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The Father Factor


Father Facts 7: How Involved Fathers Benefit Mothers

Involved fathers benefit the entire family including mothers. 

Father Facts 7A recent study, for example, found that paternal involvement during pregnancy was shown to positively influence health outcomes for the mother, child, and father.

New parents described how attending ultra-sound appointments together strengthened their relationship. Mothers found the father’s presence soothing and reassuring during the pregnancy. Mothers also cited the father as the best source of support during the nine months.

As described in one of the new sections in National Fatherhood Initiative’s Father Facts 7, mothers receive a number of benefits when fathers are involved with their children. These benefits include

  • more leisure time,
  • a healthier birth,
  • lower rates of postpartum depression, depression and stress generally,
  • and a higher quality mother-father relationship.

Interestingly, the likelihood of a mother remarrying (potentially good for her well-being) is higher when the non-resident father is involved in the lives of her children. 

To learn more about how involved fathers benefit mothers, and to access the research and data, purchase and download Father Facts 7 today.

Father Facts 7

The Buzz Around the Father Engagement Certificate™

National Fatherhood Initiative’s® (NFI’s) new on demand Father Engagement Certificate™ (FEC) training has created quite a buzz. More than 100 individuals across the country who work with fathers in all kinds of settings have registered to get their certificate – many of them already have it. 

NFI launched our FEC training in May of this year, and we have already received an amazing response from individuals who have taken it, representing community action agencies, military departments, correctional facilities, Head Start and Early Head Start organizations, and child welfare agencies.

I was excited to hear that over 125 individuals have already received their certificates and have started to take their fatherhood work to the next level. FEC participants have shared how the training has helped their organizations address key challenges around father-friendliness, program design, recruitment and retention, involving moms, and fundraising.

Here are a few comments from FEC participants:

  • “I thought it was very well structured -- i.e., the 5 distinct sessions, the 4 areas of focus laid out in session 1, etc. -- very cohesive. I think this is a real how-to curriculum.”
  • “The variety of topics were helpful and the background/detailed information helped me (who is a lower level employee instead of a manager).”
  • “[I liked] how well thought out the program was -- great material and ideas from multiple angles.”
  • “[The training] was convenient to schedule when [I was] available. [I found the] referral to the book ‘Switch’ by Chip and Dan Heath [helpful]. I obtained the book at my local library and have gained much wisdom about the process of change. Thank you!”

Additional feedback from FEC participants shows that 94% would recommend the FEC to other fatherhood practitioners.

I am excited to hear from so many who have shared how valuable the FEC has been to their fatherhood work and look forward to hearing more stories related to the application of FEC strategies.

Are you an FEC graduate? If not, learn more here. If so, let us know how you like the training and how you are using it today in the comment section of this post.

The Father Factor Blog

Father Facts 7: The Impact of Incarceration on Father Absence

Incarceration makes a significant contribution to father absence. Indeed, it is a cause of father absence. Nearly 2 million children have a parent in jail or prison. More than 9 in 10 parents in prison are fathers (93%).

Father Facts 7As described in one of the new sections in National Fatherhood Initiative’s Father Facts 7, 1 in 28 children in the United States have an incarcerated parent.

The number of incarcerated fathers has dramatically increased over the past 30 years, leaving children to be raised without their biological father, which creates additional challenges for parents and children.

The number of children with an incarcerated father has risen 79% since 1991. Children with incarcerated fathers are at higher risks of antisocial behavior.

When compared to children of absentee, but not incarcerated fathers, children with incarcerated fathers showed more aggressive and inattentive behaviors.

To learn more about the impact of incarceration on father absence, and to access the research and data, purchase and download Father Facts 7 today.

Father Facts 7

How to Shift the Mindset of Incarcerated Fathers

I knew there was something special about the Noble Correctional Institution (Caldwell, Ohio) the moment that I walked through the door. I was greeted immediately by Burl Lemon, President of Forever Dads, who oversees the InsideOut Dad® program at the facility. Mr. Lemon shared how men are not just going to do their time, they are also going to shift their mindset, and fatherhood is the key to accomplishing that goal.

I was then greeted by the Warden, Tim Buchanan, who told me that “fatherhood is one of the first things that inmates are spoken to about as soon as they get off of the bus. I’ve recognized that fatherhood is a straight path to their souls.”

Noble Corrections Program

Mr. Buchanan has a team of fatherhood champions who are equally passionate about engaging men around fatherhood. They help facilitate a number of fatherhood and parenting programs.

These programs include: InsideOut Dad®, Responsibilities As a Man (RAM), Fathers of Change, Family Ties, and TYRO Dads. They also offer a special annual event called “Celebrating Fatherhood” where inmates’ children come into the facility and spend time with their fathers. This event requires that participating fathers remain “ticket-free” (e.g. no conduct reports). Mr. Buchanan says this type of incentive-driven event has had a strong impact on reducing the number of tickets. They now have 1,600 men per year without a single ticket!

