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1 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 1 If You Build It Right, They Will Come… But Plan For Renovations! June 16, 2010 12th Annual NPCL International Fatherhood.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 1 If You Build It Right, They Will Come… But Plan For Renovations! June 16, 2010 12th Annual NPCL International Fatherhood."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 1 If You Build It Right, They Will Come… But Plan For Renovations! June 16, th Annual NPCL International Fatherhood Conference

2 2 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 2 learn about CT’s collaboration efforts around issue of father involvement hear about lessons we have learned identify strategies to implement with state and local partners Throughout this session you will:

3 3 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 3 acknowledge impact that it has on men’s ability to be successful fathers examine their forms, processes, practices to accommodate/support the father role integrate resources to further collective impact on men who are/will be fathers Collaboration can help agencies:

4 4 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 4  focused on systems study, program integration and proactive change  comprehensive and instructive  presented as part of child support legislation  established participation by a broad- based council of stakeholders Key to Initial Collaboration Public Act :

5 5 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 5  required public hearings; encouraged public information/advocacy  pushed participants to id/examine existing resources  prioritized resources by focusing first on low-income men/TANF recipients  required expert consultation & defined a period of study Key to Initial Collaboration Public Act :

6 6 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 6  created pilots to demonstrate effective service to populations in need  focused on children’s needs and equipping men for emotional as well as financial responsibility to them  recognized men as fathers whether/not they had relationship with mother  required formal evaluation & reporting Key to Initial Collaboration Public Act :

7 7 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 7  agencies serving same families  men failing to acknowledge children or pay child support  families in high crime communities  school attendance/behavior problems/educational gaps  issues re: mental health/addiction  maternal health/prenatal health Cross-systems Disconnects & Collaborative Opportunities

8 8 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 8  juvenile justice involvement  unmarried teen parents  women and children inadequately supported on welfare  men w/out adequate education/job skills  incarcerated men w/inadequate support at re-entry  domestic violence/safe engagement Cross-systems Disconnects & Collaborative Opportunities

9 9 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 9 Public Awareness and Individual Agency/Program Accountability as pilots started, real men with real problems were highlighted various agencies had to confront their own service barriers some problems and barriers were exacerbated by current practice agencies did an assessment of their “father friendliness” as pilots started, real men with real problems were highlighted various agencies had to confront their own service barriers some problems and barriers were exacerbated by current practice agencies did an assessment of their “father friendliness”

10 10 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 10  DSS-sponsored legislation supporting arrears adjustment created need to standardize services  state certification – needed to define what a “certified program” meant  worked with NPNFF and developed/ implemented a certification process Standardizing Services to Fathers

11 11 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 11 The Connecticut Fatherhood Program Certification Project is a formalized, sequential process including written documentation and on-site review to ensure compliance with the seven Fatherhood Program Standards Standardizing Services to Fathers

12 12 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 12 Fatherhood Program Standards 1.Purpose & Activities 2.Organization & Management 3.Parenting Skills Development 4.Personal & Social Skills Development 5.Workforce Skills Development 6.Father Support Services 7.Evidence of Success

13 13 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 13 Federal PRF Grant state funding decreased need for programming still high sense of responsibility to sustain services grant application submission!

14 14 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 14 five-year, $5 million grant ($1 million/year) from DHHS, ACF, Office of Family Assistance awarded in fall 2006 supports the demonstration of methods to Promote Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) DSS is the grantee, with named partners for the provision of services and evaluation Federal PRF Grant

15 15 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 15 offers services to promote responsible fatherhood; foster economic stability; and support healthy relationships activities include statewide marketing and outreach, training, and collaboration with established CT FI partners target a total of 500 fathers and 40 couples annually across six locally-based program sites Federal PRF Grant

16 16 PRF Program Participants men served Race and ethnicity  50% African American/Black  26% Caucasian  23% Latino  2% Other Average age = 33 years children attached to these dads Average age = 8.5 years Year 1 – Year 3: CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference

17 17 Participant-identified Needs and Concerns NEEDS o parent education/trng o fatherhood support grp o employment/job trng o help w/child support o education CONCERNS o parenting skills o better job o right track o peer support o child support debt CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference

18 18 Barriers to Employment CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference

19 19 Opportunities for Collaboration… Higher education system Vocational/technical school system DMV/DOT Probation/Parole CT Problem Solving Court Debt counseling Mediation CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference

20 20 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 20 Activities “outside” of service delivery allow for future endeavors/ avenues for financial support: Federal PRF Grant  data collection/analysis  white papers from evaluation data  PRF DVD  program certification

21 21 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 21 Federal PRF Grant It’s About the Kids CT Department of Social Services in partnership with 6 PRF program sites CT Department of Correction and American View Productions

22 22 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 22 Fatherhood Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  structural movement within State Gov’t during 2006 elections and ever since  to provide a blueprint for Commissioners to keep agencies moving in same positive directions despite changes in top leadership  to provide on-going legitimacy for collaborative intent of the legislation  to demonstrate how Initiative can be supported by various agencies with limited cost

23 23 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 23 Gov’t has an important leadership role to play in fatherhood arena Many agencies can affect their processes w/out much additional $$$$ Focus on the “best interest of the child” avoids wasted arguments about who is more deserving of assistance Lessons Learned…

24 24 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 24 Work with what you’ve got and what you can get initially Don’t be distracted by what may seem like limited support from Admin and/or Legis When a clear vision is articulated, folks can and will help each other to achieve respective (often mutual) objectives Lessons Learned…

25 25 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 25 By engaging top level folks, systems change more easily made All levels of staff need to be effectively trainedon value of supporting fathers Staff may need to be actively engaged & assisted to buy into change process Lessons Learned…

26 26 CT DSS: 12th Annual NPCL Conference 26 THANK YOU!


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