When most people think of National Fatherhood Initiative®’s (NFI’s) programs (e.g., 24/7 Dad®, InsideOut Dad®, and Understanding Dad™), they typically think of delivering those programs in a group setting. Did you know you can easily deliver an NFI program in a one-on-one setting?
In fact, the only modifications you have to make are:
- Changing plural references in the Session Guides to singular ones (e.g. “Dads” to “Dad” and “Their” to “His”), and
- Eliminating procedures that call for putting dads/moms in smaller groups or pairs.
You can still stick to the program’s structure and flow throughout each activity and session.
This is great news given the different situations where a one-on-one format enables implementing an NFI program with greater success. You might conduct home visits, for example, and want to integrate something specifically for dads into your home visiting model (e.g. Parents As Teachers, Head Start, Healthy Start, or Healthy Families America). Given home visits are conducted one family at a time, using an NFI program in a one-on-one setting gives you an effective way to provide a component specifically for dads.
You might also be a couple of sessions into offering a group-based program and have a dad who wants to join. You can facilitate those missing sessions with him one-on-one, then integrate him into the group before your next session. This is a great strategy to recruit dads who would’ve missed your enrollment window.
While there are only a couple of modifications to be made in a one-on-one delivery of an NFI program, here are some considerations that will further ensure successful sessions:
- A one-on-one session takes less time to deliver. Be prepared to move through the activities more quickly than with a group.
- Review experiential activities with an eye towards one-on-one delivery. While the activities adapt well when working with one dad/mom, the experience is different than facilitating the activities with a group. When it’s just you and the dad/mom, they won’t have the comfort of processing the activity among peers, which could make the dad/mom reluctant to participate. Be prepared to introduce the activity in ways that motivate the dad/mom to embrace it (e.g., sharing the activity’s benefits, sharing that you will participate with them, and showing enthusiasm/belief in the activity).
- Rely heavily on the Fathering or Mother’s Handbook. A one-on-one setting is ideal for using the handbook because you can use it as a medium for interacting with and generating feedback from the dad/mom. One disadvantage to this setting is that you won’t have other dads’/moms’ input that can make them think of things they wouldn’t otherwise. The handbook focuses on the most important content. Use it to ensure the dad/mom acquires the knowledge, attitudes, and skills in the program.
- Take good notes. When you journal your experiences delivering the program in a one-on-one setting, you’ll be able to review them and better prepare for the next time you deliver it in the same way.
Offering an NFI program one-on-one is a great way to recruit participants and ensure they don’t miss sessions critical to their successful completion of it. Whether you use this format as an ongoing interaction with one dad/mom or to keep them caught up in a group-based program, one-on-one delivery is a fantastic option to have available.
Now that you’re aware you can use an NFI program in a one-on-one setting, how can you use yours in this way to improve outcomes?
If you’re already delivering a program one-on-one, which of the considerations above could you focus on more?