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Terry Wolfgram Fatherhood Educational Specialist Healthy Families – Green Bay.

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Presentation on theme: "Terry Wolfgram Fatherhood Educational Specialist Healthy Families – Green Bay."— Presentation transcript:

1 Terry Wolfgram Fatherhood Educational Specialist Healthy Families – Green Bay


3 Which of the following areas is you/your organization interested in working on? Helping moms engage dads in the lives of their children Helping moms improve relationship with children’s dad(s)

4 What barriers, if any, do you and/or your staff face in encouraging moms to involve dads in their children’s lives? Check all that apply. (multiple answer select) Staff do not value engaging dads (e.g. just extra work) Uncomfortable/unequipped to discuss dads’ involvement Concerned re: abusive relationships (dads/moms, dads/child) Lack resources (training,budget)to help moms involve dads We don’t have any barriers

5 What barriers, if any, do you and/or your staff face in relationships between moms and dads for the sake of their children? Check all that apply. (multiple answer select) Moms are defensive/angry about their relationships with Dads Moms don’t think dad is important to raising their children History of abuse in their relationship (or dad w/children) Little or no contact with dad/don’t know who the father is No barriers regarding relationships between moms/dads


7 Is there a Fatherhood Educator on staff? Does staff engage with dad during home visits? Are the assessment materials used in the home visit dad inclusive? Does your organization have father friendly handouts, brochures, posters on-site?

8 National Fatherhood Initiative conducted a survey asking mothers and fathers, is there a father absence crisis in America? NFI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that was founded 1994 to begin a society-wide movement to renew fatherhood in America.

9 93% of moms and 91% of dads agree there is father absence crisis NFI Fathering Attitudes Survey sample: 701 individuals were included in the survey, ages ranging from 18 to 68 years old.

10 In 1960, less than 8 million children were living in families where the father was absent. According to 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data, it’s now well over 24 million. That is 1 out of every 3 children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) African American children live in father-absent homes. One in three (34%) Hispanic children and 1in 4 (25%) white.

11 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of Census) 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center Disease Control)

12 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p ) 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principles Association Report on the State of High Schools.) 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God’s Children.)

13 Infants cope better with strangers when fathers have been a primary care giver. Children with a strong attachment to mother and father are more likely to form successful adult relationships. Infants learn to deal better with a variety of people and personalities when they experience the different touch, vocal patterns, and play styles of a father.

14 Different types of play by fathers stimulate connections in the baby’s brain. Boys with nurturing fathers are more likely to grow up self-confident, academically successful, generous, and compassionate. Boys are especially likely to be readers if their fathers read to them. Girls with respectful nurturing fathers tend to be gender-confident and relate well to boys and men in their teen and adult years. (Resource: Howe Neighborhood Family Resource Center Newsletter Vol. 1, Issue )

15 Another survey question asked by NFI: Are dads replaceable?

16 55% moms agree fathers are replaceable 66% moms agree fathers are replaceable by other males NFI Mama Says Survey sample: 1,533 America mothers with children under 18 who were themselves at least 18 years old. Racial make up 69% White, 21% African American, 11% other.

17 Based on the previous slide, what does this statistic tell us?


19 This is a significant starting point in engaging fathers.


21 Promoting Fathers’ Engagement With Children: Preventive Interventions for Low-Income Families Co-authored a study of 289 couples, low income families, followed for 18 months, 16 week groups for fathers, 16 weeks for couples, and 1 time informational meeting.

22 Promoting Fathers’ Engagement With Children: Preventive Interventions for Low-Income Families “…the single most powerful predictor of fathers’ engagement with their children is the quality of the men’s relationship with the child’s mother, regardless of whether the couple is married, divorced, separated, or never married.”

23 Gateway: an opening to a main entrance or exit way. Gatekeeper: a person who controls access.

24 Refers to a mother’s protective beliefs about the desirability of a father’s involvement in their child’s life, and the behaviors acted upon that either facilitate or hinder collaborative childbearing between parents.

25 How the mother speaks about the father in the presence of their child. To what extent the father is included or updated on the child health, schooling or social life. The extent to which the mother communicates to the father that she knows what is best for their child and the correct way to do things- while he does not.

26 History – Assessment using Childhood Experiences Survey asking dad DV/substance abuse Mental illness Homeless Violent crime

27 Our Fatherhood Program started in 2012, using a 3 pronged approach: Our Home Visitation Program - Our Assessment Team refers a family that has an involved dad. That involvement is; seeking a dad who is ready, willing and able providing support for his family. I’ll team up with a Family Support Worker on weekly home visits, not just focusing on the dad but the entire family. Conscious Fathering in the Community - Healthy Families offers a free Conscious Fathering class for new and expectant fathers to discuss and practice the skills needed to nurture and care for their baby. We’ve been getting referrals through our Assessment Team and from our local hospitals. After completing the 1.5 hour Conscious Fathering Class I’ll introduce the dads to our Defining Dads Program. Defining Dads in the Community - Our Defining Dads meets on the 3 rd Wednesday each month. Dads bring their children, participate in a craft project, provide information on various childhood matters and talk with other men about their parenting style in a safe secure place.

