BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Children quite naturally look to their parents for guidance.
"There are a lot of lessons that I learned, a lot of things that if I would've learned as a child from a man, I could've made better decisions in my life," said Levar Robinson founder of Fathers On a Mission.
Making sure children get the support they need on a consistent basis is the purpose of the group Fathers On a Mission also known as F.O.A.M and this community-wide event to enhance fatherhood and keep kids off the street and on the path to success.
"Through the mistakes that I've made in my life, I wanted to make sure to do what I could to share with other father's things that we need to share with our kids to make sure they're successful," Robinson said.
Sunday afternoon, the second annual "Ties That Bind: Celebrating Fathers and Children" was held at the Jewel J. Newman Community Center in Baton Rouge.
The event was sponsored by F.O.A.M and S.A.V.E Baton Rouge Youth Prayer Movement.
"It's instrumental that men be a part of this community," said Patricia Gail with S.A.V.E BR.
"If we can't get the heart of a child, we can never get their mind," said participant Reggie Morgan. "We need to do these types of events, so we can get the heart of the children."
"Control, choices, consequences. Faith and family, first," said Chief Murphy Paul with the Baton Rouge Police Department. "If we can remember that, then that's a start."
Chief Paul says decreasing the crime rate and improving the father/child connection goes hand in hand. He believes those teachings start at home, hoping to bring back the old adage 'it takes a village.'
"When we come together as a community and realize that we all play a role in this when we get back to that place where as a community we're raising our youth. I think that's when we're going to start seeing a change in some of this crime," the chief said.
Dozens of fathers agree with the chief's sentiment, offering advice to anyone out there attempting to establish that father-figure role.
"Just being there and have a listening ear," said father of two, Dayton Womack. "You are the first people they see. When they get out in the world they're going to have other people teaching them and if we're teaching them the way they need to know, then they know the difference between right and wrong," he said.
"No matter what happens in life, even if you're with the mother or not, always be there for your children," said Shedrick Fields. "That's the most important thing, out of everything."