The Lexington Leadership Foundation (LLF) is a long-time National Fatherhood Initiative® partner in Lexington, Kentucky. They’ve used our evidence-based 24:7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® programs for many years. They recently added our 24:7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jared Sloan who directs LLF's fatherhood program. In Part 2 of this two-part article, Jared describes their use of 24:7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop and how they integrate it with 24:7 Dad® in a unique way. (Click here to read Part 1 of this article which describes their use of 24:7 Dad®.)
If you’re interested in learning more about LLF’s fatherhood program in general and their use of NFI’s programs and other resources specifically, Jared will visit with you! Email him at jsloan[at]lexlf.org to schedule a meeting.
Christopher Brown, president, National Fatherhood Initiative®
Helping Dads in Lexington Navigate the “Gray Areas” of Fatherhood (Part 2)
Written by Jared Sloan, Lexington Leadership Foundation
National Fatherhood Initiative®’s (NFI’s) 24:7 Dad® Key Behaviors Workshop (KBW) is another valuable addition to the suite of services provided by the Lexington Leadership Foundation Fatherhood Initiative (LLFFI). Since 2021, LLFFI has used KBW to introduce men and fathers currently in treatment for substance abuse and misuse to responsible fatherhood concepts and practices. The overarching structure and cohesion of the seven-section workshop allows for reflection and dialogue within the group and with the facilitator. KBW allows for planning and goal-setting as well, giving room for fathers to take more ownership in their health, wellness, recovery, and relationships. The KBW Fathering Handbook serves well as a journal, with plenty of room for fathers to write in and reflect on how to apply the 12 key behaviors they learn. As a recent KBW participant stated in his post-workshop evaluation:
“I learned a lot and have already used some of the skills and tools that I learned in Fatherhood class in my marriage. It really helped. I have learned to manage my emotions, use critical thinking, situational awareness, listen, and I am more aware of my purpose.”
What Sets KBW Apart
Although not as intensive as NFI’s evidence-based 24:7 Dad® program, KBW serves as a welcomed introduction to fatherhood and parenting, especially for fathers not currently pursuing any kind of parenting education or community-based program required in their treatment plan. When facilitated in a friendly environment with snacks (of course!), comfortable seating, and most importantly, safety, KBW serves as a catalyst for deep and rich conversations about the impact of family history, relationships, child-rearing, and community on fathering. The situations that fathers face and the experiences they bring to the workshop are so unique and varied that finding common ground among them can seem impossible. What KBW does so well is meet fathers where they are, presenting information and 12 behaviors all fathers can apply.
Integrating KBW and 24:7 Dad®
One of the primary benefits we’ve found in using KBW is the ability to use it with dads who have and have not participated in the 24:7 Dad® program. When working with dads who have completed either our 24:7 Dad® program (or, for that matter, NFI’s evidence-based InsideOut Dad® program for incarcerated fathers, which we also use), KBW provides a refresher on the five characteristics of great fathers they learn in 24:7 Dad® and builds on them with the 12 key behaviors. When working with dads who haven’t been through 24:7 Dad®, KBW provides room to easily integrate content in 24:7 Dad® for an even more powerful experience. Section 5: Behaviors of Parenting Skills in KBW, for example, focuses on key behaviors of disciplining and nurturing children. We use the questions in the Welcome and Warm-Up activities from Session 7: Discipline and Session 8: Child Development in the A.M. version of 24:7 Dad® at the start of this KBW section to introduce the dads to the focus of the section and ease the dads into it. We also take dads through portions of some of the activities from those A.M. sessions, such as Styles of Discipline in Activity 7.2: Styles of Discipline. This approach creates an even richer discussion during KBW that fosters deeper learning.
A Final Word
Overall, the flexibility and clarity of content, and its relevance for diverse dads, makes KBW a logical choice for fathers and organizations that don’t have the time or capacity to complete or run a more intensive program. As long as you facilitate the workshop’s sections and conversations generated during them with compassion and empathy, and root them in truth, KBW can serve as the right springboard to launch fathers into their next chapter of responsive, nurturing, and healthy fatherhood.