State agencies that seek to improve the well-being of children and families can struggle to effectively engage dads in the programs and services that they and their partners provide.
That's why we're thrilled to share the latest work NFI has done alongside The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).
Vital to any effort to engage dads are state agency leaders with the courage to challenge the status quo that leaves dads on the sidelines. These leaders commit to examine and implement changes to program and service delivery that weave the engagement of dads into the fabric of their agency’s culture.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has such leaders. They include those charged with some of the state's most critical family support programs, such as child support enforcement, access and visitation, early child care and education, child abuse prevention and early intervention, and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).
Secretary Phyllis Gilmore leads DCF. Watch the short video below as this courageous leader describes how DCF and NFI have partnered to launch the Kansas Fatherhood Initiative.
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The heart of this initiative is informed by two services NFI provided to DCF:
- The Father Engagement Experience™
- The Father-Readiness Network Assessment™
NFI facilitated the Father Engagement Experience™ with 20 agency leaders from across the state. This two-day strategic planning session kicked off the initiative. It helped the leaders create a customized Father Engagement Game Plan™, a visually based strategic action plan we delivered after the session that will guide DCF’s efforts to engage dads in the short-term and long-term. It also led to the formation of the “Fatherhood Initiative Group” (FIG). The FIG will hold agency staff accountable for following the plan and continue to coordinate the initiative’s efforts in programs and services across the agency.
NFI and DCF are now putting the pieces in place for the Father-Readiness Network Assessment™. It will assess the ability of DCF’s 37 offices across the state to effectively engage dads. The assessment will combine:
- The online version of NFI’s Father Friendly Check-Up™, a version unique to this service. Staff in each office will complete it.
- An analysis by NFI of the assessment results (e.g. by type of office and region of the state).
- Technical assistance from NFI on how to turn the results into additional actions DCF will implement statewide.
We look forward to continuing to work with DCF leaders to engage dads and improve the well-being of children in Kansas!
Has your agency or organization created an action plan to effectively engage dads?
Has your agency or organization assessed its ability to effectively engage dads?
Could your agency or organization benefit from the Father Engagement Experience™, Father-Readiness Network Assessment™, or both? (The beauty of both services is their “scalability.” NFI can apply them to an agency or organization [e.g. nonprofit] of any size that operates at a city, county, state, or national level.)