|Promoting Responsible Fatherhood||Federal Resource Site|
[Current Around the Regions]
[Links were valid as of 9/2003]
HHS and its Regional Offices are working to coordinate fatherhood activities throughout the states and have sponsored a variety of forums to bring together local public and private organizations and individuals to support fathers' involvement in their families and communities.
Additionally a growing number of states have state-wide fatherhood initiatives. Information on some of the private and public sector state-wide activities are provided for each region. Note that the designation State of or Commonwealth of means that the fatherhood initiative is a function of a State office or agency. State-wide initiatives without that designation have been initiated and implemented by the private sector. Such private initiatives are primarily funded through the private sector, but may also receive some state funding.
To find out whats happening in the area of fatherhood, as it relates to HHS programs, initiatives, and responsibilities and other activities in each region, please contact the designated regional HHS staff. You can click on the map below or the list of HHS Regions to jump to a particular Region.
[ Region 1 | Region 2 | Region 3 | Region 4 | Region 5 | Region 6 | Region 7 | Region 8 | Region 9 | Region 10 ]
Regional web pages: Click on the Region name below to go to the Regions web page.
Regional Directors: http://www.hhs.gov/iga/regions.html
State Child Support Offices: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.htm#exta
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Administration for Children and Families
John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Rm 2000
Boston, MA 02203
As part of building an effective fatherhood strategy, Region I forges strong partnerships with local, state and national fatherhood programs and organizations. Working with these partners, the Regional Office produces an annual Fathering Conference that is attended by over 400 participants from throughout New England. The conference, now in its fourth year, features workshops addressing important fathering issues, cutting edge and best practice models in fatherhood programming and service delivery, and numerous learning and networking opportunities for early childhood educators, family service providers, parent educators, social workers, program administrators, advocates, and Dads who want to improve their fathering skills and learn more about the important role they play in their childs healthy development. Recent workshops included knowing what to expect your child can do and when, working with dads behind the walls, integrating marriage support systems in to fatherhood programs, fathers and the child welfare system, evaluation and outcome-based measures for fathering programs, and working with dads of children with disabilities.
The Regional Office also plays a key leadership role in producing a major Fathers Day celebration of fathering and families called Dads Make A Difference. The event, which takes place on the Boston Common, is free to the public and draws a crowd of over 10,000 participants. The days activities include onstage entertainment featuring magicians, comedy acts, and multi-cultural music and dance performances, hands-on educational exhibits, fun activities as well as information tables about local organizations and resources to help families and especially dads. The event also honors Super Dads. These fathers,granddads, uncles, and step-dads are nominated by children who write a 200-word essay explaining why their dad or other significant male is a Super Dad. This idea for a celebratory Fathers Day event is now replicated in other New England communities such as Worcester and Springfield, MA.
Region I continues to provide leadership and support for father and male involvement projects in New Englands Head Start and Early Head Start programs through its Good Guys initiative, small grants that are used by programs to encourage father involvement, provide staff development training, produce special events, facilitate father support groups, and many other activities. Virtually all of the Regions Head Start and Early Head Start programs now provide a specific focus on involving fathers and other significant male role models in their childs Head Start experience as an expansion of their parent involvement component. The Regional Office staff monitors a broad range of father involvement activities through special surveys as well as its regular monitoring activities, allowing us to identify promising practices and local staff who can provide leadership and technical assistance to their peers. Regional Head Start conferences and our Early Head Start Quality Conferences routinely feature workshops where local programs share their father involvement strategies and best practices. These conferences are also opportunities to share information about new services such as the NFIs Doctor Dad program. The regionally developed HS Self-Assessment Tool Kit has been revised to include a subset of questions relating to father involvement activities. Programs report that the assessment is not only helpful in preparing for PRISM reviews, but also helps to keep the importance of father involvement in full view for staff, parents and the local community.
Finally, all of the Region I states continue to provide a wide range of access and visitation services to address access and parenting needs of unwed, divorced, and separated parents. The regional office remains engaged with state fatherhood initiatives, including serving on state task forces and participating in state fatherhood networks, as well as sharing information about available resources for fatherhood programs.
Access and Visitation. Massachusetts provides unwed parents with courses in parenting education and on how to proceed through the court system. The expected outcome is that parenting plans will be developed by and for noncustodial and custodial parents. Contact Beth Winik at (617) 626-4182.
Access and Visitation. Rhode Island continues to provide court-based mediation programs and supervised visitation services that are scheduled to accommodate parents with traditional working hours. The Rhode Island Family Court is also planning to develop a brochure and educational video for children of divorced or separated parents that specifically address the realities of parental separation and offer suggestions for coping with a change in family structure. Contact George Dimuro at (401) 458-5320.
[ Go to Map ]
(New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands)
Mary Ann Higgins
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
26 Federal Plaza, Room 4114
New York, NY 10278
Phone: 212-264-2890, ext. 103
Region II, Male and Father Involvement Information Exchange
November 7, 2003, St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, Renaissance Grand Beach Resort
For more information go to http://www.nhsa.org/parents/parents_father_MAFI.htm
or contact JoAnn Nelson-Hooks, at (703) 739-0878
Registration closes October 7, 2003
Region II Office of Child Support Enforcement Fatherhood Activities
Access and Visitation. New Jersey established a Child Access and Parenting Time (Visitation) Advisory Group to address access and parenting needs of children of unwed, divorced, or separated parents. This on-going advisory group recently developed a pamphlet entitled "Parenting Time: A Childs Right" which will be distributed to all county courthouses as well as local police stations. The activities of the advisory group are in addition to the provision of specific access & visitation programs including mediation, parent education, childrens programs, supervised parenting time, neutral drop-off/pick-up, and site and therapeutic services. Contact Mary DeLeo at (609) 984-7793.
The following are several Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) TANF program activities that encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families:
WFNJ Step Parent Provision
In WFNJ, individuals who marry cash assistance recipients are not held financially responsible for the recipients children. This promotes marriage and stabilizes families.
WFNJ Faith-Based Initiative
New Jersey is taking advantage of the valuable resources that lie within local communities by forming a close alliance with houses of worship and other faith-based organizations. Through the WFNJ Faith-based Organizations Task Force, we are working to expand the support base that is available for families.
Through a statewide survey conducted of more than 6,000 religious congregations and houses of worship, the task force has developed an inventory of the nature and extent of social services which they provide to New Jerseys welfare population and the working poor. Ongoing efforts are directed toward assisting the faith community in enhancing or expanding available supports to families in need, in coordination with a broad network of government and private-sector service providers. Faith-based activities are provided for families with income of less than 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
New Jerseys efforts in the area of absent parents includes, but is not limited to:
Work will be done with the prisons and county jails as well as inner city community groups to reach the non-custodial parents.
The goal of this effort is not only to assist absent parents to meet their child support obligations but to enable them to become meaningful, active and positive participants in their childrens lives. This will be achieved by engaging these individuals in improvement activities on both the employment and personal levels. Fatherhood initiatives for cash assistance recipients who are absent fathers and members of WFNJ/TANF families are funded through Federal TANF and State MOE.
Services for non-custodial fathers who are not members of the WFNJ/TANF family are funded with State only funds.
New Jersey Earned Income Tax Program
New Jersey has enacted legislation (P.L. 2000, c.80, enacted August 14, 2000) to establish a New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. This program will further promote work and job retention by supplementing the incomes of low-income working families as they move up the career ladder and remain independent from public assistance. For purposes of the New Jersey Earned Income Tax Program and claiming of State MOE funds, the definition of a "qualifying child" parallels that found in the Internal Revenue Code used for Federal Income Tax reporting purposes. The New Jersey EITC program is available to families with annual earned incomes of $20,000 or less.
NJ Individual Development Account (IDA) Program
The NJ Individual Development Account (IDA) Program is being operated in conjunction with the Department of Community Affairs and its designated entities. NJ IDAs are being made available to both TANF and post-TANF recipients whose incomes are below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Client contributions are matched dollar for dollar up to specific amounts yearly for the purpose of saving for costs of a primary residence, post-secondary education and qualified business capitalization. Parallel to the savings process, participants are required to attend a basic financial education course and an asset specific training program.
Supporting Two-Parent Families
New Jersey operates a comprehensive state-funded program to support marriage and two-parent families by providing the same services and employment and work activities as those provided to TANF eligible families. Non-financial and financial eligibility is consistent with federal TANF and WFNJ criteria.
Access and Visitation. New York intends to fund local proposals for a wide range of access and visitation services. The State will also use TANF funds to jointly fund job and child access services to assist low-income, noncustodial parents fulfill their child support obligations. Contact Judith Smith at (518) 486-4611.
Employment Project: In New York City the Child Support Enforcement Program recognizes that it cant collect child support from a parent who has no source of income. That scenario leaves the child support system without a way of helping the children of the unemployed community. Therefore, they have joined forces with community-based organizations and Family Court to implement STEP (Step Through Employment Program). This program allows participants the opportunity to obtain job training and placement services with the goal of satisfying their child support obligations.
STEP was implemented in February 2002 as a pilot project in Manhattan, one of NYCs 5 boroughs. Manhattan Family Court hears all of the Citys TANF related child support cases, in addition to the non-public assistance cases originating in that borough. STEP is open to any non-custodial parent appearing in court for a child support hearing. The only requirement for STEP is an apparent inability to pay child support due to unemployment or underemployment.
The success of STEP depends on the cooperation of Family Court and the active participation of the organizations providing services. Since the implementation of STEP, 625 NCPs have been referred for interviews. Of that number, 128 either failed to comply, dropped out or were rejected. The remaining 80% moved into various stages of training and employment. The community-based organizations providing job training and placement are required to complete an evaluation report on each NCP after a 3 month period.
