I hear time and again from community-based organizations or pregnancy centers that they want to serve dads, and in some cases, hove gone as as far as creating a fatherhood program with volunteers and staff to run it... but they "don't get any dads". And they just don't understand why.
Well, my response to this statement is usually quite surprising. I respond with questions around how fully fathers are integrated into the organization's mission, leadership, physical center, intake forms, programs, resources, etc. In return, I often get a blank stare (and then, usually, a light bulb moment!)
As I continue my series of blogs on 7 Steps to Starting a Successful Fatherhood Program, let's discuss a tool that helps you determine how friendly your organization is to fathers, so that you can get from A (nothing for dads) to B (success in serving fathers).
How father-friendly are you (and your staff)? And, how father-friendly is your organization?
You see, we can't expect dads to want to participate or feel welcomed when everything is flowers and butterflies. Okay, that's a bit extreme, but you get the idea. Dads need a place where they feel like they are valued as a man, and as a father. And where they can see and feel that you have something specifically for him in his role as a father. These offerings - and the feeling that you are concerned with dad's unique role - are best received when they are conveyed and integrated during the very first time mom (and hopefully dad) engage with your organization.
One of the best ways to become a more father-friendly organization is to take of our Free Father Friendly Check-Up™ Tool (FFCU).
This simple assessment (using a likert scale) allows you to analyze your organization's:
- physical environment
- organizational leadership & philosophies
- staff attitudes
- and more
Each staff member,
including those in leadership roles,
should fill out the Father Friendly Check-Up.
The comparative results may surprise you!
It's important to remember that just because you're personally passionate about father involvement and think it’s important, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone around you is. Each person carries with them their own understanding of what it means to have (or not have) a father in their lives. As such, a person's opinion or "bias" affects how they see and do things in their lives everyday. These opinions and attitudes can play into their everyday work with families they serve.
The great news is that hundreds of organizations have already used the Father Friendly Check-Up™ to successfully asses their operations, and as a result, have changed the way in which they intentionally provide offerings for, and equip, fathers to be the best dads they can be.
Most importantly, the FFCU will help you examine the structure of your organization and whether it has the foundation on which to build a successful service or program. Without that foundation, your organization risks failure in its ability to effectively serve fathers.
Don't delay, download the Free Father Friendly Check-Up™ today.
You can also review an organizational case study highlighting the use of the Father Friendly Check-Up™ to launch a strategic plan using NFI in the full ebook How to Start a Fatherhood Program.