The InsideOut Dad® program is central to their work with fathers. More than 500 fathers have completed the program since 2009. They currently run 8 groups and have an InsideOut Dad® Alumni Organization for fathers who have completed the program. The Alumni Organization meets weekly to coordinate fundraisers, complete community service projects, and facilitate several of the InsideOut Dad® groups.

I was fortunate to meet many of these men from the Alumni Organization. They shared powerful stories of how InsideOut Dad® helped them become better men and fathers. One father shared how the program helped him re-establish the relationship with his daughter, with whom he had lost contact because of his drug addiction. He applied what he learned during the program to begin the reconciliation process. He proudly showed me a letter from his daughter that expressed a deep love and appreciation for the changes he made. He said this development would not have happened without InsideOut Dad®.

The treasurer of the Alumni Organization reinforced why the program has such an impact on participants when he said, “The men all have a lot of trust in the program, and it provides them with encouragement for the future along with tips to build a healthier future.”

I was energized when I left the facility (donning my new Forever Dads hat, which I’m proudly wearing in the group photo), knowing that so many families and communities are being transformed one father at a time through the great work at the Noble Correctional Institution.


Want to help incarcerated fathers? Volunteer to lead dads. You can get started by downloading the free sample of InsideOut Dad®.

InsideOut Dad® is the nation's only evidence-based fatherhood program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers. Please consider volunteering to help connect father to family.


The Father Factor Blog

Father Facts 7 is Here, Ready to Help You

The next edition of Father Facts is here! Father Facts 7 continues the tradition of National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) providing the most comprehensive resource on research on father absence and involvement.

Father Facts 7I'm very excited about Father Facts 7 because it includes nearly 200 new studies (197, to be exact). That’s a lot of new studies since we published Father Facts 6 in 2011. It also contains 14 new chapters and sections! They include state level data on father absence (which compliments the national data Father Facts has always included), the impact of father involvement on women's/mother's well-being, the societal costs of father absence, the biological connection between fathers and children, grandfathers raising grandchildren, and so much more.

In addition to all the latest research and data and the new chapters and sections, here is what you’ll find in the Father Facts 7 that takes this resource to an even more helpful level: 

  • An introduction to each section that describes its relevance—why it’s important.
  • A summary of the research and data in each section and subsection that describes what we know and don’t know about the subject/topic of the section or subsection. You don’t have to read every entry and decide what the research and data indicate.
  • Research and data are organized in descending chronological order so it’s easy to find the most recent research and data.
  • The electronic format is easy to search for the topics, research, and data you need. It also makes it easy to cut and paste research and data—and even the summaries—into research papers, proposals, presentations, emails, etc.

It’s also more convenient to acquire! Just purchase it here, receive the link to download it, and you’ll have it in no time.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone who helped NFI create this new edition. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Jay Fagan of Temple University, one of the country's leading researchers on father involvement, and three of his graduate students—Jessica DeMarchis, Adina Freedman, and Mollie Cherson—to identify studies and data, published since our last edition in 2010, that increase our understanding of just how important fathers are to families, children, and our country. Their contribution was enormous, and I can't thank them enough.

Have you downloaded the sample? Get the sample here or visit here for purchasing. Please tell us what you think about this helpful resource and how it will help you in the comments of this post.

Father Facts 7

Dads Hold Key to Reducing Child Poverty

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

The presence of married fathers in children's lives remains the most vital factor in reducing child poverty. Here's why.

Dads Hold Key to Reducing Child Poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau just released its report on income and poverty for 2014. The good news or bad news, depending on your perspective, is the overall rate for adults and children living in poverty did not change, from a statistically significant perspective, compared to 2013. In 2014, 13.5 percent of people aged 18 to 64 (26.5 million) were in poverty compared with 10.0 percent of people aged 65 and older (4.6 million) and 21.1 percent of children under age 18 (15.5 million). Children represented 23.3 percent of the total population and 33.3 percent of the people in poverty. It's disturbing that children represent more than a third of the people in poverty, especially because they have no control over their economic situation.

Because this proportion of the population in poverty includes all children regardless of family status, it's necessary to dig deeper into the data to reveal why fathers remain key to reducing child poverty. Fortunately, the Census Bureau digs that deeply. The bureau's analyses of the data reveal that: 

  • Children in father-absent homes experienced poverty at more than four times the rate of children in married-parent homes.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 children in father-absent homes (46.5 percent) were in poverty compared to only 1 in 10 children (10.6 percent) in married-parent homes.
  • The picture is worse for the youngest children. More than 1 in 2 children under age six in father-absent homes (55.1 percent) were in poverty.

These disturbing, depressing numbers show that the mere presence of more married fathers in children's lives will, from a population-based perspective, reduce child poverty. 

The only effective, long-term solution to increasing the proportion of children growing up with their married parents is to change cultural norms on the importance of living in a married-parent home for child well-being. The federal government has, with bipartisan support, tried to help by funding healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs. But no matter how successful these programs might be or eventually become in helping the children, parents and families they serve, they can't possibly serve enough people to affect the kind of culture change necessary to move the needle. Besides, the level of funding for this effort is minimal as it must compete for dollars with the many other and, frankly, important functions of government, such as funding the social safety net, infrastructure, education and research that are vital to create the vibrant economy in which all families can thrive. As a result, these programs, though important, have only scaled to a level that help some children and families at the highest risk for poverty.

