Part of what I do at NFI is talk to you! I like to check in to hear how things are going with your programs, see how we can help address pain points, and share good ideas. (Or as I like to say, “steal good stuff” so I can share it with others whenever I can!)
Last January I spoke to Dick Stedman at Richland Pregnancy Services of Mansfield, OH just after they started using NFI’s Fathering in 15™ resource. Dick runs the center’s fatherhood program and Dad-To-Dad Mentoring program, while his wife mentors the women that come to the center. Being over a year later, I decided to check back with him to see how it’s going, and to share some new innovations that other organizations are using to enhance their use of Fathering in 15™.
In case you aren’t familiar, Fathering in 15™ is NFI’s interactive, subscription-based, online tool that organizations can use to help build the skills of dads anytime, anywhere. Fathering in 15™ takes dads through 15 interactive and engaging topics, each in 15 minutes.
Recruiting Dads into the Program
The Richland Pregnancy Center uses Fathering in 15™ as part of a holistic approach to serving dads and moms. Each mom receives a resource packet that includes an information flyer for the dad. If dad is not with mom at the appointment, they ask mom to invite dad next time. To encourage her to do so, they often show her the Fathering in 15™ site, explain how it works, and encourage her to share the opportunity with dad. The moms get excited after seeing it, and often become great recruiters for dads to join the program!
When a dad becomes a client, Dick or one of the male mentors will work with him one-on-one. Part of the mentoring program is Fathering in 15™ and depending on the availability of the dad, they might complete some of the Fathering in 15™ sessions with their mentor, and some on their own. Because a high percentage of their clients have limited access to printing or other technology, Dick finds that having the Fathering in 15™ sessions printed out (via the PDF print option within the Fathering in 15™ site) to share with the dad is really helpful. The dads can make notes and reference them later when meeting with their mentor or for taking the post assessment.
Pre- and Post-Assessment
Dick requires the dads to conduct the optional pre- and post-assessment provided in the Fathering in 15™ resource. The dads are instructed to use Dick’s email address to complete the pre- and post-assessments so he can verify that they have accessed the program and have a good understanding of the concepts. Once they have completed all 15 topics and take the post-assessment, they receive a certificate of completion.
Rewards for Work
The dads are provided with a Dad Dollars account and 6 Dad Dollars are given just for signing up for the program. Once they have completed Fathering in 15™, the dads receive an additional 15 Dad Dollars. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but in their boutique at the center, dads can purchase a car seat for 6 Dad Dollars, while 15 Dad Dollars can buy 20 packs of diapers or a new or gently used crib!
To date, more than 2 dozen dads have completed Fathering in 15™ and there are a number of dads in the process now.
Partnering with the Community
A lot has happened in a year and more is happening in the future as this center becomes more intentional at expanding partnerships in the community. For example: a former school building close to public transportation is offering Richland Pregnancy Services a large classroom and room for a boutique so they can expand their mentoring program and classes. The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is also offering the use of a classroom, and will soon be offering a babysitting service to the parents in the community.
3 Ideas I shared with Dick at Richland Pregnancy Services to further improve their use of Fathering in 15™:
- While the Certificate of Completion for dads is located in the main menu on the Fathering in 15™ site, NFI can remove the ability to download the certificate of completion there and give certificate access to only the organization. To make this happen, Fathering in 15™ subscribers must make a special request to NFI and we’re happy to accommodate!
- Organizations that need to track the number of dads that are accessing Fathering in 15™ can use a google form (Microsoft offers a similar product) that is filled out by the dad before he is granted access to the actual Fathering in 15™ site. This is a simple form that can collect basic information such as dad’s name and email but helps the organization “track” dads' Fathering in 15™ access. This method does not track how many sessions the dads accessed or completed, but will help you see how many times the URL is being accessed and by whom (if it is always accessed in this manner).
- One faith-based organization created a worksheet of all the Fathering in 15™ session topics and listed scripture verses to go along with each session. If you would like to see this, please email me.
Do you have any innovative ideas to share on how you are using Fathering in 15™? We’d love to hear from you!
For more information on NFI’s Fathering in 15™ click here.