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How to Find Out if Your Organization is Father Friendly

Posted by Melissa Steward

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Prior to working with NFI, I worked in a marketing firm whose client base included Microsoft. I was part of the marketing help desk, which assisted Microsoft Partners with their marketing strategy. One of the best offers we always suggested that these Partners make to their prospective clients was a “Free Software Assessment”.

This allowed the Partner to assess the client's whole system of software, how it’s being used, where it lacks efficiency, and how the client could improve. The goal was to help the client run their business in the most efficient manner possible and get the most “bang” for their buck. 

In my current world of everything fatherhood skill building, I liken our free Father Friendly Check-Up™ to that Free Software Assessment. It's NFI's chief tool used by thousands of organizations to assess their father friendliness. Because, how can you improve how you serve fathers if you don’t know where to begin?

Join me as I share why taking the check-up is important and how it’s used. 

Father involvement is critical for your organization, and if you aren't sure whether you agree, be sure to check out the research and statistics on the consequences of father absence. Getting fathers involved is essential for happy, healthy, well-adjusted children and families.  Father involvement also helps moms, especially when she is pregnant and right after baby’s birth.

When dads aren't involved, children are more likely to engage in drugs, alcohol, violent crimes, and other harmful behaviors, drop out of school, live in poverty, face teenage pregnancy, and struggle with depression or even commit suicide. Because of this, it is important that family service providers engage not only moms in their services, but very importantly, dads.

One of the best ways to get started in becoming a father-friendly organization is to make use of our free Father Friendly Check-Up™ (FFCU). It is the most comprehensive tool available that helps staff assess their organization’s readiness to effectively serve dads. We are now in the 5th edition of the FFCU which incorporates everything our staff has learned about what it takes for an organization to become father friendly. 

Here’s how it works:
The FFCU asks you/your staff their level of agreement with statements that make an organization father friendly. The statements are grouped into four areas, or categories, of an organization:

  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Program Development
  • Community Engagement

After staff respond to the statements, they covert the responses to a numerical score which indicates the organization’s level of father friendliness in each category. These category scores provide insight into the area(s) of the organization where staff needs to improve the most to create an organizational culture that will support effective service and program delivery to dads. If their organization scores lowest in Community Engagement, for example, they might consider focusing first on improvements in that area of their organization.

Some people create entire strategic plans with their results from the FFCU. If nothing else, it will be eye opening for you to see the areas where you are and aren’t effectively engaging and serving dads.

Why not take it now and make plans to become more father-friendly in the New Year?

Remember: Success comes after planning, and planning after assessing. Take this first step toward finding the best way for your organization to serve fathers in a "friendly" way. 

Have you ever assessed your organization’s readiness to effectively serve dads?

If you’ve used the FFCU, when was the last time you used it?

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Topics: organizations, father friendly organization

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