28 Supervisor Staff Program Manager Collaboration on how the program should look

29 Home Visitation- Some staff may be hesitant in working with the father or having a Fatherhood Educator involved. Create an institutional change in working with fathers. Fatherhood Educator attends all the same trainings as the Family Support Worker. Developing a trust with FSW. Managers/Supervisors provide on going training for our staff about Fatherhood programming. Be patient, things take time, don’t give up.

30 H OME V ISITATION D EMONSTRATION G RANT : E VALUATION U PDATE S UMMER 2013 F AMILY S ERVICES OF N ORTHEASTERN W ISCONSIN “Staff were asked to rate the extent to which they felt like a series of items presented challenges for father engagement. Table 6 shows the percentage of respondents who rated an issue either a moderate or major challenge.” Engaging Fathers

31 Table 6 Potential Father Engagement Challenges % Fathers feel like home visiting services are for mothers.65% Father's work schedule. 61% Father is incarcerated or in jail.61% Mother doesn't want father present.57% Father has transportation issues or lives far away.44% Fathers feel like home visiting is unnecessary or unimportant.44% Safety issues like domestic violence.40% Our home visiting model primarily focuses on mothers and children. 22% %= Those reporting issue as "moderate" or "major" challenge

32 H OME V ISITATION D EMONSTRATION G RANT : E VALUATION U PDATE S UMMER 2013 F AMILY S ERVICES OF N ORTHEASTERN W ISCONSIN “Similarly, the parent focus group discussed reasons fathers may be reluctant to actively engage in home visiting services. The male participants shared that at the beginning, they were afraid of being judged and that they did not think that they needed help being a father. They reflected that in hindsight, they realized how much they needed help and reported that they never felt judged by home visitors in the program. Staff reported a number of strategies promote father engagement: Fatherhood specialist, specific programming for fathers and interacting with fathers during home visits”

33 H OME V ISITATION D EMONSTRATION G RANT : E VALUATION U PDATE S UMMER 2013 F AMILY S ERVICES OF N ORTHEASTERN W ISCONSIN “The family focus group included several men, all of whom described extremely positive experiences with the fatherhood specialist.” “I like the fact that they have another person, that is my gender that I could relate to. Like, ‘Listen man, I know you have kids, I know you know what you are talking about—I need help with this.”

34 H OME V ISITATION D EMONSTRATION G RANT : E VALUATION U PDATE S UMMER 2013 F AMILY S ERVICES OF N ORTHEASTERN W ISCONSIN “Additionally, several mothers remarked that fathers may actually need more support. For instance, one mother saw it this way: “Mom’s have the natural instinct. It just kind of takes over… Dad’s don’t really have that and so they need a little bit more reassurance to know that they are doing a good job.”

35 Healthy Families 2014 Fatherhood Information Home Visitation In 2014, 181 families were enrolled in the Healthy Families Home Visitation Program  58% of families served, have a father figure or birth father living in home with child (or prenatal mother)  46 fathers or partners (26%) participated in home visits  Of those living in the home, 38% participate in home visits occasionally  5 birth fathers not living in the home still participate in home visits at least occasionally  66% of birth fathers are involved or plan to be involved (if expectant) with child at end of 2014  43% (count 48) of families have the birth father living in the home  Youngest dad is 14 years old, the oldest is 48 years old  Currently have 5 dads assigned to Terry for home visiting in Healthy families

36 Healthy Families 2014 Fatherhood Information Defining Dads & Conscious Fathering (Open to any fathers in the community)  24 fathers (or expectant fathers) participated in Workshops/classes/Events in 2014  3% were expectant fathers  15 participated in Defining Dads  13 participated in Conscious fathering Combining the results from our home visitation and community based Conscious Fathering and Defining Dads Programs a total of 70 fathers or expectant fathers have been active participants.


38 20410 Observation Drive Suite 107 Germantown, Maryland p | f | | © 2014 National Fatherhood Initiative. All Rights Reserved. National Fatherhood Initiative is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. National Fatherhood Initative will help plan out your fatherhood program. Purchasing curriculum, flyers, multi media. Perhaps a good place to start. Ave M. Mulhern

39 Discuss the need with program managers and staff. Survey the families in your community. Develop a plan, how will it be funded? Fatherhood Grants. Start small and let it grow. Part-time or full time. Be patient, things take time, don’t give up

40 Website, fatherhood links, Twitter, Facebook, Community Connection newsletters or . Contact the media – they don’t know what you’re doing, have a message, invite to a dads group. Combine with other home visitation programs. Reach out to schools with Teen Parent Programs.

41 Any Questions?

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