Unfortunately, cultural norms on the importance of children growing up in a married-parent home have been headed in the wrong direction for years. Marriage among the young (age 18 to 32 years) has dropped like a stone during the last four generations, from 65 percent of people in the Silent Generation to 26 percent of Millennials. Moreover, a quarter of all adults age 25 or older have never been married, an all-time high. When they do marry, the average age at first marriage is also at an all-time high of 29.3 for men and 27.0 for women.

As a consequence of these and other trends, a higher proportion of children than ever are born to parents who aren't married. The unfortunate fact is we don't have the cultural will to reverse course. Too many people now see the purpose of marriage as one in which personal fulfillment is paramount and the primary if not sole role of marriage. Marriage has become about "me" and not "we" or "us," as in "family." While it is important that people feel fulfilled in marriage, the problem is far too many of us have separated marriage from its function of providing the ideal environment in which to raise healthy children and, thus, deny its impact on child well-being to the extent that we focus only on personal well-being. 

Can we do anything to reverse course? There is a vigorous debate about whether we should give up and say bye-bye to marriage, if not altogether at least to the importance of it as a vital institution. As I've written elsewhere, we can't give up on marriage. We must start by looking at it in a different way -- not as a zero-sum game between whether its role is personal fulfillment or to raise healthy children, but as an institution that can and should fulfill both roles.

The Father Factor Blog This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

How Training on NFI Programs Helps Organizations be Creative and Effective

I’m constantly amazed at how much our training can help organizations implement our programs in creative, effective ways. Here is one example...

Community Action of Central Texas (San Marcos, TX) recently purchased the 24/7 Dad® A.M. and P.M. programs for use with Head Start and Early Head Start families and as part of the statewide Texas Home Visiting Program. In addition to taking part in the Texas Home Visiting Program, Community Action serves more than 500 children through its Head Start and Early Head Start efforts in two central Texas counties immediately south of Austin.

I recently conducted a two-day training institute for Community Action on NFI’s 24/7 Dad® programs. It was one of the most challenging institutes I’ve conducted because of how much I had to customize it to help Community Action to, in turn, integrate them into their home visiting, Head Start, and Early Head Start efforts. Community Action will implement the program for use in a group-based setting—the specific setting for which NFI designed it—but will also use some of the activities in the program in a home-based setting in which staff will work with dads one-on-one.

Because no two organizations are alike, our staff doesn’t assume that every organization needs exactly the same training institute. Sure, we have a standard training institute for each program that serves as the foundation for every training institute on that program. Nevertheless, we talk with an organization’s staff about their plans for implementing the program before we finalize the content for each training institute. This approach ensures each organization can implement the program as effectively as possible. 

If an organization plans to implement one of our programs exactly as we designed it to be implemented, we don’t have to customize the training institute much, if at all. In the case of Community Action, however, I worked with Father Engagement Specialist David Bryant and Family/Staff Involvement and Development Director Edith Rivera—both of whom have responsibility for overseeing Community Action’s fatherhood efforts—to customize a significant portion of the training institute that involves practice facilitating the program. (Our two-day training institutes emphasize practice facilitation.)

The reason for this level of customization is David and Edith plan to not only run the programs with groups of fathers, staff that are home visitors will use activities from the A.M. and P.M. programs in their one-on-one work with dads during home visits. (David, Edith, the home visitors, and the home visitors’ supervisors attended the training institute.) The beauty of the programs is their flexibility, including the ability to use them in one-on-one settings. The challenge in those cases, however, is picking which parts of the programs to use and exactly how to modify those parts for the specific one-on-one setting associated with an organization’s fatherhood efforts (e.g. case management within an office setting or working with a dad or couple during a home visit).

Because Community Action had not yet determined exactly which parts of the programs to use and how to use them, I recommended to David and Edith that they practice facilitating a couple of sessions (as co-facilitators given that they’ll co-facilitate the group sessions) and pairs of home visitors select parts of the program they thought would be ideal for use during a home visit and role play delivering those parts during a home visit (i.e. one of the home visitors played the part of the home visitor and the other the part of the dad). David and Edith agreed with this approach, but, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. I had no idea whether the approach would work, let alone whether it would help Community Action get started on how to use the programs during home visits. 

Fortunately, the approach worked extremely well. The staff did a fantastic job selecting parts of the programs to use and how to modify them. Some parts required no modification while others required some creative modifications. Because David and Edith were scheduled to meet with the home visitors in the weeks after the training institute to select additional parts of the programs to use, they were off to a great start. The role plays had the effect of helping staff start the process of selecting which parts of the programs to use and how to modify them given the goals of the home visiting program (e.g. covering specific content, such as child discipline) and their knowledge of their one-on-one setting (e.g. how much time they could expect to spend with a dad). They also generated excitement among the home visitors about the potential of the program to help them help families in a new, creative way, thus creating buy-in from staff critical to the effectiveness of the programs.

