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The Father Factor

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Christopher A. Brown

Chris is President of National Fatherhood Initiative. He is married to Kayla, has two teenage daughters and lives in Texas.
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Recent Posts

President's Proposed 2017 Budget Maintains Level of Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Funding

President Obama's proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget maintains funding for fatherhood and healthy marriage grants at $150 million. That's good news for community-based organizations across the country that have committed to improving child well-being by starting or expanding their programs to include serving fathers.

Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Supporting Families

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

With the focus during this presidential race on Obamacare, immigration reform, terrorism, and the economy, it's not surprising that the leading Republican and Democratic candidates have had little to say about what they would do to support strong families. Moreover, the media haven't been particularly interested in what the candidates would do once elected to build and maintain what is arguably the most important institution in American culture.

What the NFL Can Teach You About Fatherhood Programming

As we wind down another NFL season and get ready to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl, there's a vital lesson for efforts to implement fatherhood programs. The lesson comes from an unlikely source: the link between the salaries made by NFL players and their play time. Does that link seem odd? Stay with me for a moment.

Spotlight > An Amazing Gift from 10 Dads in Prison

Recently, 10 graduates of the InsideOut Dad® program made an amazing, unexpected gift of $86 to help National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) pursue its mission. Receiving it is one of the greatest joys I’ve received in my time with NFI.

Research to Application: Planning Prompts

Sometimes the simplest changes can have a big impact. Such is the case with planning prompts, which involve prompting people to plan when they’ll follow through on and engage in a beneficial behavior.

Why Involving Fathers in Child Welfare Cases is a Matter of Ethics

Involving fathers in child welfare cases is a matter of ethics for child welfare workers, so say researchers who recently completed a study of fathers involved with the child welfare system in the San Francisco Bay area. National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) can help workers meet this ethical challenge.

The study involved focus groups with 37 fathers that concluded child welfare workers had difficulty connecting with fathers because of the different cultural backgrounds of workers and fathers. The study also concluded that female workers in particular had difficulty relating to fathers because of their different gender and fathers' socioeconomic status (i.e. fathers' disenfranchised status).

RFP for Second Round of Evaluation Funding from FRPN

The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) will soon release its second request for proposals (RFP) for evaluations of fatherhood programs. (I sit on the FRPN's advisory committee.) If you want to rigorously evaluate your fatherhood program, I encourage you to partner with a researcher and consider applying. Here are the details:

The Need for More Mom-Focused Prison Programs

Recent data reveal that we need more relationship-focused programs for incarcerated mothers.

How to Raise a Resilient Child

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

The discussion today around parenting often centers on "helicopter parents," those parents who hover over every aspect of their children's lives to such an extent that they organize and monitor every minute of their children's lives. As a result, their children have little or no space to explore the world on their own and learn how to effectively navigate life's challenges from one of life's great teachers -- learning from failure.

4 New, Free, Easy-to-Use Assessment and Evaluation Tools

The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) recently released four free, easy-to-use assessment and evaluation tools for use in assessing fathers' involvement in the lives of their children or with any intervention designed to increase father involvement. (I sit on the FRPN's advisory committee.) They include tools that measure:

  • Father-child contact
  • Fathers' decision-making responsibility
  • Fathers' engagement with children at different ages (four versions based on the age of a child)
  • Fathers' challenges to involvement

Members of the FRPN research team developed the tools based on interviews they conducted in several states with a large sample of 650 nonresidential fathers. 

How to Raise a Charitable Child

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

What's the secret to raising a charitable child? It's simple. Talk to them about charitable giving.

Please Help NFI Provide Free Education and Resources

As you consider the charities to support by the end of the year, please consider donating to National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). 

This Dad Energizes Halloween for Kids in Wheelchairs

Some dads are, in a word, awesome! And then there are some dads who take awesome to another level. 

Two Supports Lacking for U.S.Children in Poverty

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

The effects of father absence and the poverty that results from it are exacerbated by two supports lacking in the U.S. -- the lack of extended family and the dismal spending by the federal government on family-benefit programs.

Father Facts 7 > State Rates of Father Absence

Do you know the rate of father absence in your state? If you live in one of the two or three most populous cities in your state, do you know the rate in your city?

The Father Factor Blog > Where Fatherhood Leaders Go To Learn.

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