a cost. After completing the training to the satisfaction of Good Dads, we will work with you to recruit participants, find host sites and furnish meals for your classes.

The twice-annual Training Camp is the best opportunity to get trained. Depending on demand, we will host training for the Good Dads 2.0 course (for fatherhood skills), PREP’s Within My Reach course (a healthy relationships course), Strong Schools and Fundamentals for Good Dads. In some cases, members of the Good Dads team can come to your community to host a training event, for a cost.

We have a program that dives deep into this question. Groups of community stakeholders can explore the best ways to start a Good Dads initiative with our new-and-improved course: Good Dads Great Communities. You can learn more about Good Dads chapters on our Chapters page.

In some cases, members of the Good Dads team can come to you to introduce the nonprofit to your community. This is often the best way for a group of people to learn about our programs and discover how to get involved. Contact us to learn more about expansion opportunities.