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The Father Factor

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Ryan Sanders

Ryan is Director of Marketing and Communications at National Fatherhood Initiative. He is married with two young daughters and lives in Northern Virginia.
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Recent Posts

Spotlight > The Teen Dad Experience (Odessa, Texas)

One of the most common questions we get about fatherhood programming is, "Do you have anything to help teen dads?"

Our answer is yes! Yes, we do. It's called 24/7 Dad® and in this post, you will see how one coordinator is using the curriculum to help teen dads in his area. 

Confessions of a Volunteer Co-Facilitator > The Importance of Fathers

What's it like to serve fathers? Glad you asked. I recently applied with my county government to be a "volunteer co-facilitator". After four years of working at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), I decided to volunteer in my county. After applying (and passing my background check—yay!), I'll spend the next 12+ weeks with 15+ dads sitting in on a program called 24/7 Dad®.

I will share my thoughts along the way. For fatherhood program facilitators, I'll offer tips on running a successful program. For volunteers, I hope to inspire you to get involved with a program or start one in your city. Let's do this...

Six Steps to Implementing an Evidence-Based Program

This post originally appeared at Child Trends blog.

Governments, schools, foundations, and nonprofit organizations fund programs to improve outcomes for children and youth, so it is important that these programs actually achieve their desired outcomes. Just as in medicine, it is imperative to invest in evidence-based programs and practices. Whether it is an after-school program for youth, a teen pregnancy prevention program, or a mentoring program, success can depend on how well the program is implemented.

Free Webinar > FRPN to Host Webinar on Measuring Economic Security Outcomes in Fatherhood Programs

On Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. EST, the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) will host a free webinar for fatherhood practitioners and researchers. Learn more information and register in this post...

We Have a Winning Pledge! Announcing 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® Pledge

A few weeks ago, we asked 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® program participants and facilitators to submit an optional pledge that fathers participating in these programs could recite before or after each session.

We received a variety of unique and inspiring pledges. So many in fact, that while we selected a winner, the final pledge we present to you combines the very best of the "heart and soul" of many of the submissions we received.

Read on to learn the final pledge and the fatherhood facilitator who submitted it.

Free Webinar > How Father Friendly is Your Organization?

Ever wonder how father friendly your organization is? It's time you find out! You can with our Father Friendly Check-Up™. This free webinar is a great opportunity for you to examine and assess your organization's father friendliness by looking at the 8 pillars of leadership that affect father involvement in your programs—for free! 

Spotlight > Buckner Project Helps Fathers Become Better Dads in Texas

Child abuse, teen pregnancy, substance abuse...these are some of the risk factors you face when you live in Gregg County, Texas. Now, I'm not bashing Gregg County. Please understand that Gregg County is just like most counties in the United States. Yes, they're ranked third-highest in the state for these risk factors, but they're doing something different. 

As you read this post, ask yourself: What about my county? What is being done to connect fathers to families? This post is an example of how one group is helping fathers learn the skills they need to be good husbands and dads. 

Let's put the spotlight where it belongs, on the great work in Gregg County with the Buckner Project and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

7 MORE Facts from Father Facts 7 [Free Resource]

Father Facts 7 (FF7) is the go-to resource if you're interested in promoting responsible fatherhood. These vital statistics on father absence are helping thousands of fatherhood leaders and organizations across the country. 

When we released Father Facts 7, we offered seven (7) shareable images featuring statistics on the impact of father absence and involvement. The response has been astounding. So we decided to make more images for you to share. 

5 Ways to Be a Great Dad During Tough Times

Let’s be honest, Miracles from Heaven is a wild story. We watch a mom (Jennifer Garner) and dad (Martin Henderson) in desperation with their sick child (Kylie Rogers). Mom and dad are powerless. But through the difficulties, we see an example of, not a perfect family, but a strong family. 

At NFI, we see father absence daily. Whether dad is fighting drug addiction, joblessness, or with his spouse, men sometimes deal with tough times in unhealthy ways. Tough times often place great strain on families. Throughout Anna's illness in this film, Kevin and Christy are examples of strength, even in weakness.

What can you do as a dad to maintain focus, strength and sanity during a tough season? This movie reminds me that when it comes to fatherhood…you won't have all the answers and you can’t fix everything...but you can be there...and that's enough.

Announcing Call for Submissions > 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® Pledges

According to Merriam Webster, a pledge is a serious promise or agreement; something that you leave with another person as a way to show that you will keep your promise. As fatherhood practitioners, isn't that what we hope for the dads we serve? That they pledge to being an involved father after learning they are irreplaceable in their children's lives?

Research shows that when individuals make a commitment - and make it publicly - they are more likely to remain committed. So here's where you come in: imagine dads across the country saying a pledge you wrote before their weekly 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® session or at their graduation ceremony.

Intrigued? Read on for how to submit a pledge to be used by organizations across the nation running our 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® programs.

The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad

There are good dads and then there are average dads. I talk to fatherhood leaders daily and often ask them what their biggest challenge is facing the dads they serve.

You can imagine the varied responses. Money...sure. Relationships...of course. Addictions...yes. But, often leaders say their dads struggle with "time to connect with their child".

This answer is well-meaning; and I understand it. Dads are busy. Everyone feels busy. But, if a dads biggest challenge is spending time with his kids, time probably isn't his problem.

Here's the question: Do the dads you serve know the difference between an average dad and a good dad?

Hint: His answer depends on how well he handles these seven habits...

Four Fatherhood Lessons from America's Founding Father

General, Commander-in-Chief, First President of the United States...these are some of the titles of America's Founding Father, George Washington. I recently reviewed history related to Mr. Washington, and was reminded of what made him such an influential leader.

No matter how you feel about Mr. Washington's rise to power, there is no doubt of his ability to influence others. In this post, I explore what made Washington an influential leader and how these leadership lessons should inspire us to be more influential with our families.

Use these lessons for yourself or share them with the dads around you. Here we go...

3 Ways To Make Your Marriage Better By Tonight

It's National Marriage Week and considering I've been married over 12 years, I've learned a thing or two. Okay, I've learned three things. Now, I don't write this post as the perfect husband, just ask my wife. But, you don't have to be perfect to know a thing or two or three about what works and what doesn't. 

Whether you're reading this and you're married, or you work with fathers and families who are currenting struggling through relationship issues, here are three things worth doing (or sharing with the married folks in your circle) today to make an impact on the marriage—not months from now—but by tonight.

Spotlight > 24/7 Dad® Launches in Iowa, Shows Recruitment "Must Haves" [Video]

With all eyes on Iowa this week for the presidential caucuses, we have our eyes on a fatherhood program in Northern Iowa who's doing more than shaking hands and taking pictures with babies. Jeremey Simerson, the program facilitator, shows by example how to get dads in the door to your program...

8 Ways an Involved Father Helps His Child

Father absence has many negative consequences for children, which is why we, at NFI, often often talk about The Father Absence Crisis in America. But, what about the benefits of an involved dad? Well, we definitely focus on that, too. 

Time and again, practitioners have told us that they would like a tool they can share with their clients (both moms and dads) that focuses on the benefits of an involved father. In this post, I'll show you eight ways an involved father helps his child, and get you up close and personal with our newest brochure entitled The Importance of an Involved FatherSide note: We think every leader reading this post should have this brochure in their office to help fathers and families!

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Free eBook > 5 Questions Every 24/7 Dad Asks

This eBook helps you answer the five important questions around being a great dad.

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