Every so often, we like to shine a spotlight on a partner organization that uses National Fatherhood Initiative’s® (NFI’s) evidence-based 24/7 Dad® program as part of a larger intervention. These spotlights provide a best practice example for anyone looking to enhance their work with fathers or to integrate a new component that will help them reach their organization’s mission more effectively.
One such partner, Every Parent Matters (EPM) in Dayton, Ohio, was founded in 2018 with a grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) to help fathers be more involved in their children’s mothers’ pregnancies, thereby lessening the chance of negative birth outcomes (e.g. infant mortality).
EPM is a partnership between Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County and Montgomery County. Their staff includes the Montgomery County Fatherhood Director, the Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County Men’s Health Supervisor, and three Community Health Advocates.
The Community Health Advocates conduct home visits with fathers and joint home visits with the mothers, and link fathers to community services (e.g. employment, child support, visitation, parenting classes, reentry from incarceration, education, and physical and mental health).
So, how does EPM inject 24/7 Dad® into Dayton-Montgomery County’s DNA?
EPM uses 24/7 Dad® with their fathers in three ways: 1) individual sessions; 2) group sessions; and 3) during monthly Fatherhood Clubs. Fathers complete sessions in-person and virtually via Zoom.
When I asked EPM staff to provide advice to other organizations on how to effectively integrate 24/7 Dad®, they said:
- Stay vigilant in looking for new referral sources. EPM has at least 10 referral sources that keep their caseloads full.
- Offer both virtual and in-person options. Home visiting is opening up in 2022, allowing EPM to go back into homes, and have in-person Fatherhood Clubs. Although in-person gatherings are now possible, EPM will continue to offer virtual options as a way to reach fathers who they would, otherwise, be unable to.
- Engage fathers with events and incentives. One example of how EPM combines these elements is the “We the Fathers…” banquet, which celebrates the community and donates tickets to fathers coming out of incarceration. The banquet provides a great opportunity to raise awareness of the 24/7 Dad®
EPM’s program model incorporates 24/7 Dad® as one component, that—when combined with home visits, links to community services, events, and classes—forms a powerful antidote to infant mortality and other negative birth outcomes in Dayton-Montgomery County.
24/7 Dad® can provide a powerful element in a larger intervention for you as well. For more details on it, check out the free 24/7 Dad® Program Information Sheet, and the free on-demand webinar All About 24/7 Dad® 3rdEdition.
To learn more about EPM and hear fathers share their stories, watch this video.
If you currently offer 24/7 Dad®, how does it compliment the other programs and services you provide? Is it fully integrated into a larger intervention?
If you don’t offer 24/7 Dad®, consider adding it to the other programs and services you provide.