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(Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia)
Regional Program Manager for Child Support Enforcement
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 864
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499
On June 4, 2003, Region III CSE participated in a focus group conducted during a forum hosted by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS). Region III played an integral role on the planning committee that sponsored this one-day forum, entitled, Fatherhood Forever Building, Strengthening and Educating Families, held at the Philadelphia Convention Center and attended by over 700 service providers, community organizations, and young and adult male single family caretakers. The forums objectives were to provide the opportunity to: a) dialogue about the roles that fathers play in the healthy development of children in our diverse communities; b) share best practices about community-based initiatives and services that effectively engage fathers and other male caretakers in the developmental processes of their children; c) learn about access to existing fathers services; and d) explore service needs. A collaboration of city agencies, service providers, system partners, and community members came together to share a wealth of knowledge and experiences that needed to be examined and shared in order to more effectively address service needs for fathers in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
The forum began with opening remarks by: John F. Street, Mayor of Philadelphia; Myrna Field, Administrative Judge-Family Court Division; and Alba E. Martinez Commissioner of DHS. The Keynote Speaker of the opening plenary was Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, well-known author and an appointed Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dyson addressed the contemporary crises facing the African American community and the challenges facing disadvantaged males as being important role models and responsible fathers.
Region III CSE reserved exhibition space and gave out many pamphlets and informational materials on the Child Support Enforcement Program to forum participants.
Access and Visitation. Delaware has established special visitation centers where parents can safely exchange children and where visitation with conflicted cases can be monitored and supervised. Delaware has five locations statewide. Contact Joanne Finnigan at (302) 255-9880.
TANF. Through Delawares courts, State Service Centers are available for supervised visits between parents and children 7 days a week. The centers are also available as a drop-off point for visits with a NCP when the relationship between parents is too acrimonious for a cooperative pick-up/drop-off.
The Northeast Service Center has facilities for video visits between children and their incarcerated parents. Due to overcrowding in Delawares prisons, incarcerated parents may be transferred to Virginia correctional institutions. These transfers are done with little notice to the individual or family, for security purposes. The Center has video equipment to allow children to see and speak with their parents inside the prison.
Access and Visitation. The District of Columbia provides a hotline for parents with access and visitation problems to provide them with education and information materials and service referrals that will help solve their parenting problems. Contact Laurie Ensworth at (202) 724-2114.
TANF: The District of Columbia (DC) Department of Human Services (DHS) recognizes the significant barriers to responsible fatherhood and is immediately beginning to address them by drawing in critical partners with the experience and expertise for developing successful father-focused programs. Principal partners include the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership (NPCL), and the National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families, Inc. (NPNFF).
The District of Columbia Fatherhood Initiative (DCFI) is actively engaged in organizing all essential partners in both the public and private sectors who are committed to this national initiative. Currently, the District is using approximately $200,000 TANF dollars for existing grant programs that conduct job training, parent involvement and education for fathers. Additional outreach grants totaling $300,000 in TANF dollars are currently being funded for a years duration, continuing them into FY 2004. These additional grants are being awarded to both community and faith-based organizations. However, the District reports that both their fatherhood and marriage initiative grants will not be funded after this year due to fiscal constraints. While the District is well aware that encouraging fathers to be, or become involved with their children is an essential and worthwhile component, and they continue to seek support from private entities, the additional TANF bonuses will not be available to support the future grants.
DHS believes that the Districts children will benefit from parents who are actively involved in their lives and mutually responsible for loving nurturing, supporting and protecting them. Other critical partners who will be engaged by DHS are the Center for Workforce Development, the Center for Study of Social Policy, the National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families and the National Fatherhood Initiative.
CSE: The District of Columbia Child Support Enforcement Division (DCCSED) has been collaborating with the National Association of Black in Criminal Justice (NABCJ). This organization is a group of criminal justice professionals and community leaders dedicated to improving the administration of justice. NABCJ has published a technical training guide to be used by faith and community based groups in mentoring ex-offenders and their children. This organization can be contacted via their website: www.NABCJ.org.
Access and Visitation. Maryland provides a mix of services through community-based organizations such as mediation, counseling, design of alternative custody arrangements, as well, as supervised and neutral drop-off and pickup sites. In some cases, these programs are used in conjunction with job services to provide comprehensive responsible fatherhood projects.
TANF. Marylands Young Fathers Responsible Fathers Programs (YFRF) is one of seven father-focused initiatives in the State. The YFRP program does not provide financial assistance. However, it does provide services to custodial and noncustodial fathers such as parenting, education, family planning, GED instruction, job training, employment-search assistance, and self-esteem building. The program has seven sites in six counties and one located in Baltimore that serves young fathers, age 16 and up, who have one or more children. YFRF programs also encourage co-parenting for noncustodial fathers.
In addition, Marylands Youthbuild Sandtown Program (YSP), a subsidiary of Youthbuild USA, serves low-income at-risk youth, ages 16-24, in the West Baltimore Sandtown community. The program has a requirement that 25 percent of its program participants must be female. Seventy-five percent of the participants are school dropouts, teenage parents, single parents, noncustodial fathers or juvenile offenders who are given a second chance. Nationally, the Youthbuild program model has an 86 percent success rate with graduates going to college, and into the labor force earning an average of $11 an hour. The purpose of the program is to enhance the motivation, performance, and self-esteem of youth, and is thus reasonably calculated to achieve the third goal of the TANF law, the reduction of out of wedlock pregnancies.
Dads Connections Program - Washington County, Maryland
To increase effort, educate the community regarding the importance of fathers in childrens lives, and to advertise the services it provides to fathers. The program serves non-custodial fathers who are involved with Child Support Enforcement to establish paternity, develop child support orders, pay child support, secure employment, and mediate visitation plans.
Caroline County Department of Social Services - Fatherhood Program
The Fatherhood For Now program manager is facilitating a bi-monthly young fathers support group at Colonel Richardson High School. The goal of the program is to encourage those fathers not to father additional children until they are financially and emotionally ready. The curriculum teaches life skills and encourages those fathers to be involved in the life of their child(ren).
The Fatherhood For Now program manager and a Regional Mid-Shore Mental Health Services counselor facilitate a bi-monthly pre-release support group in detention with fathers scheduled to be released within 90 days. Each father received a $10.00 debit card at Wal-Mart for each session they attend. The goal of the program is to help inmates mentally prepare to meet the many challenges they will face when they return to their communities. They are referred to resources in the community to help them overcome their stated concerns/issues. He also facilitates a monthly support group in detention for any interested male.
The Fatherhood For Now program manager in conjunction with the DADS (Dads All Deserve Support) Support Group initiated a t-shirt essay in Caroline County Public Schools. Principals were asked to allow their student body to write essays about their fathers involvement in their lives and community involvement. The winners received a t-shirt and certificate. Some of the runners up received certificates. The t-shirt has a picture of a child sitting on a fathers shoulder on the front with the caption "Caught in the Act of Being a Great Dad." On the back of the shirt are the words "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove ... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child".
The Fatherhood For Now program manager is a volunteer monitor for the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension 4-H sponsored Dads Make a Difference Program. The program is a service-learning opportunity for teens dealing with fatherhood, parenting, and sexual responsibility. It is paternity education project where interested teens, learn and teach middle school-age youth about the importance of fathers in childrens lives.
Services to Ex-Offenders. The Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) is working with the Department of Corrections on a computer interface, which will identify non-custodial parents in state prisons, their expected release dates and specific locations, etc. This will enable CSEA to partner with competitive grantees providing services to ex-offenders coming back into the community. The plan is to identify which of these parents qualify for WtW funding due to a connection with a TANF child so that services can be offered both pre-release and post release. CSEA and the community partners will be seeking a federal grant to help set up a special unit within CSEA to provide case management services to these parents in order to handle their cases. The goal is to contribute to their success during transition into the community and not impede it by certain enforcement activities during reintegration.
(State of) Maryland Fatherhood Initiative
Keith Snipes is Deputy Director for Father Focused Initiatives and can be reached at 410-767-8477.
The Maryland Department of Human Resources oversees several fatherhood programs to support strong and healthy fathers. The Baltimore Partners for Fragile Families is one of ten national demonstration sites to serve low-income fathers and families who are at risk of welfare dependency. Dads Make a Difference is a project aimed to educate youth about the importance of fathers in childrens lives, parental responsibility and deferring parenthood until they are financially and emotionally ready. Marylands Access and Visitation Program provides services through non-profit organizations, local department of social services and family courts. Its aim is to focus on advocacy and services for non-custodial fathers including mediated visitation, neutral drop off centers, counseling services, support group activities and parenting contract development. The Responsible Choices Demonstration Project provides home visitation services to young first-time unmarried parents and two-parent families. Participants receive parenting courses, counseling, educational and job skills assistance. The Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Project provides services to low income, non-custodial fathers of families who are receiving or at risk of receiving temporary cash assistance or other social services. It offers assistance in job skill enhancement, parenting courses, problem resolution and co-parenting skills. The Young Fathers-Responsible Fathers Program provides services to young unwed or expectant fathers. Services address participant educational, vocational, social, emotional and mental health issues. Dads All Deserve Support (DADS) is a group designed to actively support fathers and soon to be fathers in their various roles as a caring adult. This activity-based program looks to connect men with any services necessary to become and remain positive community models.
(Commonwealth of) Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative
The Department of Public Welfares (DPW) Single Point of Contact/Pregnant and Parenting Youth program provides services to teen fathers. Non-custodial dads, ages 18-22, whose children are on welfare, can receive job training, parenting skills and help earn their GED. DPW is developing fatherhood programs at eight to 10 Family Centers around the State to provide non-custodial fathers with education and employment services, peer counseling, parenting and life skills training. The DPW uses its Access and Visitation grants to enhance the opportunity for personal contact between non-custodial fathers and their children. The Domestic Relations Section of the Courts administers the funds and awards funds through competitive bids to local organizations. The goals are to strengthen the relationship between non-custodial parents and their children, to increase child support payments, and to unify families. Services include mediation, counseling, education, development of parenting plans, and visitation services. Twenty-eight Private Industry Councils across the State use a portion of their Welfare-to-Work grants to offer employment, retention, advancement and training services for non-custodial parents.
The Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative includes a number of initiatives aimed at empowering individuals and building communities at the grassroots level. The Pennsylvania Parenting Program (PPP) is a key component of the Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative. Projects funded through the PPP grant program, which is funded totally with State dollars, are designed to complement the existing Federal Access and Visitation Grant programs. Monies awarded are used to: increase noncustodial parents involvement with their children; improve their parenting skills; increase payment of child support; provide supportive services to parents; and unify families. Services can include peer-mentoring, parenting, life-skills and employment training, legal services and other family assistance. Other departmental initiatives can be viewed on the fatherhood website under the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole, Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Labor and Industry.
TANF: Pennsylvania has been providing intensive case management services, repeat pregnancy prevention, parenting and child development education, homework and tutoring assistance, and other supports that have enabled tens of thousands of expectant and parenting children to stay in school and receive their high school diploma or GED. These and other services have been offered through the Education Leading to Employment and Training (ELECT) Program.
The ELECT Program has been in existence for over ten years. In that time, it was expanded to include:
The EFW Initiative began in April 2000. This initiative extended ELECT services to expectant, custodial and non-custodial parents whose income was under 235 % FPIG and who were not receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash assistance benefits. In Fiscal year 2000-01, ELECT and EFW provided services to 2035 young parents. Approximately 85.1% of the seniors, participating in these two initiatives, graduated or returned to school to complete their education.
In January 2001, the ELECT Program was again expanded to provide after school programming for at risk students in grades 4 through 12. This initiative, called ESW, is being piloted in four Local Education Agencies across the state. It provides after school programming, which assists children in reducing and eliminating risky behaviors, and in improving their school attendance and performance. It also provides homework assistance, recreation and sports activities, and age appropriate pregnancy prevention and denial skills training. ESW has been so well received that over 1440 of its 2000 available slots were filled in its first two weeks of operation.
In addition to helping young parents to remain in school and obtain their high school diploma, the ELECT Initiatives have been instrumental in assisting Pennsylvania in reducing out of wedlock pregnancies, helping young fathers to establish paternity, and promoting the formation of two-parent families.
Philadelphia County. The Networking for Jobs Program (NJP) is a Family Court initiative designed to provide access to job training and employment opportunities for those least able to obtain these services on their own. The main focus of NJP is to link unemployed, noncustodial parents (NCPs) with at least one child with an active TANF case with the resources they need to enable the NCP to become self-sufficient and better able to pay their support obligations. Although primarily aimed at NCPs with children on welfare, NJP also has limited resources available to non-welfare custodial and non-custodial parents. The Networking for Jobs Program provides parents with: coordinated, comprehensive job training; identification of jobs resources; job banks and information referral systems; assistance in job application and resume preparation; mentoring and support services; alternatives to criminal and delinquent behavior.
The objectives of the Networking for Jobs Program: Change Attitudes; Develop Marketable Jobs Skills; Enable Employment; Increase Amount and Regularity of Child Support Payments.
Pensylvania Parenting Program Grant Services
The Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative is part of Pennsylvanias project of community building, which includes a number of initiatives aimed at empowering individuals and building communities at the grassroots level. The Pennsylvania Parenting Program (PPP) is a key component of the Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative. The goal of the PPP grant is threefold: 1) to strengthen the relationship between noncustodial parents and their children; 2) to increase child support payments; and 3) to unify families. The PPP Grant solicits organizations and agencies to propose projects designed to foster responsible parenting by developing and administering community-based parenting projects to support noncustodial parents. In the search for these types of organizations, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania focuses on programs that will be administered at the local level where there is a wealth of knowledge regarding the community and those that reside in or in close proximity of it. Eligible activities under the PPP Grant include, but are not limited to: visitation services (both monitored, supervised, therapeutic, and neutral drop-off and pickup); mediation (both voluntary and mandatory); counseling; education; enhancement of employment opportunities; development of parenting plans; life-skills training; peer mentoring; and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.
The PPP complements the Federal Access and Visitation Program. In addition, the initiative addresses an ongoing concern of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by targeting regions of the State where there is a demonstrated need for parenting services. The PPP is budgeted to use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program dollars for the support of the fatherhood initiatives under the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, Purpose Four, encouraging the maintenance and formation of two-parent families.
The grant funds are available through the local Title IV-D agencies (county Domestic Relations Sections) to courts, local public agencies, or nonprofit entities. In January 2001, the Department of Public Welfare awarded $1.5 million in grants to five human services organizations. The projects are selected through a competitive request for proposal process.
The current grant allocation for PPP is $2.6 million, to be distributed over a period of twelve months to service providers throughout Pennsylvania.
|Impact Services Corporation||Needs assessments, parenting classes, employment services, service referrals, home visits|
|Community Building Services||Parenting education, job resources, service referrals, support groups, visitation services, mediation, peer mentoring|
|Hill House||Education, parenting services, mentoring, peer support, parent-child activities, counseling, child support arrears subsidy|
|Kids Now PACT||Mediation, counseling, parenting education, employment assistance, legal assistance, monthly activities to encourage access & visitation|
|Huntingdon County Parents Fair Share||Parenting services, family relations services, employment and income support services|
|County of Fayette Crime Victim Center & Fayette County Community Action Agency||Supervised visitation, counseling, parent education programs, Roller Coaster programs for children, neutral drop-off & pick-up, support groups|
|Armstrong County DRS/Community Action Agency||Educational services, housing & rental assistance, food bank, employment services|
|Erie County DRS/Erie Family Center||Visitation services, parenting education, neutral drop off/pick up, development of visitation plans, support groups, follow up services, referrals|
|Lawrence County DRS/Family Pathways||Assessments, mediation, support groups, counseling, therapeutic reunification, development of parenting plans, parenting education|
|Butler County/Family Pathways||Assessments, mediation, anger management groups, supervised visitation, therapeutic reunification, develop parenting plans, monitored exchanges, counseling, co-parenting education, community awareness training|
|Lackawanna Dept of Human Services /EOTC||Assessment, orientation, visitation services, therapeutic visitation, neutral drop off/pick up, parenting education, play groups, weekly group meetings, mediation, individual parenting conferences, home visits|
Access and Visitation Grant Program
The Federal Access and Visitation Grant Program was created under section 469B of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act as amended by Title III of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, P.L. 104-193 (42 U.S.C. 669b.). PRWORA provides up to $10 million annually for grants to the states for access and visitation programs. Federal Access and Visitation Grant funding is provided to enable states to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate noncustodial parents access to and visitation of their children. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to: mediation (both voluntary and mandatory), counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement (including monitoring, supervision, and neutral drop-off and pickup), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has participated in the Federal Access and Visitation Grant Program each year since the programs inception in September of 1997. The focus and administration of the Pennsylvania Access and Visitation Grant Program will continue unchanged for the distribution of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2002 funding. The grant funds are available through county Domestic Relations Sections (DRSs) to courts, local public agencies, or nonprofit private entities. The local Title IV-D agencies (county Domestic Relations Sections) are encouraged to sponsor a joint initiative with the Access and Visitation Service providers.
The Access and Visitation Grant Program, with projects currently operating throughout the State, offers services to support, counsel, educate, and challenge noncustodial parents to assist them to become a strong and positive force in the lives of their children. Rather than focusing solely on the fact that children are dependent on their parents for financial and medical support, the programs acknowledge the important contributions that parents make to the emotional and psychological health of their children. Eligible activities include: mediation (both voluntary and mandatory), counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement (including monitoring, supervision, and neutral drop-off and pickup), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.
In September 2001, the DPW, Office of Income Maintenance, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE), awarded FFY 2000 access and visitation grants to six community-based initiatives. The projects were selected through a competitive request for proposal process. The term of the grant agreement was September 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002. At the end of the initial grant period, DPW decided to initiate the option, under the provisions of the grant agreements, to extend the existing projects using FFY 2001 funding awarded to Pennsylvania.
|Armstrong County DRS||Armstrong County Community Action Agency||
|Allegheny County DRS||University of Pittsburgh The Office of Child Development||
|Erie County DRS||Erie County Family Center||
|Dauphin County DRS||YWCA of Greater Harrisburg||
|Lackawanna County DRS||Lackawanna County Department of Human Services||
|Philadelphia County DRD||The Salvation Army||
The VA Department of Health has instituted a campaign to encourage men to be a good dad. The State conducted focus groups with fathers to determine what kinds of materials and media coverage would be most effective. Fathers said they wanted to see ordinary men like themselves. Virginia has designed their public service announcement around the average dad, and has distributed their materials at sporting events, barbershops and other places that young men frequent. There is ongoing collaboration between the Division of Child Support Enforcement, within the Department of Social Services, and the Commonwealths Fatherhood Campaign.
Access and Visitation. Virginia opts to administer its program through local government and non-profit private agencies. Services provided to parents include mediation, education, counseling, development of parenting plans, supervised visitation, neutral drop off and pick-up and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements. Contact Bob Owen at 804-692-2407 or email: CRO900@dcse.dss.state.va.us.
TANF. Virginia is using TANF funds to operate its Right Choices for Youth (RCFY) Program, the Opportunity Knocks Program, and the Economic Employment Improvement.
Right Choices for Youth: The overall mission of this initiative is to promote, coordinate, develop and distribute educational and resource elements within the Commonwealth of Virginia that allow young people to make right choices and to avoid risk behaviors in a comprehensive manner, particularly those risks from alcohol, tobacco and drug use and engaging in early sexual activity and violent behavior.
The objective is to build the capacity of state, public and private entities to work with regional, community/local entities to implement and carry out comprehensive youth risk behavior prevention programs. These programs may include, but are not limited to, mentoring, life skills, job preparation/career development, social skills and abstinence education. Their focus includes strengthening of parent-child communications, promotion and enhancement of marriage and the marital relationship, promotion of responsible and involved fatherhood and development of parenting skills.
The Virginia Department of Health has been designated as the lead agency for this initiative. The initiative provides non-assistance services and benefits related to TANF purposes 3 (prevent and reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies) and 4 (encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families).
Funding is from the Federal TANF grant. The program targets middle and high school youth and adults who influence the youth population. This program is available to all citizens of Virginia without regard to family status or income.
