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1 WELCOME! The Engagement of Non-Resident Fathers Presenters: Paul Frankel and Tiffany Mitchell Child Welfare American Humane Association.

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Presentation on theme: "1 WELCOME! The Engagement of Non-Resident Fathers Presenters: Paul Frankel and Tiffany Mitchell Child Welfare American Humane Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 WELCOME! The Engagement of Non-Resident Fathers Presenters: Paul Frankel and Tiffany Mitchell Child Welfare American Humane Association Englewood, Colorado

2 2 American Humane Association Child Welfare For 133 years we have developed programs, policies, training, research & evaluation, and innovative responses to child abuse and neglect. We work to strengthen families and communities, and enhance CPS. Fatherhood Family Group Decision Making Differential Response Chronic Neglect Safety & Risk Assessment Child Welfare & Migration Prevention Restorative Justice Workload/Caseload

3 3 QIC-NRF -- Knowledge Development The QIC-NRF is Operated by: American Humane Association, Child Welfare ABA Center on Children and the Law National Fatherhood Initiative A Project of the Childrens Bureau Administration on Children, Youth and Families Administration on Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

4 4 QIC-NRF Sites are Changing their Organizational Cultures to Engage Fathers QIC-NRF Research and Demonstration Sites: Marion County, Indiana - Indiana Department of Child Services in Indianapolis Indiana Fathers and Families Center, King County, Washington - Division of Children and Family Services in Seattle Divine Alternatives for Dads, El Paso County, Colorado - El Paso County Department of Human Services in Colorado Springs Center for Fathering, Tarrant County, Texas – Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in Ft. Worth New Day Services for Children and Families,

5 5 Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System Is there a difference in child and family outcomes based on non-resident father involvement? SafetyPermanencyWell-being

6 6 Thought Exercise Think about your answers to the following: What do you currently do well to engage non- resident fathers? What do you find most challenging about engaging non-resident fathers? What was/were your initial reaction(s) about attending a conference call/webinar on father engagement?

7 7 Bring Back the Dads: Is there a child welfare system bias? 1,958 children removed from homes where the Father did not reside 88% Agency had identified the Father 55% Agency had contacted the Father 30% Father had visited the Child 28% Father expressed interest in child living with him Malm, Murray, & Geen (2006). What About the Dads? Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Childrens Bureau Based on interviews with 1,222 caseworkers 70% of caseworkers had received training on engaging fathers

8 8 Five Key Themes – A logical progression of father involvement Identification – Not readily ascertainable; Moms are not forthcoming with information. Location – Transitional Dads; Dads move around, are incarcerated, avoidant. Contact – Barriers and promising strategies in actually meeting and talking with Dads. Engagement – Initial and ongoing; Integrate Dads into the child welfare system. Interagency collaboration – Contradictory or complementary (e.g., law enforcement, CS enforcement, Judges).

9 9 CFSR Case-Level Data: 32 States Differences In Serving Mothers and Fathers Average Across States: Percent of Cases Rated as Strength

10 10 Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSR) Rounds 1 and 2 Mothers are more likely than fathers to receive services. Inconsistency in involving fathers in case planning. Fathers had fewer visitations with children in foster care. The needs of fathers were assessed and met inconsistently. Efforts to locate, contact, and/or engage fathers were insufficient or inconsistent.

11 11 Engaging Fathers

12 12 Effective Father Engagement Strategies What does HELP! look like for fathers? Strongly influenced by gender roles. No Sissy Stuff! Admitting to a problem is not easy. Difficulty in asking for help and depending on others. Being perceived as weak.

13 13 Effective Father Engagement Strategies Check your attitude at the door! Address your personal biases about men and fathers. Resist stereotyping non-resident fathers. Provide a welcoming physical environment. First contact by a male (if possible). Is it possible? Avoiding system jargon.

14 14 Effective Father Engagement Strategies Effective approaches: Dont dwell on emotions. Normalize their experiences. Be action-oriented. Fathers are sensitive to power, respect and control. Do not over-promise and under-deliver. Appropriate expressions of anger.

15 15 Whats In It For… Broadens circle of family support by including fathers and potentially their family/friends More eyes to survey the well-being of the child Increased informal supports and resources Positive well-being outcomes for child Promotes family and cultural connection

16 16

17 17 Father Friendly Check-up Tool to help agencies create an environment that involves non-resident fathers and fosters the healthy development of children Seven Assessment Areas 1.Leadership & Organization Philosophy 2.Program Management Policies & Procedures 3.Parent Involvement Program 4.Program Physical Environment 5.Staff Training & Professional Development 6.Collaboration & Organizational Networking 7.Community Outreach

18 18 Best Practices to Engage Fathers Reaching out to fathers - Incarcerated Fathers: finding a voice for the incarcerated at the table, planning for after-release. Fathers out of jurisdiction: conference call participation, exploring paternal relative connections. Alleged Fathers and Paternity Issues: inclusion while paternity is still an issue, building on emotional connections, fictive kin fathers. Teen Fathers: addressing the cultural needs of unwed teenage fathers.

19 19 How the QIC-NRF Can Help to Change Organizational Culture of an Agency Father Friendly Check-up Male first contact with Fathers. Systems collaboration between child welfare, judicial, child support enforcement, and other relevant systems. Bringing Back the Dads model intervention program implementation. Caseworker training on effective male/father engagement. Family Finding training. Training for judges and attorneys. Gathering feedback from stakeholders and consumers. Dissemination.

20 20 To learn more about the Quality Improvement Center on Non-resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System please visit our website at Presenters: Paul Frankel and Tiffany Mitchell Child Welfare American Humane Association Englewood, Colorado

21 21 Questions & Answers

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