I would like to introduce you to Timmy Morgan, aka Tim, a Fatherhood Coordinator with BCFS Health & Human Service Healthy Start Tyler, and a long-time facilitator of National Fatherhood Initiative®'s (NFI’s) 24/7 Dad® program.
Tim – a native Texan and ordained minister – has served in many realms of the social services. Since 1986, Tim has served as a youth pastor, Foster Care Case Manager, Mental Health Case Manager and Supervisor, Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigator, Probation and Parole Officer, and was one of the first, in-home parent educators. This collection of life and career experiences has uniquely prepared him for his current role as Fatherhood Coordinator at Healthy Start. In all these former encounters, Tim sees the absent father connection to the social issues these agencies try to unravel.
Now – in his current role with new and expectant families – father involvement is a key predictor of the mom’s maternal health and the child’s health outcomes as shown in these infographics.
A dad to 4 sons himself, Tim is committed to helping dads become more involved in the lives of their children and families. He wants to help dads leave a positive legacy for their children and family that will continue for future generations.
I asked Tim why 24/7 Dad® has been his “go-to” curriculum throughout his various roles of service and he said:
“I believe that 24/7 Dad® is the most comprehensive material for dads that is available. I love that it deals first with the individual dad and his well-being from learning about his own emotions and how to deal with them, his mental and physical health, and how to communicate effectively before it even starts on "parenting". Through my years of using 24/7 Dad®, I have seen hundreds of men's lives changed by the curriculum of 24/7 Dad®. I am a true believer of 24/7 Dad®.”
Here are some things that Tim learned about implementing 24/7 Dad®:
- In the home visiting program, moms are recruited and get involved. While dads are contacted, many don’t initially respond. Tim makes an extra effort to connect and finds younger dads are more interested in breaking the cycle of father absence in his family.
- Getting dads to commit to a 12-week program is a consistent challenge. Tim addresses this by meeting with them outside the home – whether in a smokey diner on a Saturday morning or taking a recently disabled – very discouraged – dad to a job fair to encourage and garner hope for his situation.
- Dads become responsive when they know that you care about them, invest time with them, and that you are sincere and passionate about this work and this program.
- Since COVID hit, much of Tim’s work is done in a one-on-one setting, but he knows from experience that when dads meet in a group – after just a few sessions – the men develop strong bonds. They start to support and encourage one another, boosting the outcomes of the program.
- Not one to sit and wait for dads, Tim goes into the community with the local Public Health Worker and reaches out to the local WIC offices, laundromats, barber shops, and even Dollar General. If they see a pregnant woman, they invite her to check out the Healthy Start services and ask her to invite the dad.
- Tim knows that dads are more likely to attend the full program if they are mandated or if other agencies (CPS, Child Support, Courts, etc.) recommend they attend. So, Tim took his 24/7 Dad® Fathering Handbook and presented the program to those types of agencies at a Lunch & Learn. And, guess what? They loved it! CPS even found him a place to hold the classes for the court-ordered dads. Then they connected Tim to the local judge and he did the same meeting with judges, the county and client attorneys, and the D.A. They were all in too! Now Tim went from having no dads for the program to waiting lists for the program!
- So here is where NFI’s online, on-demand program – Fathering in 15™ (F15) comes in. When a group of 12 dads is signed up and waiting for the class, Tim will text each dad the URL for F15 and then go over the pre-survey and the first topic. He tells them this is the preface for the 24/7 Dad® program and he refers to F15 as his “waiting room” for dads who will be attending the 24/7 Dad® program.
Now I can’t wait to follow up with Tim to see how these tactics continue to engage and equip dads!
NFI offers many tools to help you and your agency serve dads, including our Free Learning Center, our Father Facts Infographics and statistics to share, or taking our Father Friendly Check-Up™ to see how well your agency has integrated fatherhood into your organization’s culture.
Wait! Want to learn more?
Check out our courses and programs like:
- 24/7 Dad® evidence-based programs.
- Fathering in 15™ the interactive online resource for dads
- 24/7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop a one-day workshop
- Resources for Moms
- Spanish Resources
- Father Engagement Academy
We have whatever you need to engage the fathers and families in your community.
NFI can help at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 301-948-0599.
What are you waiting for?