For more information on this program contact Mark Golden, TANF Program Manager, at (804) 692-1731 or email@example.com.
Opportunity Knocks Program: This program is designed to improve the employability of disadvantaged persons through education and skills training. Services provided by grantees include training programs designed to meet specific employer needs, possible wage paying activities and employment and career paths that provide higher paying wages and benefits. The training programs also include job training, work-study, internship, apprenticeship, job shadowing and pert-time employment. The goal is to provide transitional assistance, which moves individuals into lasting unsubsidized employment leading to economic self-sufficiency.
The program provides non-assistance services and benefits related to TANF purpose 2 (end dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage). Funding is from the Federal TANF grant. The program will augment educational and employment options available to disadvantaged youth and those at-risk (ages 18-25). Individuals must be TANF recipients or qualify as TANF eligible income not to exceed 200% of FPL (including non-custodial parents). An RFP was issued statewide. The program operates in the following sites:
For more information on this program contact Faye Palmer, Welfare to Work Manager, at (804) 692-1065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economic Employment Improvement Program for Disadvantaged Persons: This program is designed to improve the employability of disadvantaged persons returning to the community from federal and state correctional facilities, the chronically unemployed and those displaced by technical advances in industry. Services provided by grantees include training programs designed to meet specific employer needs, possible wage paying activities and employment and career paths that provide higher paying wages and benefits. The training programs also include job training, work-study, internship, apprenticeship, job shadowing and pert-time employment. The goal is to provide transitional assistance, which moves individuals into lasting unsubsidized employment leading to economic self-sufficiency.
The program provides non-assistance services and benefits related to TANF purpose 2 (end dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage). Individuals must be TANF recipients or qualify as TANF eligible income not to exceed 200% of FPL (including non-custodial parents). An RFP was issued statewide. The program operates in the following sites:
For more information on this program contact Faye Palmer, Welfare to Work Manager, at (804) 692-1065 or email@example.com.
The Virginia Fatherhood Campaign (VFC)
Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE)
Access and Visitation. West Virginia commissioned a statewide survey of noncustodial parents as a way to ascertain the barriers to child access and visitation. Summary results of the survey indicated that visitation might be easier to expedite if there were more educational resources available to noncustodial and custodial parents regarding visitation rights, in addition, to the opportunity for voluntarily negotiating a parenting agreement as an alternative to court. The need for supervised visitation and neutral drop-off and pick-up sites were also reported. Contact Susan Perry at (304) 558-0909.
West Virginia Fatherhood and Families Conference
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services co-sponsored a Fatherhood and Families Conference with the Region III Office of the Administration of Children and Families and the West Virginia Department of Labor on June 5, 2003 at the Charleston, West Virginia Convention Center. Fatherhood and Family Community Service practitioners throughout the State were invited to attend the Conference.
The focus of the Conference was for the attendees to determine where they are as a group helping fathers and families and where they intend to go.
Speakers included Bill Coffin, ACF who spoke on Fatherhood and the National Healthy Families Initiative, Neil Tift, National Practioners Network for Fathers and Families, who spoke on the National Fatherhood Initative and David Lett, Regional Administrator ACF, Region III who discussed State Initiatives and available Federal funding.
Child Support and TANF
The West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE), WV Bureau for Children and Families (TANF), WV Bureau for Employment Programs (BEP), the Human Resource Development Foundation, and the Domestic Violence Coalition have formed a partnership to fund and support a pilot initiative called Parents Work/Families Win. Parents Work/Families Win Program is operated by Human Resource Development Foundation and is designed to assist unemployed and/or under-employed individuals to obtain employment that will enable them to meet their child support obligations and develop strong, positive relationships with their children.
In September 2000, the West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) entered into a cooperative agreement with BEP and HRDF. This agreement allows the BCSE to provide a list of non-custodial parents who may be eligible for the program. Non-custodial parents must have a child who is eligible for TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Social Security or Childrens Health Insurance Program, and owe $500.00 or more in arrears to be eligible for the program. Eligible participants will be offered assistance with employment, transportation, special needs, car repairs and insurance, professional licenses, counseling and relocation services if necessary. Parents Work/ Families Win actually kicked off in January 2001 and is now Statewide.
The initial goal was to serve fifty non-custodial parents. As of March 8, 2002, fifty-seven non-custodial parents were actually served. Ten of the fifty-seven exited (refused to participate) the program, one requested an extension due to extenuating circumstances, twenty-six are in training/seeking employment, twenty have obtained employment, and twenty-one paid child support averaging $129.92.
In addition to PWFW, BSCE is also working with New Connections, a local non-profit group, to provide paternity and child support education to young fathers in a friendly, non-threatening environment. These consultations are provided upon request. To date, West Virginia has conducted four sessions with young fathers, approximately, once a quarter.
The WV Bureau for Child Support Enforcement signed a cooperative agreement with Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board, Inc. for Welfare to Work for non-custodial parents. This agreement covers Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties. Right now, there are very limited restrictions on the non-custodial parents to be eligible for this program. BSCE is the referral agency, much in the same way that WV Works is the referral agency for TANF Welfare to Work candidates.
For more information regarding West Virginias Fatherhood Initiatives, please contact Rita Dobrich, TANF Program Manger, at (304) 558-5202, or Mary S. Bolten, Paternity Outreach Coordinator, at (304) 558-3716.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
The West Virginia Bureau for Child Support Enforcement recently developed a video and curriculum Get More, which was funded by an 1115 Demonstration Grant from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement. The video and curriculum is targeted for students in grades 7 -12 to reduce the number of adolescents who become parents before they are physically, emotionally and financially ready. The overall goal of the project is to join forces with numerous public and private entities to reduce the number of out of wedlock births to teens by 1/3 by 2010. Other goals of the project are: (l) provide education about paternity, child support, adolescent pregnancy prevention and other realities of teen parenting; and (2) to expose 1,000 adolescents to paternity establishment and adolescent pregnancy prevention education annually. The Bureau for Child Support Enforcement collaborated with teen parents, Kanawha and Cabell County high schools, the State Department of Educations Office of Healthy Schools, and the Bureau for Public Healths Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and Abstinence Only Education Programs in an attempt to produce a well-rounded program. Educators will be able to implement the curricula in the 2003-2004 school year. Contact Mary S. Bolton, Project Manager, Bureau for Child Support Enforcement at (304) 558-3716, for further information.
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(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW, Suite 5B95
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909
Child Support and Developmental Disabilities
Administration for Children and Families
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Suite 4M60
Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Phone: 404 562-2958
FAX: 404 562-2985
The Region IV Fatherhood and Male Involvement program, started in 1993, focuses on partnering with other agencies to increase the participation of fathers and other significant males in Head Start programs to develop effective strategies for strengthening males through the development of intervention and prevention programs.
The programs purpose is to provide support, mentoring, training and technical assistance services through local level communication and coordination among Family Planning, TANF, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, public and private sectors, state, federal and other organizations. These partners are working to encourage non-respondent fathers involvement with the lives of their children as part of the child support strategies, establish paternity, educate men in family planning and health strategies, leadership, life skills, family, self-sufficiency, mentoring services, etc.
In September, 2002, Region IV successfully implemented the Fatherhood and Positive Youth Development initiatives in each of the eight States. A total of 32 proposals were funded at a cost of $706,000. The Regional Office supplemented the $500,000 provided by Central Office with $206,000. The average funding level for each proposal was $22,063. Each successful proposal met not only the criteria established by Central Office but Regional criteria as well. Each State was funded for at least two projects.
Access and Visitation. Alabama provides an advisory group to coordinate agency and interest groups for the discussion of access and visitation issues to point the way for improved programs and policies including custody and visitation statutes. They will also train judges and staff on access and visitation issues. The program operates four pilot projects on mediation and parental education for a primarily unwed population in rural and urban settings. Contact Peg Walker at (334) 242-0300
TANF. Alabama TANF funds will provide funding for a Fatherhood Initiative that will be transferred to the Childrens Trust Fund (CTF) over the next two years to establish and oversee the program. Plans are to fund community projects to prevent early and unplanned fatherhood, strengthen relationships between fathers and children, and to increase child support payments by providing work and training opportunities. Additionally, Alabama has three fatherhood activities that are funded under the Welfare-to-Work program that targets the hardest-to-employ welfare recipients.
(State of) Florida Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives
(Formerly Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood)
Matthew D. Munyon, Executive Director
The Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhoods goals are to raise public awareness of problems created when a child grows up without a responsible father present, identify obstacles that impede or prevent the involvement of responsible fathers in the lives of their children, and promote successful strategies to encourage responsible fatherhood. Ten million dollars in TANF funds are being administered by the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood to fund local efforts to help fathers remain involved with their children. Information on the Commissions new Responsibilities will be posted as soon as available.
TANF. In Florida, the local WAGES (Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency) coalitions that administer the TANF program are funding programs targeting fathers, including employment-focused programs that require that fathers [who are delinquent in child support] find work or go to jail. Another project targets fathers of Head Start children for help with computer training, entrepreneurial skills and self-empowerment.
(State of) Georgia Fatherhood Initiative
Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education
1800 Century Place, Suite 400
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
Frances Barry, Director
The Fatherhood Initiative, created in 1997 by DHRs Child Support Enforcement office, uses State TANF and title XX funding to work with non-custodial parents who have a case with CSE and are unable or unwilling to pay their child support. The program offers: job counseling and placement assistance; placement into GED programs if needed; vocational training; classes on life-coping skills; and classes to strengthen parenting skills. CSE has entered into contracts with the Department of Technical and Adult Education to provide the range of services noncustodial parents need to get a job or move up the career ladder. Both TANF and Tittle XX-Social Services Block Grant funds are being used for this initiative.
Access and Visitation. Mississippi works with parents at Head Start centers and child welfare offices in an effort to help them develop parenting plans via mediation services. In addition, Mississippi also makes available supervised visitation services and information on the consequences of divorce as it affects children. Contact Pat Oluade at (601) 359-4873.
