Want to engage and educate fathers, but you're not sure where to start? We've got five ideas to jump-start your efforts, plus some recommended resources:
Focus Your Efforts. What kind of fathers do you want to engage? Before you implement a program, think about the fathers that may come to your organization, the types of families you serve, or the kind of fathers you're looking to serve. What are these fathers' interest points, and what barriers may they have for father involvement?
The answers to these questions will inform what kind of resources you use, and how you structure and market your programs. If you want to educate new dads, look for programs with practical child health and safety information, like Doctor Dad™. For engaging inmates, look at a reentry program, like InsideOut Dad™, designed to address inmates' unique barriers. Conducting home visits? Try a portable resource - like a Dad's Pack™ or the 24/7 Dad™ Interactive CD-ROM.
Assess Your Father-Friendliness. When fathers come to your organization, do they only see images of mothers? Are there any male staff members in your organization? Your father involvement efforts won't be successful unless fathers feel comfortable. Not sure how father-friendly your organization is? Take our Father-Friendly Check-Up™ for a customized evaluation and helpful recommendations.
Think About Sustainability. Funding is a key part of any father involvement program. Many organizations sustain their efforts through local, state, and federal grants. Click here for a review of our "Funding Your Fatherhood Program" Webinar and get ideas for program sustainability.
Start with a Kick-Off Event. Ready to get started? Hold a community-wide event to create exposure and excitement! Whether it is a family fun day, father-child activities, or a basketball tournament, an event will help you expand your reach and create excitement for your upcoming programs and efforts.
Partner with Other Organizations. Be creative and look for a variety of non-profit and for-profit partners that will help you increase your reach and provide valuable resources that you may not have on your own. You can use partners to create a referral network - have other organizations who aren't prepared to work with fathers refer them to you. Or, for-profit partners may be able to fund your efforts or help with promotion.
Looking for organizations in your area and want to network with other facilitators? Join our MyFatherhood Online Community! You'll have access to discussion boards where you can ask questions and connect with other facilitators across the country. Learn more.
If you want more ideas for your father involvement efforts, contact one of our experts below:
Consult with NFI's Program Support Team
We value building a trusted advisory relationship with your organization to help you reach your goals. If you are looking to consult on your fatherhood program or plans, our Program Support Team is here to assist. The Team's combined 30+ years' experience in the fatherhood field is an asset to your organization! Contact Program Support today at 240-912-1290 or by email at email@example.com.
Hear from NFI's Fatherhood Experts on our FREE FatherTopics™Technical Assistance Blog for Facilitators.
Mike Yudt Tim Red Ave Mulhern Jack Kammer