One of the primary challenges faced by non-custodial fathers is how to effectively navigate the child support system. Research shows that when these fathers consistently pay their child support that their involvement in the lives of their children increases.
March 19, 2013
There’s an old saying about starting on a path to achieving an objective: just put one foot in front of the other. Sage advice to be sure, but it doesn’t tell you much about the direction in which you should head. For all you know, it could lead you to walk off the edge of a cliff. If you want to start or grow a fatherhood program, it’s vital that you know what to do first so that you head in the right direction.
1. Conduct a Needs and Assets Assessment of Your Community. You need to understand the “fatherhood landscape” in your community—the rate of father absence, the gaps in services for fathers, the programs for fathers (and the kinds of fathers they serve), etc.—before you can select a group of fathers to serve or who could also benefit from the program you already offer.
December 18, 2012
Sustainability planning and execution of that plan is the most important investment for any social service agency or non-profit organization looking to effectively engage fathers, mothers, and the community around responsible fatherhood. Planning is not as “sexy” as starting up a new program for dads, but it is the groundwork that makes the sexy programming possible...and sustainable.
All too often I’ve seen the disruption (or elimination) of fatherhood services in communities because the larger agencies where the fatherhood services were offered didn’t weave this work into the fabric of their organizational culture. I’ve seen grant writers miss opportunities to write fatherhood resources into proposals that focus on broader issues, but clearly have a father factor involved. I’ve seen executive staff give up trying to hire male staff prematurely. There have been missed opportunities because staff have not formally mapped community assets or looked seriously at the father-friendliness of the agency’s physical environment.