TANF. Mississippi has proposed using TANF funds for new initiatives for the hard-to-serve population. In FY 2000, $1.9 million was earmarked for Fatherhood Initiatives. The goal is to increase the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children and to provide supportive services to help fathers become more self-sufficient.
TANF. North Carolina is allowing counties to submit proposals to run their own fatherhood programs with TANF funds.
Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina Fatherhood
Patricia Littlejohn, Program Officer
The Sisters of Charity Foundation provides grant funds, technical assistance and other resources for community and faith-based groups, organizations and other non-profits whose efforts address the fundamental causes of poverty in South Carolina. The Foundation has embarked on a six-year state wide Fatherhood Initiative to strengthen the role of fathers and fragile families in the state. They have information and resources available to the community on the importance of fathers in families; the impact of fatherlessness; and other fatherhood programs.
Access and Visitation. South Carolinas access and visitation initiative is referred to as the VIP Program (visitation, involvement, and parenting). One component of the VIP Program includes pilot programs in both urban and rural counties. This is in addition to on-going Statewide access and visitation initiatives. The primary services provided to the two counties include the development of a curriculum (Caring For Our Child) and the establishment of workshops for custodial and noncustodial parents as a way of assisting parents in the development of parenting plans and skills in parenting partnerships. Contact Marvin Lare at (803) 898-7657.
TANF. South Carolina uses TANF funds for three programs that deal with parenting and pregnancy prevention for the couple, not specifically fatherhood. The Teen Companion Program is for youth who have never parented. The specific goals are to prevent pregnancies, reduce the youth dropout rate and increase options for self-sufficiency. The Youth Parent Program is for youth receiving FI benefits who are pregnant or parenting. The specific goals of this component are to reduce subsequent pregnancies, increase the number of students who return to school, increase options for self-sufficiency, reduce the need for Child Protective Services, and reduce low birth weight and prenatal defects. The Country Grants Fund for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives (APP) uses TANF funds to assist non-Medicaid or FI youth who have never parented. The program supports local efforts to prevent early sexual activity and to reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancy in each county. Initiatives emphasize sexual abstinence and male responsibility.
Access and Visitation. Tennessee invested its access and visitation funds in pilot projects in six judical districts. The purposes of these six pilots were to test the feasibility of requiring divorcing parents of minors to attend at least four hours of parent education; to mediate or negotiate a parenting plan that includes child visitation specifics; and to attempt to mediate any post-divorce disputes. Based on the successful results of these pilot projects, this requirement has become State law effective January 2001. Contact David Gilliam at (615) 313-4880.
TANF. Tennessee has been using TANF funds for its Fatherhood pilot project in Davidson County (Nashville) since implementation of its waiver/TANF plan in 1996.
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(Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
Joyce A. Thomas
ACF Regional Administrator, Region 5
233 North Michigan Ave, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Corey R. Hoze
HHS Regional Director, Region 5
233 North Michigan, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
Administration for Children and Families
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Administration for Children and Families
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Janice Ely, RPC
Regional Program Consultant
Office of the Regional Health Administrator
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
The Region V Fatherhood Initiative continues to support the collaborative relationships developed over the past several years. Region V partners have taken the initiative to a point where fatherhood activities are integrated into regular programming. Fatherhood is incorporated into monitoring and technical assistance contacts with program administrators. We are encouraged that our work has resulted in removal of barriers to services for fathers in all of our ACF programs. Indicative of Region V Head Starts enhanced role is the substantial commitment in resources made toward the Fatherhood priority. Fifty-one grantees received funds to support new special initiatives on Fatherhood/Male Involvement and Early Literacy.
On June 2, 2003, the ACF Regional Office held an invitational Tri-State meeting of the ACF Healthy Marriage Initiative. One of the speakers, Rozario Slick of the First Things First (FTF) organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, focused his remarks on the FTFs fatherhood component and the importance of a Father in ensuring a childs development and well being.
Support and monitoring of Early Head Start Fatherhood Demonstration Grants in Region V. The Regional Office hosts a quarterly conference call for EHS fatherhood grantees with the Illinois Child Support program, a recipient of a Child Support/HS collaboration grant. Funding for the grant has ended, but collaborative activities are continuing. The Indiana Head Start Collaboration director has agreed to participate in these calls.
Regional office staff supports the Illinois Non-Custodial Parent Services Fatherhood/Male Involvement Collaboration by attending quarterly meetings and taking active roles on committees.
Wabash Area Development, Inc., a community action agency and Head Start grantee, has taken the lead in supporting Fatherhood activities for Illinois HS grantees in cooperation with the State of Illinois Child Support program. During this year, workshops have been conducted throughout the State to assist grantees in developing and implementing fatherhood programs and enhancing partnerships with the child support and child care networks.
Regional Office staff developed fatherhood workshops for the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative Training Conference, the Region V Head Start Association, and the Illinois Head Start Association. A workshop on paternity establishment was presented at the Midwest Hub Youth Conference in June 2002.
Regional Office staff support community forums and annual town hall meetings in Chicago sponsored by Rep. Danny K. Davis, 7th Congressional District, Illinois.
Ongoing discussions have been held with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on fatherhood issues. As part of an effort to more effectively locate fathers as potential placement resources, DCFS has contracted for the development of two Diligent Search Service Centers.
The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative presented Team Dad awards to Joyce A. Thomas, ACF Regional Administrator, and Kay Willmoth, Director of the ACF Regional Offices Office of Family and Child Development. The awards were made in recognition of Regional Office support of fatherhood issues and concerns.
Region V recognizes the importance of multi-year planning for all priorities and the Fatherhood Initiative will be on the agenda of the Region V Fatherhood Workgroup. Region V has identified three key areas:
We will soon collect and disseminate the many accomplishments, Best Practices, Lessons Learned and suggestions for replication. As grantees began and enhanced their programs in 2003, hopes of success and high participation expectations took center stage. As the programs grant periods come to an end with the close of 2003, Region V will encourage grantee efforts to share program results and outcomes. The tracking and evaluations of each of the grant awardees will help all programs make plans for 2003-2004.
Wisconsin Fatherhood Conference Held March 7-8, 2003:
"The Father Factor: In Children, Families, and Communities"
Brochure in PDF format.
Host: Milwaukee Fatherhood Collaborative
For more information, contact Sherry Hill at 414-445-7588.
Region V ACF Deputy Regional Administrator James McCullum delivered the conferences first day luncheon presentation on the HHS/ACF Fatherhood Initiative, providing information on the initiative, fatherhood programming resources, and ACFs key priorities.
Ohio Fatherhood Conference, Fathers Matter: Promoting Growth of
the Fatherhood Initiative in Ohio, May 29-30, 2003.
Sponsored by the Center for Families and Children, Columbus, Ohio. www.c4fc.org/fathersmatter.
Approaches vary a great deal, but increasing numbers of grantees have utilized father-friendly assessment tools and followed through to act on the results of the assessment. This instrument helps programs to identify barriers to fathers participating fully in their activities. It was developed in Region V. The Father Friendliness Organizational Self-assessment and Planning Tool can be found on the National Head Start Associations web site at http://www.nhsa.org/parents/parents_father_assess.htm.
Local Head Start programs have made their facilities more welcoming by putting up photos, posters, father-male focused bulletin boards, and by adding reading areas with materials about the importance of fathers roles. Programs welcome support from their Policy Council male membership, male Head Start or child care staff, male state agency staff, community leaders and former Head Start fathers and grandfathers. Home Visitors are important recruiters and also emergent literacy advisors for dads in the home-teaching arena. Children often participate in designing, writing, and delivering materials inviting males to join father/child events. These materials include invitations to the events, brochures, billboards, posters, letters, newsletters, and newspaper articles.
A male role model survey indicated the top 4 events that the men would be interested in are as follows:
According to the survey, the best time for these events are nights or weekends. On March 21, 2002, the program held a "Fast Track to Fatherhood" Car Night. 51 males attend with their children. The evening covered basic car mechanics (for the adults), Safety Bear presentations (car seat safety), hands on art activities: decorate your own race car, a transportation collage, etc. The local Fire Dept. came with a truck, the Sheriff Dept. with a car, the local k-9 unit, a school bus and a train for the kids to ride. Car related door prizes were donated by local businesses.
Erie-Huron Community Action Council Head Start in Sandusky, Ohio, held a Male Model Fashion show with Head Start Dads and their sons. Human Development Commission Head Start in Caro, Michigan has combined fatherhood activities with literacy activities.
Regional Office staff support the partners for fragile families demonstration projects in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Director of the Indianapolis, Indiana project made a presentation to ACF Regional Office staff on the project activities in March 2003.
The Regional Office fact sheet, Child Support From the Fathers Side has been updated and is available for distribution. Young males are the target audience. Contact Geneva Bishop, 312-886-8416, for an electronic version.
Because the special initiatives fatherhood/male involvement programs focus on literacy, emergent literacy and early childhood development, new linkages are forming with diverse partners. The possibilities for partners are extensive: libraries; state extension offices; school principals and PTAs; regional, state, county and city agencies; faith-based organizations; mental health agencies and private practitioners; family support organizations and Parents Anonymous; colleges; adult education groups, literacy and computer literacy schools and programs; fraternal organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha and fatherhood organizations. Some unique cooperative ventures are being formed, such as with state Departments of Transportation and Departments of Natural Resources, which are proving to be very productive. Carefully developed partnerships enable local Head Starts to customize programs for their particular children, fathers, families and inter-generational interests.
The Administration for Children and Families, Region V, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in March, 2003, and participated in the organizations regional conference. The MOU provides a framework for ACF and Alpha Phi Alpha to collaborate and stimulate fatherhood initiatives with Head Start grantees. As a result, local chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha will target grantees in select communities and provide technical assistance, training and mentoring in fatherhood/male involvement activities.
The Region Vb Head Start technical assistance provider hosts the Head Start/Child Support/Child Care Collaboration web page. This page includes information on fatherhood activities and can be accessed from http://www.regionvqnet.org/2gether4kids. For more information contact Lois Rakov, ACF, 312-353-4237.