I’m pleased to report that Community Action has kicked off their fatherhood program with an event attended by some of the families they serve. Check out some of the photos from the event...

I can’t wait to see how their fatherhood program increases the involvement of dads in the lives of their children. This experience was gratifying for me because of the way in which David and Edith helped me understand their needs so I could deliver a valuable training. Moreover, we now have this experience under our belt to use with other organizations that want to use the 24/7 Dad® programs in a one-on-one setting.

If you use or plan to use one of NFI’s programs, I encourage you to consider bringing in one of our staff to deliver a training institute, especially if you use or plan to use them in a unique setting and in novel ways. I also recommend a training institute even if you plan to use one of our programs in the conventional manner. You’ll be glad you did.

Do you use or plan to use an NFI program? Have you received training on the program you use or plan to use?

We have several upcoming trainings, please visit our Training Institutes Page for more information.
  The Father Factor Blog

How to Raise a Human or a Vampire

I enjoyed the first Hotel Transylvania movie as much as my daughters. The monsters crack me up. They're back with a second round of monster fun in Hotel Transylvania 2. In screening this film, I laughed out loud at the comedy between parents and grandparents. Watching this movie reminded me of two areas I want my daughters to know are important as little humans.

hotel transylvania 2

We talk a lot at NFI about the vital role a dad plays in his child's life. We know the Father Absence Crisis in America is real because we see its affect every day. We see the challenges a child faces growing up in a father-absent home—from education and health, to crime and incarceration.

It's important to know the research on father absence. Equally as important is the example we set as involved, responsible, and committed dads. 

In Hotel Transylvania 2 (HT2), we don't see an absent father, thankfully. We see Drac, a caring, present father (voiced by Adam Sandler) and the relationship with his daughter, Mavis. Yes, Drac is protective. But, as dads, we just call being protective love! 

In HT2, Drac’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed. He has opened his doors to human guests. But, Drac is worried that his half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. 

So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with her human husband, Johnny (voiced by Andy Samberg), Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. Drac has five days to "scare the fangs" out of Dennis to prove he's a vampire. 

hotel transylvania 2

Watching Drac try several things to "scare the fangs" out of Dennis made me think about what I want my daughters to know in order to be grow into adults. My oldest daughter recently reminded me she will be 18 and her sister will be 16 in ten years. Can you say scary?

With this in mind, I feel a renewed sense of urgency to teach my girls what's really important. These things are my idea of "scaring the fangs" out of them. Work with me here.  I want my daughters to see me set an example, showing them that education and health are a priority.

The Importance of Education

I want my girls to know, and see by example, that education is important. What does this look like? My daughter is in elementary school and her teacher has told her to read 20 minutes per day. At home, I need to this by reading books and being a person who cares about learning.

Whether it's teaching your little vampire to fly, as in the case of Drac, or instilling the importance of education into your little one. We know from experience and the research tells us, without an involved dad, a child is two times more likely to drop out of high school. Education is important. Hopefully, my daughters see this in the home. At NFI, we think one of dad's chief roles is to teach. This assumes you will constantly be learning about how to parent better, how to communicate well, care for yourself, and learning relationship skills. Doing these things will set the example for your child and set them up for success.

The Importance of Health

Health can mean mental and physical here. If you have a problem with your mental health, it will show up in your body. Likewise, if you have a problem with the health of your body, it will affect your mind and how you see the world. Research tells us that fathers and their example of health is vital to the health of their child. The child of a dad who is obese is two times more likely to suffer obesity.

Think about that. If you, dad, are obese, your child probably will be. The opposite must be true. If you are fit, your child is more likely to be fit. I can't think of a better reason to be on guard with my health and fitness. My kids are watching me. Your kids are watching you.

There's a funny scene in HT2 where Dennis' mom, Mavis, packed him an avocado to eat. An avocado as snack doesn't seem to register to Drac just like it may not with your own parents. This scene reminded me how far we've come in terms of diet from our parents' and grandparents' generation to today.

Without getting mired in the whole diet debate, consider the following baseline questions related to health so as to keep yourself in check and set the proper example for your child:

  • Do you workout at least weekly? Do you have an "active" lifestyle?
  • How are your eating habits?
  • How much sleep did you get last night? Is that typical? Is it enough sleep?
  • Would your child describe you as "happy"? Your answer is telling either way!
  • What does your house look like? Full of clutter or nice and neat?
  • Do you leave work at work?
  • Do you volunteer on some level to help others? How often?
  • Do you have a hobby? When's the last time you enjoyed your hobby?

These are just a few questions we ask dads in our programs. Answering them will give you personal insight into your level of stress and reveal your overall health. I want my daughters to understand the importance of health. They are more likely to do this if their dad is leading by example.

So, whether you're raising a human or a vampire, if they live with the example that education and health are important and have an involved, responsible and committed dad in these areas, they will likely succeed—or at the least—not turn into monsters.  

