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Helping Fathers Get Involved: A VLSP Volunteer Making a Difference

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

  • Organization: VLSP
Nick Gregoratos, a Volunteer Legal Services Program volunteer who has worked with a client through with VLSP's new Responsible Parenting Project, is a particularly compassionate volunteer because his own work and life experience have given him a firsthand understanding of some of the issues that his clients face.

The Responsible Parenting Project provides comprehensive legal and social services to low-income non-custodial fathers who are between the ages of 18-26 in order to encourage and support responsible parenting and healthy families. The project offers services that will help non-custodial parents define their legal roles as parents, build a cooperative parenting relationship with the custodial parent and reach their parenting goals.

Mr. Gregoratos was recently able to assist a client positively resolve his custody and child support battle with the best interests of the child in mind. "The goal is that both parents will be involved in raising their children, because that is what is best for the child. Parenting is more than paying child support or becoming a father and then taking off," he affirms.

This perspective comes in part from Mr. Gregoratos' own experience with a custody battle that lasted for seven years. "I went through the wringer," he says, "and that was one of the things that motivated me to go to law school." However, Mr. Gregoratos experience in this particular area of family law certainly doesn't end there. He now works at Prisoner Legal Services, providing legal assistance in the areas of child custody and child support. "I help people to move into a situation where they can start paying child support and then see their children again," he explains. "It is important for people to have their children in their life. Fathers who see their children are also more likely to pay child support because they can then see where the money is going."

"I knew I was a natural for the Responsible Parenting Project because of my job and my own custody battle," Mr. Gregoratos says. At VLSP, we also know that he was a natural for this project because of the compassion and understanding he brings to his work with our clients, and the positive results he obtains for San Francisco families.

To learn more about VLSP's Reponsible Parenting Project, please contact Amanda Chavez at achavez@sfbar.org or (415) 782-8956.

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