The Father Factor

Awesome Guide on Model Practices for Dads in Prisons and Jails

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Sep 3, 2019


When you have the nation’s leading evidence-based parenting program for incarcerated dads, you get excited when you find a resource to share that can make that program even more effective.

Whenever we train on InsideOut Dad®, we share best practices on how to implement it. At the top of that list is “implement InsideOut Dad® as part of a comprehensive set of cognitive-behavioral and other interventions that addresses all of dads’ needs.”

We’ve learned that for users of InsideOut Dad® to get the most mileage out of it, they must think carefully about how to meet the basic and other needs of dads that directly and indirectly affect their ability to parent effectively. (This fact, by the way, holds true for any of our other programs.)

That’s why I was pleased to learn about a new, comprehensive guide on model practices for working with incarcerated dads and moms published by the Urban Institute. The objective of Model Practices for Parents in Prisons and Jails: Reducing Barriers to Family Connections is to:

“…detail a set of practices that correctional administrators can implement to remove barriers that inhibit children from cultivating or maintaining relationships with their incarcerated parents during and immediately after incarceration. These practices also involve children’s co-parents and caregivers.”

The guide groups these practices into the following 10 categories:

  • model_practices_coverPartnership Building
  • Training and Core Competencies
  • Intake Assessment
  • Family Notification and Information Provision
  • Classes and Groups*
  • Visitor Lobbies
  • Visiting
  • Parent-Child Communication
  • Caregiver Support
  • Family-Focused Reentry

Although the authors wrote the guide for corrections administrators, it can inform the work of all corrections or non-corrections professionals who serve incarcerated dads. Changes in any organization can be spurred by proactive, caring insiders and outsiders with a passion for improving the well-being of children by helping their dads to become the best dads possible. If you serve or want to start serving incarcerated dads, I encourage you to download the report, read it, and share it.

How much do you know about model practices that help incarcerated dads build and maintain family connections?

Do you know when it’s best to use InsideOut Dad®, 24/7 Dad®, or both with incarcerated dads? If not, email or call us.

*This category contains guidance on selecting a parenting program. Its list of parenting programs includes InsideOut Dad® and 24/7 Dad®, another evidence-based program of National Fatherhood Initiative®. Depending on the corrections setting (e.g. time dads are incarcerated) and objectives of staff, we sometimes recommend the use of 24/7 Dad® rather than InsideOut Dad®. In some cases, we recommend the use of both programs.

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