Click here to get the Sneak Peek of Hotel Transylvania 2. In theaters September 25th. Follow Hotel Transylvania 2 online, on facebook and on twitter.

Hotel Transylvania 2 has been rated PG by the MPAA for the following reasons: some scary images, action, and rude humor. It's in theaters September 25th.

The Father Factor Blog

Spotlight > Fighting for Fathers in Mobile, Alabama (Video)

Fighting crime and the high incarceration rates takes leaders who are willing to fight for fathers. In Mobile, Alabama, they have the answer to crime and incarceration...teach dads how to be better dads. In this post, watch how several inmate fathers in Mobile County Health Department's Fatherhood Initiative Program are learning how to connect to their families.

The father absence crisis in America is real. The crisis of Fathers Behind Bars is real too. The stats for fathers behind bars are:

  • 2.7 million children have a parent in prison or jail.
  • Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers. 
  • 650,000+ ex-offenders are released from prison every year.
  • Two-thirds of ex-offenders, or 429,000, will likely re-offend within three (3) years.

Christopher Sasser (seen in the video below) is one of several inmates taking part in Mobile County Health Department's Fatherhood Initiative Program. It's the first time our InsideOut Dad® Program has been used in the metro jail. 

mobile county metro jail

"I didn't have a father. I met my father and three days later he died," says Sasser. 

InsideOut Dad® is designed to break the cycle and put the father back in a child's life.

Can't view the video? Watch here.

"It's more likely if the father is missing that child is going to be incarcerated, have problems in school...this (InsideOut Dad®) is all about rehabilitation and helping someone get back on point." —Harold Jones, Outreach Educator

Please watch the video and consider how you can help fathers connect to their family today.



Whether you work in corrections or are interested in volunteeting to teach dads, download the free sample > InsideOut Dad®

InsideOut Dad® is the nation's only evidence-based fatherhood program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers. Please consider volunteering to help connect father to family.

The Father Factor Blog

Free Webinar > Cutting Edge Tips on Running an Exceptional Fatherhood Program

We have awesome news. We have a great opportunity for you to get technical assistance—for free! Learn the newest tips for starting and running an exceptional fatherhood program.


Here are the details:

Who > Join NFI President Christopher A. Brown as he shares how to apply the latest behavioral science research in practical ways to help you design, market, and implement an exceptional fatherhood program.

What > Free Webinar on "Cutting Edge Tips for Running an Exceptional Fatherhood Program"

Date > September 17th, 2015

Time > 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT

Where & How > It's online and it's free! 


In this free webinar, you will learn the following >

Chris will cover six distinct areas of research and what those areas of research say about human behavior.

Chris will share

  • practical tips on how you can apply the knowledge you will gain to program design (e.g. how to structure a fatherhood program);
  • recruiting fathers into programs and retaining their participation; and
  • becoming a more effective practitioner regardless of whether you work one-on-one with fathers (e.g. as a case manager) or with groups of fathers (e.g. as a facilitator of a fatherhood program). 

Click here to register for this free webinar.

The Father Factor Blog

Faith-Based Fatherhood Spotlight > Pastor and His Dad Serve Fathers in Kentucky Jail

David Kibler is senior pastor at Catalyst Christian Church. He has found a way to combine two of his passions—parenting and ministry. He created fatherhood classes at the Jessamine County Detention Center and is helping connect fathers to families—even when the fathers are behind bars.

55ddcf6541b67.imageWriting for The Jessamine Journal, Amelia Orwick brought Pastor Kibler's great work to our attention. In her column, she discusses how InsideOut Dad®, our curriculum that works to bridge the gap between incarcerated fathers and their children, is helping connect incarcerated fathers to their families. The following post comes mostly from Amelia's article. We recommend you read her full article here

“If we’re not going to carry the gospel to dark places then what are we doing?” Kibler asked. “One of the darkest places in Jessamine County is the jail.”

In June, Kibler and his own father wrapped up their first session in Jessamine County, after getting their start at the Fayette County Detention Center through the Lexington Leadership Foundation in 2013. They are the first father-son teaching duo in the area, Kibler said.

What's a typical class look like? 10 inmates usually attend one class per week for a 12-week period. In Jessamine County, however, inmates attended two classes per week for six weeks.

“They all love their kids,” Kibler said. “They just don’t know how to be dads.”

A father of four, Kibler has no problem teaching the men about character building, discipline, co-parenting and childhood development.

“Most of these guys don’t have dads,” Kibler said. “To see a grown man and his grown father working together, it’s been a really neat example for them.”

“Most of these guys don’t have dads." —Pastor Kibler

Kibler, who has taught almost 10 sessions alongside his father, also enjoys the familial experience, he said.

“It’s really cool when your dad jumps in on something you’re passionate about,” Kibler said. “ ... We just have a great time.”

By improving relationships, InsideOut Dad® lowers recidivism rates at the detention centers where it is in place. On average, about 70 percent of addicts return to jail. But for men who have completed the program, that number is only 35 percent, Kibler said.

