Fatherhood Project

We are excited to announce the return of our reentry fatherhood program, the Dads Back! Academy F.I.R.E.!  Our goal is “To support re-entry dads in their pursuit of becoming the best parents they can be through parenting skills, healthy relationship skills, and economic stability.” 

Eligible men are the following:

  • Fathers with biological children, step-children or children currently or expected to be in their care, and
  • Have a child or young adult who is up to 24 years of age (regardless of relationship status), and
  • Are within one year of release from custody.

The program is being provided virtually during the pandemic.  Services will begin to operate from our offices in Inglewood as possible based on public health safety.

To learn more or to find out how to get involved, please do the following:

Join us and become the best dad you can be!


girl & boy photo


When a parent is incarcerated, the child is separated from a primary source of security.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice report, since the war on drugs began in the 1980s the rate of children with incarcerated mothers has increased 100% and the rate of those with incarcerated fathers has increased more than 75%. The impact of parental incarceration commonly manifests in increased antisocial behaviors in their children, including severe depression and a greater potential for substance abuse, criminal activity and suicide. The Centers for Disease Control states that these children are more likely to drop out of school.

Friends Outside Los Angeles County is the longest-running and arguably the most cost-effective nonprofit organization serving area families impacted by incarceration.

An estimated 75,000 children in Los Angeles County have an incarcerated parent. But, the good news is that research shows that these children are more resistant to negative outcomes when there is a sustained bond between parent and child and a network for social and financial support.
Established in 1972, our multi-award-winning organization invests nine of every ten dollars directly into services (IRS Form 990, 2018). Each year, we serve approximately 300 children and their incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents to strengthen their bonds and their social and financial support. Our programs include the Incarcerated Parents Project, an after-school program, a family support group, and the Dads Back! Academy, which builds fatherhood skills and provides reentry employment assistance. 65% of the fathers we assisted through our recent U.S. Department of Labor grant obtained employment. Only 7% returned to prison.

Our services culminate each year with the Thomas Fleming Rhodes Memorial Holiday Party that the children love! I will never forget a comment from one smiling child who exclaimed to me, “This is the first fun thing I have done with my family this whole year!”

At Friends Outside Los Angeles County, caring is contagious. The more caring people who provide support, the more caring support we can provide to families, giving hurting children cause to smile.

Won’t you join our 2020 Care Team and make a generous donation now? We promise to honor how much you care, not just with a note of thanks and a periodic performance update, but also by responsibly managing every dollar to maximize your return on investment while putting smiles on the faces of these children. Thank you!

Mary Weaver
Executive Director

Happy Father’s Day:

Friends Outside in Los Angeles County is quite proud to be a partner of the Good+ Foundation, which was founded by Jessica Seinfeld to help get brand new and gently-used items to families that need them. The Foundation has prioritized programs that serve fathers and we are privileged to have been selected to be one of their partners through our program, the Dads Back! Academy which is located in Watts.

And, we are delighted that the Foundation selected one of our former clients (and now staff member) Marchell Hall to be featured in their latest publication, in celebration of Father’s Day!  To access this story, click here.


So proud of you, Marchell!

FOLA Receives S. Mark Taper Foundation Grant

Friends Outside in Los Angeles County (FOLA) is honored to announce receipt of a $50,000 general operating support grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. Grant funds will be used to update our Strategic Plan, increase board and staff capacity through trainings, and develop funding through social media.  According to its website, “The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.” 

We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for its generous support.