Examples of other state activities include: Toledo, OH - A calendar with photos of dad and kids and quotes on responsible fatherhood (copy available). Washtenaw, MI - Males from the community regularly come in and read with the children - (newspaper clipping available.) The Jackson, MI HS agency is participating in the EHS fatherhood demonstration project. They hosted a Michigan-wide fatherhood conference on June 15. Mike Singletary was the keynote speaker at this event. For more information, contact Franklin Marfia, 312-886-4925.
In some Region V states, early fatherhood/male involvement programs developed as part of Head Start/Child Support Collaboration grants provide more than five years of lessons learned. The OCSE-funded collaboration grants were awarded to six states. Two of the six states (Minnesota and Illinois) are in Region V.
The Minnesota Head Start, Child Care, and Child Support State and Local Collaboration Project focused in areas represented by four Head Start grantees, twelve county child support offices, twelve county child care assistance programs, and five local child care resource and referral agencies. The area encompassed both rural and metropolitan areas in Minnesota. This geographic area is also home to several Native American sovereign nations. For information concerning the program or its Final Report, contact Deborah Kreger, Deborah. Kreger@state.mn.us.
The Illinois Final Report, Illinois Head Start/Child Care/Child Support: Making a Difference in Childrens Lives is available. For information, contact Joseph Mason, (312) 793-0193.
On April 23, 2003, the Region V Administrator met with Region V Child Support IV-D Directors and their representatives in Chicago and encouraged the continuation of the Head Start/Child Care/Child Support collaborations that have been developed. The Administrator emphasized the need to build new links and partnerships, to promote the establishment of legal paternity and to participate in enhanced collaborations, cross-training and information sharing.
On June 17, 2003, the Region V Office will host a quarterly conference call for Child support, EHS and Head Start grantees with fatherhood and male involvement programs. Participants will include representatives from Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois.
As a result of ACF presentations at association meetings and developments within the state, the Michigan Head Start Association sponsored a Fatherhood conference on April 10-11, 2003. This event reached out to the academic world for presentations, and two hundred participants, representing a cross section of agencies including Friend of the Court, Circuit Court Judges, Community Mental Health, Intermediate School Districts Extension service as well as HS grantees, learned about recent research findings in this area. About one-third of the participants were fathers on scholarship paid for by foundations. The First Gentleman of Michigan, Mr. Grandholm, made his first public appearance in that role; this is an issue that he is interested in his own right. The Governor has placed emphasis on support to parents as part of her Child Action Network initiative. This indicates a link between the Good Start, Grow Smart and the fatherhood initiatives, which we can further explore.
Illinois Fatherhood Initiative
James Peglia, President
Peter VanVeen, Executive Director
Tony Hayek, Operations Manager
The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative was the countrys first statewide nonprofit, volunteer organization promoting father involvement in the lives of children. The initiatives activities include the publication of the "Illinois Fathers Resource Guide," a yearly calendar, and a childrens essay contest about fathers, What My Father Means to Me. Over 50,000 essays were submitted to the IFI from school children in Illinois on the subject, What My Father Means to Me. The Regional Office sponsored a volunteer reading center to read some of 50,000 essays Phone: (800) 996-DADS, www.4fathers.com, Peter Van Veen, Executive Director, (312) 920-9590.
Access and Visitation. Illinois provides mediation, counseling, parent education, and the development of parenting plans as one of many services related to child access and visitation. This is accomplished in conjunction with one county where there is a responsible fatherhood/fragile family project designed to assist low-income, unwed fathers in securing full-time employment and in becoming actively involved in their childrens lives. The contact is Joseph Mason, who can be reached at (312) 793-0193.
On September 12, 2003, at the Packard Plaza in Peoria, The Illinois Access and Visitation Programs present Family Reunion, bringing together non-traditional families though access and visitation programs. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Kirk E. Harris, Director of Public Policy and Community Building, Family Support America. The Circuit Courts of Cook, DuPage, and Peoria Counties will present their programs. Funding for this event is provided by the Federal Office of Child Support Region V and the Illinois Department of Public Aid. The contact person is Sheila Murphy Russell, (630) 784-6060, Sheila.MurphyRussell@dupageco.org.
In May 2003, Regional Office staff met with Dr. Kirk Harris of Family Support America, and other community service providers, to discuss fatherhood issues and Federal priorities in this area.
The Ounce of Prevention Fund and Region V ACF cosponsored a conference on the "First Years of Life" Making Connections, Sharing Strategies, Enhancing Services on September 19-20, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. The well attended conference included several workshops on fatherhood related issues.
(State of) Indiana Fathers and Families
Indiana Head Start Collaboration is holding a conference including fatherhood subjects on September 22, 2003 in Indianapolis. For further information, contact Donna Hogle, Indiana Head Start State Collaboration Office, (317) 233-6837, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Division of Family and Children, has initiated Indiana Fathers & Families to support community-based efforts to help promote and restore a better quality of life for fathers and their families. Activities include: project funding; dissemination of information on Indiana Fathers & Families, technical assistance opportunities, and other information that fosters the effective delivery of services focused on restoring fatherhood and renewing families; development of a statewide Indiana Fathers & Families Work Group; and development of partnerships between State and local government bodies, non-government organizations, businesses, local planning bodies, and individuals involved in promoting and restoring fatherhood in Indiana. In 2002, the State awarded $566,000 from TANF funds and $182,000 from Access and Visitation funds to community and faith-based agencies. The awards ranged from $25,000 to $30,000 dollars.
The Indiana Head Start Collaboration Office produced a video entitled Indiana Dads Talk. The Indiana Head Start Collaboration is holding a conference September 22, 2003 entitled The Role of the Father in the Family. The contact for both items is Donna Hogle, Collaboration Office Director at 317-233-6837 (http://www.in.gov/fssa/fathers/).
Michigan has established three pilot programs, each in 5 local offices, to address fatherhood and marriage issues. The first, Effective Parenting, exempts certain families from the states work requirements when it is determined they can better benefit from participating in a parenting education program. The second pilot, Encouraging Family Formation, requires parents of newborns 6-12 weeks old to attend 24 hours of programming on marriage, fatherhood, and parenting. The third pilot, Fatherhood, pays for paternity testing in an effort to reach 100% paternity establishment. The pilot projects are expected to terminate as of September 30, 2003.
TANF. Michigan provides employment services to non-custodial parents who are employed or underemployed in order to enable them to meet their responsibilities to support their children.
In May 2003, ACF approved an 1115 Child Support demonstration waiver for the State of Michigan. The demonstration project, centered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will test new strategies to support healthy marriage and parental relationships with the goals of improving the well-being of children, promoting paternity establishment, and increasing financial and emotional support to children.
The Michigan Head Start Association sponsored a Fatherhood Conference on April 10-11, 2003, in Lansing Michigan.
The Jackson Michigan Head Start agency, an Early Head Start demonstration fatherhood grantee, hosted a Michigan-wide fatherhood conference on June 15, 2003. Males from the community regularly come in and read with the children.
The Minnesota Fathers & Families Network announces the opening of its network office in Northeast Minneapolis on June 25 at an Open House at 1700 Second Street, Northeast, Minneapolis. The Minnesota Fathers & Families Network, www.mnfathers.org, is dedicated to initiating and promoting effective programs and public policy that enhances the responsible involvement of fathers in the lives of children, families and the community. For more information, contact: email@example.com or (612) 787-4091.
Use of TANF Funds. In 1999 the State began using TANF funds to support the Parents Fair Share (PFS) program, which operates in three counties (Ramsey, Anoka, and Dakota). The program serves low-income non-custodial parents (predominantly men) in a number of ways: 1) work and employment counseling, 2) parenting counseling, 3) peer group support, and 4) substance abuse treatment referrals. If the custodial parent is receiving TANF, the non-custodial parent may have his support order lowered for a period of time providing he is participating in the PFS program. If the custodial parent is not receiving TANF, the support order can only be lowered with the custodial parents consent.
Family Law Clinics - One of the most exciting things happening at the local level in Minnesota are the Family Law Clinics. Parents and interested others are invited to listen to a panel discuss various aspects of family law. Panelists may include a child support magistrate, county attorney, local attorney, guardian ad litem, social worker, child support staff, mediation specialist, and victims advocate. Questions are also taken from the audience. Sponsors of the law clinics include child support, Head Start, Community Action programs, and the faith community. The panelists donate their time, and community agencies and businesses also donate space and goods. Many of the counties are also putting together Attorney Law Clinics. The counties are sharing information with each other and replicating the workshops. They are using many local resources to overcome money barriers. In one community, the local parish offers their parish hall for no charge as long as it is left in good condition. They were also able to secure pop/soda beverages from a local distribution company for free -broken cases that could not be sold.
Outreach to incarcerated parents - State child support staff has teamed with correctional facilities to provide much needed information to incarcerated parents. In addition to providing information on modification requests at the time of incarceration, staff also attends transition fairs, conducts information sessions, and follows up on specific case issues. Resource materials specific to this population have been developed.
Minnesota has also developed resource materials for counties to aid in building relationships. These resources include:
Minnesotas Fatherhood Notebook also contains a handout on "Tips for Building Working Relationships with Other Community Agencies and Businesses - Sharing Knowledge and Maximizing Resources to Better Serve Families Using Child Support Services". Contact Deborah Kreger, Minnesota Child Support at 651-296-5737.
Ohio Head Start Association, Incs 28th Annual Training Conference and Retreat, June 9-13, 2003, focused on fatherhood at several workshops. The pre-conference session, Begin Where You Are included a special presentation on the Male Perspective. A conference workshop, Creating a Father Friendly Environment, concentrated on the significance of having an environment that is non-threatening to the father or males in the lives of Head Start children.