“It’s effective, it’s proven and it’s faith based,” Kibler said. “It’s a fantastic program.”

Implementing the program was the beginning of a push for more rehabilitative programs at the detention center, said Jon Sallee, Jessamine County jailer.

“I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we’re going to be able to do at the jail,” Sallee said.

The feedback from inmates who participated in the first session was overwhelmingly positive, he added.

“They all really enjoyed the program and learned a lot. Hopefully they’ll use those tools when they get out,” Sallee said. “ ... They can come out and be with their families, be more productive, be more understanding.”

Kibler remains in touch with many who have completed the program via Facebook, he said. Others have joined Catalyst Christian Church and given their testimony.

“(Catalyst) celebrates the prison mission,” Kibler said. “ ... The support I get from my church is amazing.”

Kibler said he also makes himself an “ongoing resource” by offering free marriage counseling and wedding services to the men who go on to marry the mothers of their children.

“I really like these guys. They’re my friends,” Kibler said. “We spend a lot of time together.”

The program is offered to inmates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Kibler has grown as a minister and a father since becoming involved with InsideOut Dad, he said.

“My favorite time of the week is 10:30 on Sunday morning at Catalyst,” Kibler said. “My second favorite time is 9 o’clock on Tuesday mornings at the (detention center).”

Nice work Pastor Kibler, Catalyst Church, and the jail in Kentucky! Keep up the great work of serving fathers and families in your community!


This post spotlights our InsideOut Dad Christian™ resource. Whether you work in corrections, are faith-based, or simply want to volunteer leading dads in your community, learn more and download free samples of our popular InsideOut Dad® Programs here


The Father Factor Blog

Spotlight > Washington State Dept of Corrections Teaches Fathers from Prison [Video]

I often complain about all that's broken with America's "corrections" system. But, after seeing this video, I know one correctional officer living up to the title. Imagine a uniformed correctional officer getting off work, changing into his normal street clothes, and then volunteering to teach dads how to be better dads from prison. That's who you will meet in this post. Read and watch how Washington State Department of Corrections is connecting father to family.

Screen_Shot_2015-08-24_at_3.32.58_PMYou know about the father absence crisis in America and you know a big part of this crisis is Fathers Behind Bars, but here's a few reminders:

  • There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail.
  • Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers. 
  • 650,000+ ex-offenders are released from prison every year.
  • Two-thirds of ex-offenders, or 429,000, will likely re-offend within three (3) years.

This problem is one the Department of Corrections in Washington State is addressing. On any given evening, you'll find dads meeting to talk fatherhood and family.

"There's no facilitators. There's no students. What it is is 16 participants trying to become better dads and learning about ourselves." —Joseph Nunan (Correctional Officer, Washington State Penitentiary)

Can't view the video? Watch here.

Derrick Jones, an offender in the Washington State Penitentiary says of the Inside Out Dad® Program:

Primarily, the program is really geared toward men learning to communicate. Really, learning how to communicate with our children, learning how to communicate with ourselves, reflect back on our past, and try to understand why I think the way that I think.

The InsideOut Dad® Program is offered at several prisons in Washington State. The goal of the program is to offer the skills that fathers in prison need to help connect them to their children and families—both while in prison and once released.

We are encouraged by Officer Nunan and what he has to say:  

What the program does is to let the inmates know why they're there, to make them understand what happened to them to get there, and to be able to say you've got things to offer to your children. 

Can you imagine the sense of purpose this can give to father behind bars? To understand that he matters. That he can correct mistakes made in life. That he can work to restore what may be broken in his family or with his child.

The video shows John Radzikowski, a volunteer, explain the importance of having a program like InsideOut Dad® for inmates:

The prison culture itself does not allow for men to talk about their children in an intimate way. What this has done is we can together collectively to talk about our parenting, and not only our parenting skills, but also if we had parents in our own lives. And what that led to is dealing with issues of the heart.

In the West Complex, the correctional officers who volunteer for InsideOut Dad® come in plain clothes, during non-work hours, and they volunteer their time to help these dads become better fathers.

Officer Nunan says of the program:

We can see a direct correlation between this course and the inmate attitudes on the outside of this course...There's a positivity in there (during a program session) that I never expected. And it's something that should be harnessed and encouraged to grow.

We agree with you, Officer Nunan. This program should be encouraged to grow!



Whether you work in corrections or would like to volunteer leading dads to be better dads, you can download the free sample > InsideOut Dad®

InsideOut Dad® is the nation's only evidence-based fatherhood program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers. Please consider volunteering to help connect father to family.

The Father Factor Blog

Upcoming Free Webinar from FRPN > Engaging Mothers & Improving Coparenting in Fatherhood Programs

On Tuesday, September 22 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. EST, the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) will host their third learning community webinar for fatherhood practitioners and researchers. Find more information in this post.


NFI is committed to helping you help dads. NFI's president Christopher A. Brown serves on the FRPN steering committee and as you may have seen on this blog, we post updates from this research network periodically. 

