Presentation on theme: "COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Lead Agency Pinellas County Health Department Collaborators YWCA of Tampa Bay Family Service Centers, Inc. Funding By Juvenile Welfare."— Presentation transcript:
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Lead Agency Pinellas County Health Department Collaborators YWCA of Tampa Bay Family Service Centers, Inc. Funding By Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas, Inc. Healthy Start Federal Project
HISTORY –The Father Services Program was established in 1997 in Pinellas County –National Healthy Start workshop with Baltimore Men’s Services Program –Multi-agency and multi-funding
PROGRAM STAFF 1 Program Coordinator 1 Program Volunteer 3 Family Development Specialists –Minimum H.S. Graduate –Experience in parenting education and practices –Ability to work in diverse populations –Excellent knowledge of community resources –Case management experience
IMPACT OF ABSENTEE FATHERS The correlation between absent fathers and a variety of social ills and poor outcomes for children is clear
NATIONAL STATISTICS Five times more likely to be poor Three times more likely to be involved in an out of wedlock pregnancy 50% more likely to join a gang, drop out of school, commit crimes, and use illegal substances 24 million children in America live absent their biological father 40% of children living in fatherless households have not seen their father in over a year 50% of children who do not live with their father have never set foot in their father’s home (national center for fathering)
NATIONAL STATISTICS Children from fatherless homes are twice as likely to be abused remarriage is not the answer 75% of teenage suicides occur in single parent homes (National Center for Fathering) FLORIDA STATISTICS 51% of fatherless children in Florida are poor 78% of all teens in Florida’s detention facilities come from fatherless homes (85% nationally)
ENGAGING FATHERS: BARRIERS AND STRATEGIES
FATHER FEARS Police Child Support Enforcement Lack of confidence or belief in others (men) No historical services for fathers
PROGRAM SERVICES Parenting Education Case Management Individual Goal Setting Discussion Groups Advocacy Rites of Passage Workshop Referrals
PROGRAM OBJECTIVE Eighty percent (80%) of primary adults in the Father Services component will increase interaction with their child(ren) as measured by an increase of at least five (5) points on the Father Involvement Questionnaire.
ELIGIBILITY Male partner of a pregnant woman, or father of child(ren), receiving services from Pinellas County home visitation services (i.e. HFP, HS, FHS, DFF) Pinellas Healthy Start Federal Project Healthy Families Pinellas
REFERRAL PROCESS Initial discussion with the mother by the Family Support Worker Father is referred for services, contacted within three days to explain services and invited to the program following Tool Box Intake
FATHER INVOLVEMENT PLAN Developed within the first 45 days Small Steps Using the SMART system S = Specific M = Measurable A = Attainable R = Realistic T = Time Oriented Reviewed every 6 months
THE TOOL BOX (DISCUSSION GROUP) Held twice per week (north & south county) Meditation/Stress management tips Alternating Curriculums –Dr. Dad = baby basics, home safety, sick child –Life Skills = What is a man? What is a father? relationships, health, prenatal and pediatric visits, community, budgeting, family cycles, substance abuse, anger management, other –Community Activities = condoms and candy, reading to children, father involvement, men’s health awareness.
FIELD VISITS School Work Courts Jail and Prisons Homes Street Corners Barber shops “The Tree ” Materials Used: lawn chairs, TVs, videos and handouts.
RITES OF PASSAGE WORKSHOP Two Day Camping Trip Mirror Exercise Meditation The Fire Open Discussion Speakers Pain Developing a Positive Peer group
GRADUATION Held after 18 months Families invited Food and fun Mayor & community leaders Gifts & Certificates Mentoring Invitation
LESSONS LEARNED Support from agency leadership to include fathers in programs Ongoing leadership & front line training on father involvement. Funding issues (MCH) Establishing a father friendly atmosphere Included fathers on forms and in curriculums Fathers want to be included Fathers’ needs can vary from one enrollment class to another
How to Contact the Father Services Program Claude M. Dharamraj, MD, MPH, Assistant Director Pinellas County Health Department 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Street North St. Petersburg, FL Tel: (727) 824 – 6931 Fax: (727) Reggie Randolph, Sr. Father Services Program Coordinator Tel: (727) ext Fax: (727)