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The Father Factor


Stunning Evaluation Shows Impact of 24/7 Dad® on Reducing Chance of Child Abuse and Neglect

The Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the University of Texas at Austin just published a report on their independent evaluation of National Fatherhood Initiative’s 24/7 Dad® program that shows the positive impact of the program on reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.

What Dads Need to Know to Reenter their Children's Lives


We’re all working toward more involved, engaged fathers for every child. And hopefully, there are more and more dads in communities across our nation grasping their importance and becoming more proactive in fathering their children.

But what happens when dad actually latches on to this idea and has renewed inspiration to be more involved? Then what? Can he just jump right back into his children’s lives? Should they in turn accept him back without question?

Former NFI President Roland Warren recently wrote a blog on Patheos titled 3 Things a Father Must Do to Fix a Communication Problem with a Child. In it, are nuggets of gold for fathers who are ready to reconnect with their child(ren).

[Video] How to Tell Whether Staff Know Your Organization’s Purpose in Serving Dads

Do you know your organization’s purpose in serving dads?

Before you read any further, take a moment to write your answer to that question.

If you struggled to answer, don’t fret. Employees in any organization can struggle to understand the purpose of a specific aspect of their organization (e.g. a service) or the organization as a whole (i.e. its mission)—unless, of course, the organization has a system in place that frequently reinforces purpose in its employees. Alas, many organizations don't.

This post can help.

Maternal Gatekeeping & Why It Matters for Children

The Greeks believed that to enter Hades after death, a person had to cross the River Styx. A payment to the boatman Charon was required to cross the river. Charon was a gatekeeper to the Greek underworld.

A gatekeeper is someone who supervises and maintains boundaries for a person or place. Someone who acts as a gatekeeper of a secured building, for example, monitors the access to this building and makes sure that only authorized or legitimate persons are allowed in. The gatekeeper’s job is to make certain no one enters who will act in ways that hurt the members inside the building, increase the likelihood of a theft, or gain access to information to which they have no right.

Gatekeeping is not always designed to protect people against those who would threaten or hurt them. The courts and public buildings are not the only places gatekeeping occurs. Sometimes people engage in gatekeeping because they believe it is part of their job (as a parent, for example) to look out for a child whom they feel or know can’t protect himself or herself. Gatekeeping thus applies to childcare and the fact that a vital role of parents is to supervise others’ access to their children. One objective of a parent is to allow “in” people who are good influences in the child’s life and keep “out” people who might be harmful.

The 4 Main Ways NFI Measures Impact

It’s easy in life to fail to see the forest for the trees. We can get so caught in the daily aspects of life that we fail to step back and reflect on our lives and the impact we have on others. That’s why all of us need to establish some habit, ritual, or process—such as meditation, prayer, or a walk in the neighborhood—that helps us—indeed that forces us—to reflect frequently. 

That expression and the need to establish a habit of reflection apply to organizations as well.

7 Things You Can Suggest to Dads to Connect with Their Kids

It's likely that the dads you serve have many issues to address in their lives to become more stable, productive, and involved fathers. But often times, dads think they need to do something "big" to connect with their children, when most of the time, it's the little things that add up. 

And, as we always say, children spell love T-I-M-E.

Think about the interactions you have with fathers. Do you give them small steps or ideas they can use to connect with their children daily? 

In this post, I'll share 7 easy things you can share with dads to help them connect with their kids, along with a unique, free resource that helps dads connect with their children by sharing their "favorite things".

How Another Home-Visiting Program Benefits from the Flexibility of 24/7 Dad®

Home-visiting programs continue to reap the benefits of the evidence-based 24/7 Dad® program’s flexibility.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Bornhoft of Child Development Resources (CDR) in Williamsburg, Virginia. Amy is Director of Training for CDR. Part of her role is to oversee the CDR’s home-visiting program that uses the evidence-based Parents as Teachers (PAT) home-visiting model as its foundation.

How Organizations Are Benefiting From Our Father Engagement Experience™

The Father Engagement Experience™ (FEE) has helped many organizations develop concise, accountable plans that address their unique organizational culture, challenges, and resources.

This two-day, in-person strategic planning session facilitated by National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) uses a structured process (e.g. storyboards, Pure Form Thinking, and multi-voting) to help organizations establish goals and identify father-engagement strategies. NFI facilitators further assist by providing insight and recommendations drawn from 23 years of experience partnering with thousands of organizations.

Wise Words From a Program Like Yours: Nurturing Father Engagement

There's a new, compelling video in town that provides tremendous insight into today’s human service environments, and the specific ways we need to be including dads in family services. 

It's titled "Dad's Rock!" and is brought to us by The Children's Bureau featuring The Children’s Trust of Massachusetts and People, Incorporated located in Fall River, MA.

Research indicates children have increased positive outcomes when dads are involved, and yet all too often, agencies struggle to attract fathers to their services, and fathers face unconscious bias that keeps them at arms' length. The professionals in the video share that men do in fact want to be good dads, but they need groups and encouragement to help them through difficult times rather than being excluded. 

Watch this video and hear what these practitioners have to say in "Dad's Rock! Nurturing Father Engagement."

Has Father Absence Gotten Better or Worse?


That’s right. For the past two decades, the proportion of children who grow up without a biological, step, or adoptive dad has remained stable at 27.5 percent.

Fatherhood Resources As Simple as the "Easy Button"

Sometimes we just need things to be simple. Staples really hit the nail on the head when they launched their campaign featuring the "easy button". 

We all know that you can't truly hit an "easy button" and have things magically appear, but the idea that Staples could get your office supplies to you quickly and easily gave us a good feeling about working with them.

Along the same lines, NFI created resource bundles that contain a collection of resources for working with dads and moms that basically let you "hit the easy button". 

And the best news is that we have a brand new resource bundle that really makes things easy for working with Spanish-speaking dads.

Let me explain.

The One Resource Grayson County Detention Center Uses to Open Dads' Hearts and Minds to Group-Based Fatherhood Programs

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I regularly interview staff and volunteers in organizations that use National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) programs and other resources. These interviews often provide insight into creative uses of our programs and resources that I share in this blog to help organizations become even more effective in serving dads.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Morris Basham. Morris facilitates InsideOut Dad®—NFI’s evidence-based program for incarcerated fathers—at the Grayson County Detention Center, a facility in Leitchfield, Kentucky that houses federal and state inmates.

What Dads Without a College Degree Need to Land Good-Paying Jobs

If you listen only to the political rhetoric about the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs in the U.S., you’d think our nation faces a crisis of historic proportion, especially for workers without a Bachelor’s Degree.

4 Essential Things to Remember when Developing Fatherhood Programs for Latino Fathers

Before you read the rest of this article, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do most Latino fathers speak English or Spanish?
  • Are most Latino fathers immigrants or U.S. born?
  • Are most Latino fathers married or single?
  • What's the proportion of Latino fathers who live with their children compared to those who live apart from their children?
  • What's the proportion of Latino fathers who have children by one mother compared to children by multiple mothers?
  • What's the proportion of Latino fathers who are employed full or part time?
  • What's the average educational attainment of Latino fathers?
  • What's the proportion of Latino fathers who have low income? 

The Biological Effects of Father Loss: An Interview with Daniel Notterman

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