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Young Dads & The Family How to Work Effectively with Young Dads Within Their Family Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Young Dads & The Family How to Work Effectively with Young Dads Within Their Family Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young Dads & The Family How to Work Effectively with Young Dads Within Their Family Systems

2 Roberta Wells; ECE Coordinator of Services for Young Dads Karen Caine; RSW, BHSA Senior Manager

3 Agenda Who are ‘Young Dads?’ Environmental and Societal Context Who is Part of the Family? Terra’s Perspective Engaging Young Dads Strategies for Engaging the Family Questions and Comments

4 Parking Lot We will endeavor to answer your questions as we go through our presentation. If you have questions not directly related to the current topic, please jot them down on a sticky note and add them to the parking lot. If there is time, we will look at these questions at the end.

5 Who are Young Dads? Expectant Single Co-parenting Cohabitating Reunifying Pursuing Access Adoptive Non-Biological Placing for Adoption Expectant Single Co-parenting Cohabitating Reunifying Pursuing Access Adoptive Non-Biological Placing for Adoption

6 What are some of the Strengths of Young Dads? “…teen parents are trying to make the best out of something we didn’t expect to happen so soon. We want what every parent wants, the best for our children.” – Terra Client “…teen parents are trying to make the best out of something we didn’t expect to happen so soon. We want what every parent wants, the best for our children.” – Terra Client

7 Environmental Context How Terra Works with Families Agency commitment to be working with all members of the family Father inclusivity and integrated programming Main priority is what is best for the child Individual focus on client strengths and needs Address needs of the family unit Partnerships within the community Agency commitment to be working with all members of the family Father inclusivity and integrated programming Main priority is what is best for the child Individual focus on client strengths and needs Address needs of the family unit Partnerships within the community

8 Environmental Context Community and Societal Perspective “For too long, our culture has treated boys who become fathers... as detached misfits who are the architects of many of our nation’s problems, rather than seeing these youth for who they really are: young men trying to navigate a complex array of difficult life circumstances that place them at a tremendous disadvantage.” (Kiselica, 2008: When Boys Become Parents: Adolescent Fatherhood in America) “For too long, our culture has treated boys who become fathers... as detached misfits who are the architects of many of our nation’s problems, rather than seeing these youth for who they really are: young men trying to navigate a complex array of difficult life circumstances that place them at a tremendous disadvantage.” (Kiselica, 2008: When Boys Become Parents: Adolescent Fatherhood in America)

9 Environmental Context Community and Societal Perspective Research: children thrive with actively engaged fathers Moms as gatekeepers Deficit based thinking Young dads’ own adolescent development Stereotypes Marginalization of fathers Lack of resources Barriers to accessing services The need for social change and advocacy Research: children thrive with actively engaged fathers Moms as gatekeepers Deficit based thinking Young dads’ own adolescent development Stereotypes Marginalization of fathers Lack of resources Barriers to accessing services The need for social change and advocacy

10 Who is “Family”? Introduce yourselves Identify 3 ideas or concepts about who ‘should’ be included in the family system of a young dad. 10 minute s Introduce yourselves Identify 3 ideas or concepts about who ‘should’ be included in the family system of a young dad. 10 minute s

11 Family Inclusiveness New sibling

12 Agency Strategies for Engagement Ask dads what they want and need Activity based Father-Child and Family activities ‘Father Inclusive’ environment Intake Process Adapted Employees like working with teens “Young dads need organizations and people who create a culture where it is assumed that fathers are involved in all aspects of fatherhood beginning with pre-conception.” STEP BY STEP: Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families, Best Start Resource Centre, Toronto ON “Young dads need organizations and people who create a culture where it is assumed that fathers are involved in all aspects of fatherhood beginning with pre-conception.” STEP BY STEP: Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families, Best Start Resource Centre, Toronto ON

13 Engaging Young Dads: The POWER of WORDS ‘Agencies hide behind the ‘parent’ word. Use of the ‘F’ word in policy and documentation …the "father" word.. is absolutely crucial. It changes the whole [tone] around teenage pregnancy strategies.’ Young People in Focus website: ‘Agencies hide behind the ‘parent’ word. Use of the ‘F’ word in policy and documentation …the "father" word.. is absolutely crucial. It changes the whole [tone] around teenage pregnancy strategies.’ Young People in Focus website:

14 The Power of Words: Engaging Dad Right from the Beginning Expecting Dads vs. Pregnant Dads Young Dads and Moms vs.Young Parents Father Engagement not Positive Father Involvement Father Inclusive vs Father Friendly Expecting Dads vs. Pregnant Dads Young Dads and Moms vs.Young Parents Father Engagement not Positive Father Involvement Father Inclusive vs Father Friendly

15 Engaging Young Dads in Programs Engage in the moment Meet wherever the dad is Relationship and Strengths based Address immediate needs Practical Supports Flexible approach and times available Multicultural needs met through partnerships Believe in the dads’ abilities Engage in the moment Meet wherever the dad is Relationship and Strengths based Address immediate needs Practical Supports Flexible approach and times available Multicultural needs met through partnerships Believe in the dads’ abilities

