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The Father Factor


The Lesson Whole Foods Market Offers for Serving Dads

Recent developments with the natural and organic foods grocer Whole Foods Market (WFM) provide a powerful lesson for building and maintaining a program or service for dads.

Stick with me as I provide the details of this story.

Want to Be a Better Dad? Here's How to "Remodel" Your Fathering

This blog reposted from with permission from Roland Warren.

As my wife will gladly tell you, I run very little risk of being called “handy” with a hammer or with any other tool. Indeed, it’s pretty clear that when God was passing out the carpentry and mechanical skills, I must have been busy reading the Wall Street Journal!

Given this genetic foible in my manhood, I have been forced to live vicariously through the handiness of others by watching episodes of home makeover shows or reading “do it yourself” magazines. In fact, I was doing just that when I can across an article that intrigued me.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Dads in Boxes

Have you heard the term “perennials?”

No. Not the type of flower.

I ask instead whether you’ve heard the recently coined term that describes people of all ages who have “an inclusive, enduring mindset.” Their perspective and behavior defy the stereotype of their own generations. They are of all ages. They have friends of all ages. They embrace today’s technology. They are curious. They want to learn and grow.

Friendly Fire: Fathers and Sons Find Kinship and Opportunity in Paintball

Old, green woodshop goggles stuck to Todd Sloan’s face as he ran across a paintball field in the California heat. In 1983, he wore no gear to protect him from the welts. He carried a 12-gram, CO2-powered pump-action weapon that held eight to 10 shots. The JT Splatmaster pistol in his hand was no more than a glorified plastic gun.

He loved it.

Paintball became Sloan’s passion. He built a paintball memorabilia wall in his house, with pictures of paintball skirmishes, shelves of paintball trophies and a display of his first semi-automatic paintball gun. He no longer has his original 12-gram Splatmaster, but he does have an active role in the activity. Sloan now referees in both the Central Texas Paintball League and Houston Paintball League – with his son, Dominic, when he’s home.

How to Build Trust and Rapport with Dads

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Antione Harvis of Dad’s League, a fatherhood program in Opelika, Alabama. Dad’s League partners with the Family Resource Center in Opelika and surrounding communities to serve dads.

Dad’s League holds “locker room sessions” in which Antione and several teams of volunteer dads facilitate National Fatherhood Initiative’s (NFI’s) 24/7 Dad® A.M. and P.M. programs. Dad’s League facilitates the programs in five settings: community-based non-profits, corrections, schools, veterans, and faith-based. They will soon start to facilitate the InsideOut Dad® program in a county jail and detention center.

When I asked Antione what is the primary job he has to accomplish with dads, he said that it’s to establish trust and rapport. He says that establishing a connection of trust first and then establishing rapport as the foundation of a good relationship with dads is critical to getting them to commit to attend locker room sessions.

Read on.

FRPN Free Webinar > Achieving High Response Rates and Dealing with Missing Data in Fatherhood Evaluations

NFI President Christopher A. Brown sits on the Fatherhood Research & Practice Network (FRPN) advisory committee. FRPN has announced their next (and eighth!) free webinar for researchers and practitioners.

Measuring the Results of Your Fatherhood Program

Planning how you will evaluate your fatherhood program is arguably just as important as all of the other steps we've discussed in my 6 previous blogs on creating a successful fatherhood program. 

Evaluations allow you to get the best results, and correct your course if something is not working. An evaluation is like a GPS – it tells you whether you’re headed in the right direction and helps you to correct your course if necessary. 

There are many ways you can evaluate a program; it's up to you (or your funder) to determine how you will measure the impact of your program on the dads you serve. Read on to learn about different types of evaluations and resources to help you decide how you will evaluate your program.

The Quest for Fatherhood Program Funding

If you read my last blog in this series, you have some great ideas for creating a logic model or a father engagement plan for your program. Now, you need a way to pay for your program. And pay for it over the long-term.

How are you going to find funding for all this much needed fatherhood work?

Let's chat funding.

200+ Ideas for Recruiting Dads into Fatherhood Programs

Crescent City WIC Services in Gretna, LA provides the USDA-funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC for short. Crescent City WIC recently launched a fatherhood program called 504 Dads. (The area code for Gretna is 504.) They use the 24/7 Dad® program as the foundation of 504 Dads.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from the staffer at Crescent City WIC in charge of the launch. She told me about their struggles to get dads enrolled in 504 Dads. She mentioned their plan to bring community organizations together to generate referrals and to help Crescent City WIC brainstorm ways to recruit dads into the program. She asked for any advice or resources NFI could provide.

Creating a Sustainable Fatherhood Program

Do you think of the word "sustainable" when you think "fatherhood program"? If not, please do. One of the most common things we hear from organizations who run fatherhood programs is that they ran out of funding, or, that it wasn't something they could afford to keep. It wasn't sustainable.

Creating a sustainable fatherhood program from the start is key. Why put all of that effort into something if it's not going to last?

So let's talk sustainability.

We Can Help You Solve the Mystery of Marketing Your Fatherhood Program

Marketing. Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it. Maybe you just don't know how to do it. When it comes to promoting your fatherhood program, good marketing is necessary.

For years we've heard from practitioners that recruiting dads is their biggest challenge. But, with the right marketing assets (think: print and online templates) that communicate a cohesive, catchy message (which includes your program logo and custom info), you can most definitely become the "marketing ninja" your organization needs to bring those dads in the door.

Introducing the NEW 'Be There' Campaign Kit: customizable marketing materials to recruit fathers into your fatherhood program. Read on to learn more.

Eva Grace and the Most Gut-Wrenching Fatherhood Story Ever

(Mitzi Aylor/Aylor Photography)


When you work with dads in fatherhood programs, you try to imbue them with the motivation to become as involved in the lives of their children as possible.

How to Choose the Best Tools for Your Fatherhood Program

People sometimes ask how NFI came to be the nations's leading provider of programs and resources for dads. Well, it all stems from our long history of providing the latest research on the affects on children and society as a result father absence, and the benefits of father involvement.

It wasn't good enough for us to simply state the research and facts. We needed to take action on those facts at a national level to work to reverse the nation's trend of father absence. So in 2001, we began building an extensive portfolio of high quality fatherhood skill-building resources, curricula, and training (think: tools) to equip organizations around the country to help men be the best dads they could be. We now have over 100. Whoa.

So how do I select the best NFI tools and resources for my organization, you say? I'm glad you asked.

4 Recommendations for Working with Ex-Prisoners

Working with dads reentering society from prison is one of the great challenges in serving dads. 

That's why a recent brief released by the Urban Institute on their evaluation of six federally-funded reentry programs is so welcome for organizations and individuals involved in promoting responsible fatherhood.

‘Inside Out Dad’ Teaches Incarcerated Dads to be Better Fathers

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Every Tuesday inside Purgatory Correctional Facility a special class titled “InsideOut Dad®” takes place. It is a program aimed at teaching incarcerated dads how to be better fathers and one that has the potential to positively change the lives of both the inmates and their families.

There is a fatherhood crisis sweeping across the nation, said Kelly Kendall, the class instructor and fatherhood education coordinator. From the media’s portrayal of the “idiot” father think Homer Simpson — to the staggering real statistics, fatherhood is floundering.

Hear from the fathers at Purgatory Correctional on how this evidence-based fatherhood program is changing their lives.

The Father Factor Blog > Everything You Need to Serve Fathers.

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