Whether you’re a long-time user of the 24/7 Dad® program, or thinking of using it for the first time, there are some additional resources or “things” you may not know that we offer for you to review (or use) with the program.
In some cases, you may have known, but forgotten—and that’s ok! That’s why I’m writing this blog.
So, without further ado, I present the 5 “things” you never knew about 24/7 Dad®:
Thing #1: There are two versions of 24/7 Dad®.
One is called 24/7 Dad® A.M. and the other is called 24/7 Dad® P.M. No, this isn’t for dads during the daytime and the nighttime (hah!), they are two versions of the 12-week program that are often used in succession to increase a father’s skills and knowledge about fatherhood (get it? P.M. comes after A.M.?).
But, it’s important to know that 24/7 Dad® P.M. does not HAVE to follow 24/7 Dad® A.M. Meaning, you can freely run the 24/7 Dad® P.M. program without ever running 24/7 Dad® A.M. (and vice versa). You may have dads who have already taken another fatherhood program and have some basic fatherhood skills, or some that are ready for the deeper fathering subjects that are presented in 24/7 Dad® P.M.
So how do the topics differ in A.M. versus P.M., exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked.
I present to you the very popular “24/7 Dad A.M. vs. P.M. Comparison Chart”.
Thing #2: 24/7 Dad® can be delivered to dads in just 4 weeks.
Both versions of 24/7 Dad® contains 12 sessions that are meant to follow each other in succession. Therefore, they're most often run in a group-based setting over 12 weeks. However, let’s be realistic: it is very, very hard to get a father to come into your center for 12 weeks straight (KUDOS to those of you who do!)
For those who might find that to be a challenge, I present to you “How to Deliver 24/7 Dad® A.M. in Four Weeks”. This field-tested guide* enables you to deliver the most vital content in the A.M. version in only 4 weeks and still be able to use the 29-question 24/7 Dad® A.M. Fathering Survey, the pre- and post-assessment tool included with the program, with the exception of one question.
The guide to delivering the A.M. version in four weeks also contains many different frequencies with which to deliver it. That's important to mention so that people understand there's a lot of flexibility. There's even a chart that lays out the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Click here to download the free guide and you’ll be “in the know”!
Thing #3: 24/7 Dad® is great for teen dads.
People contact NFI all of the time asking if we offer a curriculum for teen dads. The answer is “YES!”. It’s called 24/7 Dad®.
More organizations than ever are using 24/7 Dad® with teen dads (ages 13-19). Because of that, we created a guide to provide tips on how to use 24/7 Dad® (A.M. and P.M.) effectively with this often-underserved group of dads. The content draws from interviews with facilitators in organizations that already serve teen dads with the program.
For example, Shawn C., a 24/7 Dad® Facilitator in Ohio shares in the guide, “They’re [teens are] a lot more childish. You have to allow room for them to go farther off topic. With teens, they digress a lot. So, you have to digress with them and then bring them back. Most of the teens’ issues are present tense. With older fathers, their issues might be past, present, or future. Teen dads have a lot of present and ‘right now’ issues.”
The guide also includes bonus tips from facilitators who work with teens. For example, we asked them, “If you were to speak with a group of facilitators who were about to start the program with teen dads, what are the most important 3 things you’d tell them?”
Don’t miss their responses! Download the free guide here.
Thing #4: NFI offers a free 24/7 Dad® Pledge to use with the dads in your program.
According to Merriam Webster, a pledge is a serious promise or agreement; something that you leave with another person as a way to show that you will keep your promise. In fact, research shows that when individuals make a commitment—and make it publicly—they are more likely to remain committed. That’s why we offer this very important pledge for 24/7 Dad®.
According to your fellow 24/7 Dad® facilitator Betsy Green, Family Programs Supervisor for Family Services, Inc. in Lawrence, MA, the pledge has helped increase the commitment of dads to attend the program on a consistent basis. As soon as they learned about the pledges, Family Services printed them out on 5 x 7 card stock to give to each dad enrolled in the program. The dads say the pledge at the end of every session and during their graduation celebration, which is attended by the dads' families.
There are two reasons why Family Services appreciates the Commitment Pledge. First, it helps them to more effectively accomplish what they see as their primary job with dads: to have the dads leave with father involvement "embedded in their hearts." And second? It's free! Betsy says they appreciate that they didn't have to pay for this tool and that it—and the other free resources NFI provides—are very welcome for this cash-strapped fatherhood program.
Thing #5: You can increase the chance of dads’ regular attendance when you use the 24/7 Dad® Planning Prompt Card.“Planning prompts” involve prompting people to plan when they’ll follow through on and engage in a specific, beneficial behavior. The reason that planning prompts work whether people make them privately or publicly is the desire for humans to remain consistent with their commitments (i.e. to stick to their commitments).
Research on the use of planning prompts to increase healthy behaviors, such as getting flu shots and colonoscopies, has shown that simply having people write down the date and time when they’ll engage in a healthy behavior dramatically increases engagement in that behavior.1 Prompts work well even when people create them in private. But there is the potential that they can be even more effective when combined with another small change that research has shown increases people’s commitment to engaging in a specific behavior: making a commitment public (i.e. making it in front of/in the presence others).2
When it comes to working with fathers individually or in groups, you can use knowledge of planning prompts to more effectively work with them. Here are a couple ideas:
- Have dads fill out reminder cards for future one-on-one or group interactions (e.g. sessions). It’s important that they fill out the cards. Don’t fill them out for the dads. Include the date and time of the next interaction. (Early in 2016, NFI will make such cards available for use with its programs to help facilitators increase retention of participants.)
- If you run group interactions, have the dads fill out the reminder cards in front of other dads to make their commitment public. To increase the likelihood that dads will maintain their commitment to attend the next interaction, assign dads to pairs of “accountability partners” in which the dads in each pair call each another ahead of the next interaction to remind each other to attend.
Download the planning prompt cards in English and Spanish here.
And now you know the 5 things!
If you have any other questions about 24/7 Dad® that we haven’t answered here, please contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.