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ENHANCED SERVICES SUMMIT OCTOBER 28, 2009 Fathering Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "ENHANCED SERVICES SUMMIT OCTOBER 28, 2009 Fathering Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENHANCED SERVICES SUMMIT OCTOBER 28, 2009 Fathering Resources

2 Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative Championed by Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, the goals of the Initiative are; Promote public awareness of the role of the father Provide linkages to other public systems and improve service delivery to fathers Fund fatherhood related programs on a county level

3 Local Fatherhood Resources The Healthy Fathering Collaborative was established by the Community Endeavors Foundation in 2001 as a network of public and private agencies, providing services to fathers and families. By 2007, 92 agencies were included in that network.

4 Background Context Strong isolated programs for fathers in 1990’s, not connected to each other or public systems Social Welfare Policy not designed to include fathers/men “Family” defined from mother’s perspective by social and health services, justice systems Distinction between “Father’s Rights” groups and “Responsible Fatherhood” movement

5 Personal Barriers that Fathers Face Undereducated Underskilled Low earning potential Fathers and male role models not present Emotional Immaturity Little Knowledge of Parenting Substance Abuse Problems Mental Health Problems Incarceration

6 Systemic Barriers: Social Welfare System Social Welfare Programs not available to noncustodial parents  Education  Job Training and Placement  Health Care  Earned Income Tax Credit  Housing  Legal Assistance Child Welfare Agencies don’t include fathers and paternal relatives on case plans

7 Systemic Barriers: Child Support Agencies Focus on “enforcement” rather than “support” for low income fathers Enforcement techniques force the low income father to go underground Low income fathers can’t be located so are unaware of cases and do not participate in process

8 Systemic Barrier: Custody of Children Born to Unmarried Parents § Custody rights of unmarried mother. An unmarried female who gives birth to a child is the sole residential parent and legal custodian of the child until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order designating another person as the residential parent and legal custodian. A court designating the residential parent and legal custodian of a child described in this section shall treat the mother and father as standing upon an equality when making the designation.

9 Beliefs Children will be more successful and healthier if they have two active engaged parents who are in a cooperative low-conflict relationship (married or unmarried). The vast majority of fathers want to be involved with their children, but may lack skills, knowledge or face personal, relationship and systemic barriers. Fathers often withdraw in shame when they face these barriers.

10 Goals  Develop a continuum of services for fathers, from expectant dads, through parenting issues to preparation of the next generation for fatherhood  Increase access points for fathers in public systems, including fathers in social welfare policy  Shift social policy from enforcement to support and accountability  Redefine “family” through the eyes and heart of the child

11 Targeting the “Magic Moment” Research suggests that the childbirth event is a “magic moment” for the:  development of a bond between a father and his child  Initiation of a cooperative relationship between mother and father The “magic moment” provides social and health practitioners a valuable opportunity to engage and involve an unmarried father in the life of his child and in a cooperative parenting relationship with the mother of his child.

12 “Magic Moment” Programming Boot Camp for New Dads – childbirth education for expectant (and new) fathers Engaging Fathers in Help Me Grow and MomsFirst home visits – prenatal, newborn and ongoing Training of Health Care Practitioners on engaging and involving new fathers in the childbirth event Celebrate Fathers at the time of paternity establishment Connect fathers to community resources at the time of paternity establishment

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14 Healthy Fathering Collaborative Site

15 Healthy Fathering Collaborative

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17 Fatherhood Initiative

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21 Fathering Resources on the Web Dads and Daughters (making the world safe and fair for daughters) Dads Unlimited (helping fathers become the DADS they want to be) Dr. Dad (resource for expectant fathers)www.drdad.info Family and Corrections Network Father Involvement Network (Canada) Fathers Perspective (online and print subscription magazine for fathers)

22 Fatherhood Resources Father Work (providing stories, ideas and activities to encourage generative fathering)http://fatherwork.byu.edu/ National Center on Fathering National Fatherhood Initiative National Fatherhood Leadership Group National Latino Fatherhood and Families Institute (offering a path for men of all ages to become Un Hombre Noble, or a Noble Man)www.nlffi.org Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (stre ngthening Native American families through the involvement of fathers)http://nativeamericanfathers.org/

23 Local Contact Information 211 First Call for Help Healthy Fathering Collaborative of Greater Cleveland : Steve Killpack Fatherhood Initiative of Cuyahoga County Al Grimes


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