TANF Funding. The State distributes TANF funding to each of the Counties in Ohio, and they, in turn, plan and provide the services needed for TANF families. While it is difficult to know exactly what each County has done in terms of Fatherhood initiatives, they do have some interesting statistics on the numbers of non-custodial parents related to TANF cases that have received various services from the Counties through their TANF funding. In the first three quarters of State Fiscal Year 2002 (July, 01--March 02), 2,865 non-custodial parents have been served by the Counties around the State. Of these, 2,823 adults have received family counseling, employment services, domestic violence and chemical abuse treatment and education and training with the goal of providing fuller employment and stable family participation and ultimately more and better child support obligations. The remaining 42 cases are teen parents and youth that have participated in education, training and counseling programs aimed at education completion and healthy family formation. Virtually all of this funding is TANF dollars spent in individual County programs. The State encourages the Counties to use TANF funds for marriage formation, fatherhood counseling and improved participation in employment to meet child support obligations.
(State of) Wisconsin Fatherhood Initiative
A Wisconsin Fatherhood Conference was held March 7-8, 2003 looking at "The Father Factor In Children, Families, and Communities."
As a result of an Executive Order by Governor Tommy Thompson in August of 1998, the Fatherhood Initiative of Wisconsin was authorized. That Executive Order was followed by the Governors call for a Summit Meeting on Fatherhood issues, culminating in a statewide conference on Fatherhood in May of 1999. At that meeting, different State and local public and private agencies, and corporations, were asked to become involved in fatherhood programs and to make firm sponsorship commitments to such efforts in their communities. Following that, some 20 different entities, combined with government resources, came together to jointly sponsor a number of programs.
The most notable of these were the training and employment service programs for over 4,000 non-custodial and custodial parents, sponsored principally with corporate contributions and funds from the TANF and DOL Welfare-to-Work programs. That initial effort has led to the TANF funding (approximately $1,140,000 per year) of employment services for non-custodial parents under the Children First program and the use of $12.7 million from the DOL Welfare-to-Work Program over the last several years to support employment projects, education and training programs, and a number of healthy family formation counseling efforts throughout the State. Federal and State support continues to fund Fatherhood Initiatives throughout the State with some 43 Counties having specific Fatherhood projects working to provide services to both custodial and non-custodial fathers and to strengthen their family responsibilities and connections.
Excellent Fatherhood programs are found in Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Madison and the Rhinelander-Oneida areas. There is also a State Childrens Trust Fund grant program underway to provide small ($4,000) seed money grants to local communities throughout the State to plan and establish viable Fatherhood projects.
Head Start Wisconsin held a summit on Fatherhood in the States Head Start Programs at Oshkosh, WI, June 27-28, 2002. Keynote topics were the Importance of Fathers and What Head Start Programs Need to be Successful in Fatherhood Services. Work shop sessions included: Potential Partners to Support Fatherhood Programs; Head Start Fathers Tell Their Stories; Showcase of Current Head Start Programs; The Fatherhood Toolkit; Legal Issues of Fatherhood; How to Involve Mothers in Fatherhood Services; and Parenting for Dads. For information about this event contact Bill Welch, Region Va QNet Program Specialist, (800) 862-3725, ext. 243, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On December 12, 2002, the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Greater Milwaukee convened a conference on healthy marriage and family formation - a day of community assessment and planning. Part of the conference agenda focused on the importance of fatherhood and fatherhood programs. Region V ACF Regional Administrator Joyce A. Thomas delivered an overview of Federal program priorities and legislative matters, and provided information on fatherhood resources.
Male Involvement Projects
For the past three years, the Office of Population Affairs/Office of Family Planning (OPA/OFP) has funded programs that address family planning and reproductive health information and service for males. While research shows that young men recognize unintended pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS as serious problems, and acknowledge that prevention is a joint responsibility, experience has shown that drawing them into family planning/reproductive health information and service programs requires approaches that focus on their needs. The OPA/OFP projects are intended to integrate family planning service and education into programs where young males are already receiving other health, education and social services. Several steps have been taken and are planned to more fully involve males with reproductive health:
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(Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
Scott Harper, M.P.A.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 833
Dallas, TX 75202
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 945
Dallas, TX 75202
Office of Family Planning
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 1124
Dallas, TX 75202
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Region VI has been proactive in promoting Fatherhood initiatives and activities, in supporting Region VI States conferences, training networks, and attending/participating in States symposiums and events.
There have been several key events held in the five state area to focus attention on the issues of fatherhood, healthy marriage, and positive youth development with the potential for a positive impact on Americas families. Since 1998, the Region VI Office has successfully conducted Mid-Winter Leadership Conferences which have included workshops and presentations on various Fatherhood Initiative topics. The Regional Administrator recently delivered remarks at the South Texas Head Start Conference, Anchoring the Family, Fatherhood/Healthy Marriage during February 26-28, 2003, conducted a workshop at the 4th Annual Southwestern Fatherhood Conference, Empowering Families to Develop Their Full Potential during February 5-7, 2003, and attended the 6th National Summit on Fatherhood, Carrying the Flag for Fatherhood during June 11-13, 2003. This conference afforded the Regional Administrator the opportunity for networking with peers, practitioners, community leaders, clergy, and others concerned about the future of our (Americas) children and youth.
The Regional Administrator continues to promote and support all Fatherhood projects and initiatives in Region VI (States and Local/Urban and Rural) to improve the well-being of children in Region VI States via the involvement with responsible fathers. Model programs and best practices are showcased at Region VI events. Fatherhood information and research related to responsible fathering and males being involved are distributed at all Region VI conferences, symposiums, and meetings. The Alpha Phi Alpha Project is supported by the Regional Administrator and other key staff (including managers and team leaders) in numerous capacities.
Regional Office staff with the lead for fatherhood initiatives and projects frequently communicates with states, local organizations, and grantees.
The Access and Visitation Unit is excited about two new services offered to eligible Support Enforcement Services (SES) customers:
Jacqueline M. Baca
On October 24, 2002, the Child Support Enforcement Division sponsored the first meeting for Fatherhood Initiative Support Groups. The meeting was opened by the Director of the Child Support Enforcement Division with over 70 individuals from across the State attending. Five outstanding speakers including: Dr. Randall Turner, Vice-President, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), Gaithersburg, Maryland in addressing the group provided services for Dads on the national level, statistics and information based on studies, and to get information for Dads through TV ads, Mae Frances Rowlett, DHHS/ACF Region VI (Dallas) talked about changes in traditional roles, importance of Dads in the household, and funding sources/how to apply, Jacqueline M. Baca, Child Support Enforcement Hospital Paternity Program Manager and Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator, chaired the meeting and created three (3) Steering Committees, Kevin Jackson, GRADS Dads/MELD and Male Involvement Coordinator, talked about their program, and Tim Lopez, Youth Development Incorporated (YDI) Health Manager and Male Involvement Coordinator talked about the concerns and issues affecting young Dads and the many services needed, and how to involve Head Start Dads in the various programs.
Regional office staff (New Mexico Program Specialist and Fatherhood Lead) attended the May 1, 2003 New Mexico Fatherhood Initiative Partnerships Meeting sponsored by the New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division. This meeting of diverse individuals was held at San Albino Parish Family Life Center in Mesilla, New Mexico Federal, state, and local organizations were well-represented with 60 attendees many of whom were from the Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas areas. Speakers were from the National Fatherhood Initiative of Texas, Office of the Attorney General, State of Texas, Child Support Division, Child Crisis Center of El Paso, Child Support Enforcement Division, State of New Mexico, National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute, a project of Bienvenidos Childrens Center, Inc., Los Angeles, California, and the Mid-West CAP Agency-Grants Head Start. Major topics covered were how to prevent father absence, dealing with incarcerated dads, voluntary paternity, and male involvement with kids in Head Start Programs.
In 1996, the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) partnered with the 30 GRADS programs in the State. GRADS is a federally funded program at schools which enables teenage parents to complete their high school education while on-site day care is provided. CSED conducts presentations once or twice a year at each site and provides written educational materials and videos to GRADS teachers.
In 1999, CSED and the Children Youth and Families Department, the New Mexico Head Start Program, and the Administration for Children and Families, Region VI, entered into a partnership to provide Head Start personnel and families information on voluntary establishment of paternity and child support services. Through direct presentations and distribution of informational materials, CSED reaches approximately 7,700 head start families statewide.
In the recent years, CSED has become involved in addressing fatherhood concerns. Through fatherhood support groups, CSED has provided information regarding a fathers rights and responsibilities and services available to him. The fatherhood initiative effort is expanding in New Mexico. CSED works with fathers groups such as the NM Young Fathers Project, GRADS & DADS, La Vida Institute Circulo de Hombres, Ayudantes, Adolescent Family Life Program, as well as head start programs.
The CSED Voluntary Paternity Unit has also been invited to conduct presentations to various groups, i.e., faith based organizations, county health offices, WIC, Native American tribal census offices, family services organizations, male involvement groups, and correctional facilities.
The partnership between the Child Support Enforcement Division and the Maternal and Child Health Service, State Health Department has continued to promote public awareness on Fatherhood issues and to educate teens on parental responsibility (Dads Make a Difference Program). Numerous pairs of teen peer educators and adult advisors have been certified. Millwood School District has provided the program to 150 middle school students. Two other school districts taught the Dads Make a Difference Program during the 2002-2003 school year. Dads Make a Difference is endorsed by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.
The Child Support Enforcement Division has partnered with Oklahoma head start centers, day care centers, hospitals, libraries, primary schools and other organizations to promote the benefits of establishing paternity, the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, and providing presentations and child support resource information.
The Oklahoma State Head Start Collaboration Officer recently provided information on how the states local programs are busy undertaking fatherhood activities and complementing the Marriage Initiative effort. Activities range from having a day for dads to come to school with the children for a portion of the day to providing training in fatherhood issues as part of parent training. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies has offered training sessions on fatherhood, one of which included a two-part training session offered on the Marriage Initiative. All of these training opportunities for Head Start are being offered as a result of requests from the Oklahoma Head Start Association and the CAA Executive Directors.
Additionally, a number of Head Start and CAA staff have been trained by the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative as train the trainers. In turn, the Oklahoma Head Start Association now has a representative on the committee that coordinates state activities of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, which includes the state-level fatherhood initiative activities.