Here's a quick reminder about theFatherhood Research & Practice Network (FRPN)...

The FRPN seeks to:

  • Promote rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs.
  • Expand the number of researchers and practitioners collaborating to evaluate these programs.
  • Disseminate information that leads to effective fatherhood practice and evaluation research.

The FRPN will host a webinar called "Engaging Mothers in Fatherhood Programs and Improving Coparenting Among Unmarried Parents" 

Key topics to be discussed in this free webinar will include:

  • Why mother engagement is important for fatherhood programs.
  • Why mothers may be reluctant to participate in fatherhood programs and successful strategies to engage them.
  • Coparenting interventions and curricula.
  • Addressing domestic violence and safety.
  • Current research on coparenting.
  • Relevant outcomes and measurement.
  • Moving the coparenting field forward.
Register for the FRPN Engaging Mothers and Improving Coparenting Among Unmarried Parents webinar here.

The Father Factor Blog

How To Fund Your Fatherhood Program

We often get requests from fatherhood leaders looking for funding. We understand you want to do all you can to help fathers and families in your community. We also know organizational budgets are tight and funding can be difficult to secure. Maybe you're looking to secure funding or seeking fresh ideas. In our experience of working with program leaders, we've found several ways to find funds—that leaders often don't think about. Be sure you're taking advantage of what's out there related to funding your fatherhood program.

Funding from Your Own Budget

We know, we know. Your budget is maxed out. But, what doesn't get planned doesn't get done. So, the first and best option to consider is how you can find funding within your own organizational budget.

Consider pulling a small amount of money from a program(s) that are not as successful as expected, or from a budget where, with some shrewd planning, costs could be reduced, and that extra funding be shifted to investing in low-cost fatherhood resources to augment your services. (And, when you have the opportunity to plan budgets for the next fiscal year, be sure to include fatherhood in your planning, and earmark funds for fatherhood skill-building resources, just as you would for other handouts/brochures for other types of clients you serve.)

In case you haven't seen, NFI offers affordable skill-building resources that you can start using in your day-to-day activities with a small budget and little to no staff time. For example, NFI’s brochures ($17.99 for a 50 pack) and pocket guides with tips for dads and new dads ($12.99 for a 5 pack) are easy, low-intensity ways to begin by adding some fatherhood materials to your offerings. Providing materials that are specifically father focused is an easy, budget-friendly way to begin.

If you're eager to start a more robust, high-intensity fatherhood program with funding from your own budget, NFI offers complete fatherhood program kits that allow you to begin your fatherhood program for as little at $600 or less with no formal facilitator training required. This “out-of-the-box” approach means that NFI’s complete program kits come with a facilitator’s manual, CD/DVD, and at least 10 fathering handbooks for your class attendees; all you need to budget for is the ongoing handbook costs (approximately $9 per dad, per class.) No formal training is required for your facilitators because of the easy to follow program format and facilitator tips within the facilitator’s manual. (Note: NFI offers formal curriculum training for facilitators if desired.) Think about whom in your organization could lead a fatherhood group, or seek volunteers to step into this role.

Another programming alternative could be investing in one of NFI’s medium intensity workshops kits that cover a variety of topics. For example, The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad® Workshop is an 8-hour workshop you can run for fathers that combines the fundamental fathering principles from National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad® programs with FranklinCovey®'s timeless 7 Habits. The 7 Habits program costs as little as $379 to begin, plus the cost of additional handbooks for dads who attend. Or, consider the popular Doctor Dad® Workshops, which allow you to choose from four child health and safety topics to equip dads with practical skills they need to care for their children: The Safe Child, The Injured Child, The Sick Child, and the Well Child. You can simply run one or all four workshops, for as little as $79 per workshops (or get all four for $239 including starter handbooks.)

Whichever level you choose, providing father-specific, skill-building materials at some level is a step in the right direction.

Funding from Outside Sources

Funding from outside sources is an option that your organization may want to pursue – in addition to starting fatherhood work on a smaller scale using funds from your own budget. With some planning you may be able to find an outside funding source that will provide for all aspects of your work with fathers.

From training your fatherhood program facilitators, to providing funding to sustain your program (staff stipends, ongoing fathering handbook costs, and other materials needed to run fatherhood program classes), outside funding could open doors for your fatherhood program you may have never imagined. And, you may be able to serve even more fathers than you ever thought possible.

There are several routes your organization may want to explore in seeking outside funding:

  • Individuals
  • Foundations
  • Corporations
  • Local, State & Federal Government
  • Special Events/Fundraisers

Here are websites you can research funding opportunities. 

Federal Grant Resources

  • > A federal site that aggregates all federal grant opportunities. You can search for grants currently being offered and access grant writing resources.
  • Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circulars > Provide direction on federal budgeting and expensing for nonprofits, education institutions and state, local and Indian Tribe governments.

