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The Father Factor

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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.

Readers' Feedback on Effective Facilitation

In several blog posts during the past several weeks, I focused on three questions we ask during training institutes on our fatherhood programs:

  • What are the three (3) most vital characteristics of an effective fatherhood program facilitator?
  • What are the three (3) greatest challenges in helping dads to become the best dads they can be?
  • What are the three (3) most critical steps in preparing to effectively facilitate a fatherhood program? 

I asked for your answers to these questions as effective facilitation is central to running effective fatherhood programs.

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

A Unique Resource to Begin Healing Relationships Affected by a Father’s Incarceration

In case you hadn’t heard, NFI recently released a new resource entitled, Out of the Ashes: Where a Seed Finds Life. Out of the Ashes is a one-act spoken-word play written and performed by Coley Harris (the father) and Ahmarr Melton (the son). It leverages the power of story in a more intimate way than any film or documentary we’ve seen. The format draws the viewer in and focuses them in such that they are, in a word, mesmerized. The first time we watched it, by the end of the film, we knew it could be the basis for one of the most powerful resources we would ever release.

The Best Fundraising Book You Might Never Heard Of

Fundraising is one of the biggest challenges in starting and maintaining a fatherhood program. (Not to mention a challenge in running National Fatherhood Initiative®!) That's why you must read the following book. 

How Should You Prepare to Facilitate a Fatherhood Program?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “How do you set the stage so you can effectively facilitate a fatherhood program?”

Participants often don’t have a lot of answers. That’s because it’s easy to bypass preparation and launch headlong into facilitation. But proper preparation can make the difference between a session going well or going poorly.

The Dads You Might Not Serve, But Should

If your organization isn't serving working, resident dads, it should be. And especially when they lack a college degree or cohabit.

What’s the Greatest Challenge in Helping Dads?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “What is the greatest challenge in helping dads to be better dads?” Participants typically, and unfortunately, come up with a very long list. It isn’t always easy to help dads rise above and become the dads their children (and the mothers of their children) need them to be.

Colson Task Force Recommendations Show Value of NFI Resources

After a 12-month investigation, the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections established by Congress has issued a report with six recommendations for the federal corrections system designed to improve public safety, increase accountability of those in the criminal justice system, and reduce recidivism.

Although the recommendations focus on the federal corrections system, corrections systems at any level—federal, state, or local—would benefit from implementing them. (Congress named the task force in honor of the former federal prisoner and founder of the world’s largest prison ministry, Prison Fellowship.) 

What Makes for an Effective Facilitator?

We often ask the following question in training institutes on our fatherhood programs: “What are the characteristics of an effective facilitator?” You might or might not be surprised that participants have a lot of opinions, sometimes very strong ones.

A Father's Contact from Prison Made All the Difference to His Son

Last week we shared the story of Coley Harris, a previously incarcerated father dedicated to helping youth in his hometown of Wilmington, DE to develop meaning and direction in their lives. But what about Coley's son?

For 14 years, Ahmarr Melton knew that something wasn't quite right. Ahmarr grew up with his dad in prison until he was 16 years old. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common reality for many of our nation's children. Over 1.1 million incarcerated individuals are fathers of children between the ages of 0-17, and the number of children with an incarcerated father has risen 79% since 1991.

But the silver lining is that a father's absence (or in this case, incarceration) doesn't have to end badly for all involved. With commitment and determination, a father-son relationship can come out of the ashes, and become a seed that finds life. 

Earn Your Effective Facilitation Certificate™ from the Nation’s Leader

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Effective Facilitation Certificate™ Training (EFC), the second affordable, time saving, on-demand training from National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). I’m just as pumped about this certificate, as I was about the on-demand Father Engagement Certificate™ Training we launched last year which has been so wildly popular! Here’s why.

While Wilmington, DE has a High Rate of Father Absence, it Also Has One of the Best Fathers

Wilmington, DE has one of the nation's highest rates of father absence in our nation (65.5%), followed closely by Detroit, MI (63.3%), and Birmingham, AL (61.5%). That's why when we hear a father-son story of healing, reconciliation, and connection coming out of this town, we've got to proclaim it from the rooftops! (OK, maybe not the rooftops, but indulge me for a minute.) 

This story will forever change your perspective on father absence and incarceration. It demonstrates how a person - and a relationship - can come out of the ashes. That relationship is a seed that can find life with commitment and determination.

So let's go back to Wilmington, DE where the story begins with, “ I’m this 18-year-old drug dealer, and I’m stressed out of my mind worrying about myself, my future, my child, and these kids are looking up to me, because I’m the leader at this point.” 

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...

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

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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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