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17 Including Family: Why is this Important? Adolescent developmental needs Increase understanding of the different responses to the pregnancy Help young dad understand his role Help young dad negotiate his place in the family Role modeling and impact of father absence Increase support systems Reduce likelihood of child apprehension

18 Ultimately, we include all family members to: create consistency and healthy environments for the child Ultimately, we include all family members to: create consistency and healthy environments for the child Improve communication between young dad and young mom Improve communication and relationship with other family members Understand and address generational beliefs about raising children Learn about and appreciate important family cultural practices Decrease barriers for young dad

19 Strategies for Engaging Families Identify significant “family” members Explore strength of connections and areas of relationship difficulty Joint meetings Invite family members into discussion Engage with their baby Share resources and practical support Know when and how to challenge Openness to working with extended family Identify significant “family” members Explore strength of connections and areas of relationship difficulty Joint meetings Invite family members into discussion Engage with their baby Share resources and practical support Know when and how to challenge Openness to working with extended family

20 Educate Family Members Fathering roles and responsibilities Benefits of an engaged father for child, mom and dad Impacts of unhealthy relationships on children Co-Parenting strategies Newest child development and child health information Fathers engage differently than mothers with their child Fathering roles and responsibilities Benefits of an engaged father for child, mom and dad Impacts of unhealthy relationships on children Co-Parenting strategies Newest child development and child health information Fathers engage differently than mothers with their child

21 Perceptions

22 Bringing this Back to Your Workplace Small groups Come up with 2 common strategies in your group that you think would engage the families of young dads in your agency or program 5 minutes How could you include family?

23 Questions? Contact Information: Roberta Wells: Karen

24 Resources FIRA Young Fathers Research Cluster: Dr. Annie Devault, Social Work, University of Québec in Outaouais. Focus: understanding the experiences and needs of men who become fathers at a young age and identifying the most effective ways to support them. Devault My Daddy Matters Because… Father Toolkit; Tim Paquette, Project Coordinator. The primary purpose of the website and the toolkit is to provide information for people who are developing and managing Father programs in their communities. National Centre on Fathers and Families Core Learnings; University of Pennsylvania. The Seven Core Learnings are at the heart of NCOFF's agenda for research, practice, and policy analysis and serve as a framework for the field of fathers and families. STEP BT STEP: Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families (2012), Best Start Resource Centre, Toronto ON; This manual is designed to give you a step-by-step guide for planning and implementing your strategy for engaging fathers. Successful factors in providing services for teen dads; An exploratory case study from a Community Based Research (CBR) perspective. Nicolette Sopcak, CIHR Strategic Training Fellow, University of Alberta. 08.pdfhttp://terracentre.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Nicolette-paper- 08.pdf Supporting Young Parents Practice Sheet, December 2010: Rhys Price-Robertson, Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies. CAFCA Practice sheets are brief, evidence-informed resources that provide an overview of a specific practice issue and practice considerations to help practitioners reflect upon specific issues.

25 Questions to consider in planning and delivery of services for young dads and their families: If your program works predominantly or solely with young mothers, are attempts made to understand the position of the father? Does your service encourage the involvement of fathers? Can you offer alternate activities or services that will engage young dads? How would finding out from individual young parents about their family of origin, their major life experiences, and their use of social supports and health services assist with planning the services you are able to provide? Does your program make efforts to understand both the family processes and the family structure of young parents? Are there family members or other individuals who play important roles in the lives of the young parents engaged in your program? If appropriate, is there an option to include family members or other important people in any of your program’s activities? Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia: Supporting Young Parents Practice Sheet, December 2010; Rhys Price-Robertson, Research Officer; Australian Institute of Family Studies.

26 References Bade, Emily (2012); Teen Dad: Young Fathers and Identity Integration; School of Social Work, St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Devault Annie; Young Fathers Cluster Executive Summary, (2006); Father Involvement Research Alliance CURA, Centre for Families, Work and Well-being, 17 University Ave. E., University of Guelph, Guelph ON, N1G 2W1. Kiselica, Mark S. (2008); When Boys Become Parents: Adolescent Fatherhood in America Rutgers University Press, USA. Price-Robertson, Rhys (2010); Supporting Young Parents Practice Sheet; Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies; Level 20 South Tower 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne Vic 3000, Australia. Sopcak, Nicolette (2008); Successful factors in providing services for teen dads, An exploratory case study from a Community Based Research (CBR) perspective. Terra Centre and University of Alberta, Edmonton AB. Fatherhood Institute Research Summary: Young Fathers, (2010); Healthy Teen Network Advocacy Resource Guide, Supporting Young Fathers (2006); 1501 Saint Paul St., Ste. 124, Baltimore, MD, 21202; National Centre on Fathers and Families Core Learnings; University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 450, Philadelphia, PA ; STEP BT STEP: Engaging Fathers in Programs for Families (2012), Best Start Resource Centre, Toronto ON; Strengthening Families through Parenting Partnerships (2012); Centre for Child Well Being, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3E 6K6

27 Thank You!


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