Foundation / Grant Funding

  • Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grants > With these grants coming to an end, the Administration has proposed a more comprehensive Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund as a successor initiative.
  • Foundation Center > A subscription-based website that offers research on foundations, including family foundations and other tools for grant seekers.
  • Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence > Search for all types of grants.
  • The Grant Station > An online funding resource for organizations seeking grants throughout the world.  Providing access to a comprehensive online database of grant makers, as well as other valuable tools, GrantStation can help your organization make smarter, better-informed fundraising decisions. 
  • The Grantsmanship Center > Offers a variety of training such as The Grantsmanship Training Program, Earned Income Strategies and Competing for Federal Grants.
  • Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) > Provides a range of training programs and webinars to help you raise money from your community.  Additionally, they offer articles and subscription based services to aid in your fundraising efforts. 

Question > What would you add to this list?
Are there ways you've found funding that could help other fatherhood leaders?

Please note we cover the details of funding your fatherhood program in our Father Engagement Certificate Training. We have five total sessions in our training. The first four sessions cover foundational information, program design, recruitment and retention, and involving moms. In the fifth session we cover...

FEC_training_logoFundraising: How to Develop a Funding Plan for a Fatherhood Program
We help you think through how you will fund your fatherhood program and the importance of a Fund Development Plan. You will learn about the nuances of raising funds from individuals and foundations, as well as how to profile, research, select, and engage different types of funders/funding streams. Thinking through your funding options will help you prepare to launch a successful - and sustainable - fatherhood program.

The Father Factor Blog

Netflix's New Parental Leave Policy Lacks Teeth

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

While we should applaud Netflix's recent announcement of paid parental leave of up to one year for moms and dads after the birth or adoption of a child, it lacks the teeth and innovation necessary to encourage dads to take full advantage of this progressive policy and for Netflix to reap its full potential.

Netflix's policy is good for dads, families and our country. It sends a strong message in a country that's far behind others in providing paid parental leave, especially to dads. It recognizes that dads:

  • Spend more time than ever in the daily care of their children.
  • Provide more care to their children after they return to work when they the take more time off from work after the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Are more conflicted than moms in their attempt to balance work and family.
  • Are more likely than moms to scale back at home when they experience family demands and work overload.

Perhaps most important, it recognizes that more involved dads increase the well-being of children, mothers, families and communities.

Netflix's policy is also good for Netflix. Many dads fear taking advantage of parental leave and other work-family benefits. Despite these fears, when dads balance work and family, they are more productive employees who advance farther and faster in their careers. Involved dads--especially Millennial dads--are less fearful of the impact of balancing work and family. They demand jobs that provide paid parental leave. This demand from the newest dads is why it's no surprise that tech companies like Netflix lead the way in providing paid parental leave.

The challenge for Netflix is how to encourage dads to take full advantage of this policy. Dads are not moms. They require efforts that speak specifically to them--that meet their needs and wants as dads broadly and within the context of work-family balance. Dads are much less likely than moms to take parental leave. While 90 percent of dads in the U.S. take some time off from work, most of them take a week or less off.

To help their dads and the company, Netflix must give the policy the teeth it needs. Netflix must proactively encourage dads to take time off. Nothing in Netflix's announcement--or other commentary on the potential challenges of successfully implementing this policy--suggests that it is anything but a passive one. It lacks innovative tactics--any tactics, for that matter--that will give it a better chance to hold value and succeed with dads. This failure to recognize the need for an innovative, proactive effort to encourage dads to take full advantage of the policy is somewhat surprising given that Netflix is synonymous with innovation and the testing of tactics and approaches that disrupted and transformed how Americans consume movies and television shows.

Netflix must develop a campaign for dads that it constantly tests and refines (e.g. using a Lean Startup approach). The campaign must include, at a minimum:

  • Messages for dads, delivered through multiple internal channels and with enough frequency to be effective, that address the fears some dads may have about taking full advantage of the policy, such as it might hurt their career prospects or their job duties will suffer in their absence. These messages must include a value proposition that resonates specifically with dads.
  • Resources that educate dads (before and after the birth or adoption) about how to be involved dads, such as referrals to websites, brochures and other print materials, and on-site workshops/seminars that provide fathering education.
  • Ways to measure the impact of the policy on dads. Netflix must track the impact of the policy, such as the rate at which dads use the policy at all and, if so, how much leave they take. Netflix must analyze the data in a way that identifies the kinds of dads who do and don't take advantage of it using demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics. Netflix must also gather qualitative feedback from dads on the impact of the policy and on the effectiveness of the campaign.

Netflix must also involve dads in shaping the campaign and delivering elements of it. The company should, for example, consider forming an interdepartmental team of dads at different levels of the company to help develop and evaluate potential tactics. It should use dads who work at Netflix as spokespersons to deliver messages that contain the value proposition.

Netflix must approach this effort from the consumer-based mindset that has led to so much of its success. The dads who work at Netflix are, after all, the consumers of its policies. Dads have different needs than moms when it comes to being parents and balancing work and family. They deserve the same dedication to the effective use by dads of this policy that their company makes to create the algorithms that meet the entertainment tastes of its diverse external customers.

The Father Factor Blog This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

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