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BOONE — Each year, many people become parents for the first time and may struggle with the life changes that come with a child.

An upcoming group from the Children’s Council of Watauga County aims to support new fathers and partners by providing resources and a safe place. According to Sophie Rudisill of the Children’s Council, the idea for the group came from members of a different support group.

“Over the years, I have had many participants reach out about support for their spouses and partners,” Rudisill said. “We realized that biological mothers, adoptive mothers and transgender and non-binary birth parents have a supportive space through my group. However, fathers and partners, who also go through the challenges that a new baby brings, didn’t have a space of their own to get the support they need and deserve.”

Rudisill added that the goal is to not only provide that safe, supportive place for group members, but also provide an “atmosphere in which to celebrate the milestones and navigate the challenges a new family member brings.”

“We want to encourage members to create a space comfortable enough to share skills and tips and learn from each other,” Rudisill said. “We are also hoping to use this time to collect ideas and information about what this group would need to be helpful, as we aim to have this become an ongoing group in the community. In the future, we also hope to bring in local experts to address topics that participants are wanting to learn more about.”

The first meeting of the group will be Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. The group is free and participants can register by emailing Rudisill at sophierudisill@thechildrenscouncil.org.

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