TEXAS TITLE IV-D FATHERHOOD PROJECTS
The Texas Attorney Generals CSD was funded for $105,254 (Federal funds) for the Bootstrap Project - Mediation, Partial Child Support Reimbursement and Jobs Program. The grant is funded through September 30, 2003. This project provides job-training stipends to young, low-income fathers and provides other services that will assist these young men find employment and become better parents. Texas Fragile Family sites in four Texas cities - Austin, Houston, Laredo, and San Angelo - are providing these services.
In October 2002, the CSD was awarded a Section 1115 grant entitled "Increasing Collections for Paroled and Released Non-Custodial Parents in Texas." The grant will test strategies for increasing the number of cases in which paroled and released NCPs regularly pay child support. In addition to promoting employment and the regular payment of child support, the demonstration project will also test ways of achieving family reintegration and parent-child contact. The project will be conducted in Houston and El Paso.
This is a partnership among private and public organizations and service providers to implement parenting programs that focus on involving fathers in the upbringing of their children. The program has been developed in Texas through the partnership of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The CSD has taken an active leadership role in developing this project since its inception and has assisted by providing training on child support requirements.
For more information see http://www.cppp.org/tff/
PAPA is a curriculum developed by the CSD and made available to all secondary schools in Texas. The curriculum which has recently been updated, offers information to young people on the rights and responsibilities of parenting. The curriculum is targeted to grades 6 through 12. CSD provides in-service training to teachers and other community-based organizations.
The TAG and the Texas Workforce Commission have developed collaboration with the local workforce development boards, and the Texas judiciary to identify, refers, and provides services to non-custodial parents who qualify for Welfare-to-Work services. This project was piloted in Bexar and Harris Counties (Houston Works), but is now being expanded statewide. The Welfare to Work funds can offer an extensive array of services to eligible parents, including job readiness, job placement, training, child care, transportation, and education (including parenting education).
(State of) Texas Fatherhood Initiative
John Chacon, Director
The Texas Fatherhood Initiative seeks to improve the health and well-being of children by reducing father absence and promoting responsible fatherhood. The TFI defines father absence as a lack of physical, emotional, or spiritual connection between fathers and their children. The primary message of the TFI is that fathers play a unique and irreplaceable role in children's development. TFI conducts the following activities: 1) coordinates a multi-media, public awareness and education campaign on the consequences of father absence and the need to promote responsible fatherhood; 2) organizes Community Fatherhood Forums across the state; and 3) operates the Texas Fatherhood Resource Center (TFRC), which provides individuals and community-based organizations with fatherhood-related resource materials.
Faithful Fathering Initiative in Texas
Post Office Box 1702
Sugar Land, TX 77487
This spiritually-based organization helps fathers understand and develop their role. They specialize in community events such as fatherhood seminars, essay contests and father-to-father small groups designed to encourage and support men in their role as dads.
Center for Successful Fathering, Inc.
13740 Research Boulevard, Suite G4
Austin, Texas 78750
Founded on the belief that children need the balance of a mom and a dad. Its mission is to educate and equip both men and women for the essential role fathers play in raising their children.
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(Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska)
Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist
Office of the Regional Director
Department of Health and Human Services
601 East 12th Street, Room 210
Kansas City, MO 64106
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
601 East 12th Street, Room 276
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816-426-3981 x195
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
601 East 12th Street, Room 276
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816-426-3981 x195
On its website, Region VII ACF maintains information about male involvement activities in its States and includes links to some websites that might be helpful in program development: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/region7/malegate.htm
[Note that most of the links on this site are not maintained by DHHS.] The following is a sampling of success stories and strategies you will find on the website. (Click on each heading to reach the description.)
The following lists each of Region VIIs State Fatherhood Project Websites & Basic Facts.
The National Center for Fathering is located in Kansas
Note: Description located under State Watch Section as Kansas Shawnee County Fatherhood Court Project
Child Care Association of Wichita/Sedgwick County:
Early Head Start Fatherhood Program
Seeing the importance of having fathers involved in the lives of their children, three men associated with the Wichita Early Head Start Program formed a Fatherhood Committee in April 2001. In the beginning fathers were encouraged to bring their kids one Saturday a month to a cookout, where usually a speaker or a lesson plan was presented. In November 2002, two of the original founders of the program traveled to Washington DC for in-depth Fatherhood Training.
From this Training a Fatherhood Curriculum for their Program was developed. The curriculum includes sessions on:
Beginning in January 2003 this curriculum is being used fulltime. This group now meets every Monday evening. About 5-7 fathers attend regularly. Quarterly all the fathers attend a big socialization. This socialization usually consists of a speaker or a special event.
Contact Information: Glenda Wilcox, Director
Andrew Bierig, Training Secretary, Fatherhood Committee [RBierig@ccaehs.org]
Early Head Start
200 W. Douglas, Suite 200
Wichita, KS 67202
Head Start held its first Regional Fatherhood Summit in Parson Kansas on April 12, 2003. The Opening Session featured nationally known speaker, Jim Kern, who spoke on Connecting with our Kids: Heart to Heart. Other Conference presentations included:
Over 50 participants attended the summit. Door prizes were awarded, not only to adults, but to children in our on-site childcare, which was provided by a local Faith Based Organization at no cost to the program or the participants. The Grand Prize was a drawing for a trip for 1 father to attend the National Fatherhood Summit and for 2 others to attend the Kansas Fatherhood Summit. Other prizes included activities for families, such as games, fishing poles, cookbooks and tools.
The Fatherhood Taskforce is fully aware of the critical role male figures play in the lives of children and their families. Outcomes based plans have been developed for men to be more responsible, committed and involved in their childs life. Our measures include: male involvement in classrooms as volunteers or employees, involved males in home visits and Parent Teacher conferences and involving more men on Policy Council.
Some of the planned activities:
Contact Information: Sharla Hopper
http://www.pbs.org/workfamily/states/resmissouri.htm, PBS Listing of ACF Regional Office Fatherhood Contact
http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/region7/mocseini.htm, Basic information for MO Fatherhood Initiatives at the State level
http://www.fathers.com/, The National Center for Fatherings Urban Father/Child Project is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri
http://www.jccombat.org/fatheringcourt/cands.html, Fathering Court - Jackson Countys Fathering Court has become a national model with respect to the judiciary assisting fathers with reconnecting back to the community, work and their children
The YWCAs Head Starts Male Involvement Initiative or Ma. G. I. C., represents a comprehensive approach to reaching out to the local communities, fathers and male mentors, by inspiring men to become more involved in programs and the process of early childhood development.
Ma. G. I. C. is open to the biological parent, as well as the extended family members, such as grandfathers, uncles, cousins and other positive male figures that influence the childs life. The Male Involvement program provides training and technical assistance to other social organizations seeking to increase male involvement.
Ma. G. I. C. activities include Literacy Training, Job Training, Educational Development, Enlisting Positive Male Community Role Models, Promoting Family Togetherness, as examples.
An ongoing fatherhood project is to enhance the effort of Ma. G. I. C. through literacy development. The focus is to increase the literacy skills of fathers/significant males, who are involved in Ma. G. I. C. By increasing the literacy skills of the males in the program, the literacy development is increased for their children also.
The nine module program (lasting five-weeks/module), uses various activities and presentations designed particularly for the males to increase their reading skills. Some activities include the children and/or their families as part of the course work.
Contact Information: Male Involvement Specialist
Phone: 314-427-4940, ext. 237
The Fatherhood Initiative at the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska - Head Start is striving to increase the involvement of men in the lives of their children in the south central portion of Nebraska. This Initiative promotes fatherhood to families of Head Start children through education, support and advocacy.
For further information - http://www.mnca.net/ (Scroll down to the "Fatherhood Initiative" tab)
With Schuyler, Nebraska having had a large growth in Hispanic families over the past few years, the local Head Start Center developed a Fatherhood Initiative respecting the language and culture of these families. A bilingual Fatherhood Specialist was hired to develop the Fatherhood programs. These programs include:
Contact: Schuyler Head Start/Early Head Start
101 East 12th/107 West 12th
P.O. Box 6
Schuyler, NE 68661
Phone: (402) 352-5084
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(Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming)
Thomas F. Sullivan
Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building
1961 Stout Street, Suite 926
Denver, CO 80294
Dakota Fatherhood Summit
The Dakota Fatherhood Summit III held on May 21-23, 2003, in Fargo, ND was a huge success with 180 attendees from six states. More than half of the attendees were representatives from Head Start (HS) programs. Some of the more than 40 seminars: The Challenge of Father Involvement; Dads and Daughters; Fathering in Native American Communities; Approaches to Strengthening Marriage in Families and Communities; and Roles of Men in Prevention of Family Violence. The next such event is scheduled for October, 2004.
Grantee and Faith and Community Organization Activities
Region VIII Head Start and Early Head Start programs are making great strides to promote the Fatherhood Initiative. The summaries below indicate programs efforts to increase the participation of fathers in Head Start centers. Highlighted for Colorado is also the states noncustodial parent programs.
State Fatherhood Initiatives
The lead for the State Fatherhood Initiative is Dan Welsh, of the Colorado Office of Child Support.
The state of Colorado hosted a two-day Strengthening Families Conference in late 2002. As a result of this conference, a semi-permanent workgroup has formed. From that workgroup, four subcommittees have recently emerged: positive youth development, healthy marriages, parenting (which includes a fatherhood component) and economic independence. The groundwork for these subcommittees is currently being developed. Strategies will be designed to address each of these important topics.
Denver Work and Family Center (WFC)
The WFC is a collaborative effort that receives its funding from the Department of Corrections, the Justice Department, the Rose Foundation, Welfare-to-Work, and the local Denver Child Support Enforcement unit. The collaboration is designed to assist recently released felons with reintegration from prison to the community. The WFC currently has a staff of 12, including several full-time case managers and employment specialists who provide services to 750 recently released inmates annually. The staff works together to assist ex-offenders with obtaining fair child support obligations agreements, viable employment and a relationship with their children when possible. As a measure of success, during WFCs first year of operations, in 1998, the recidivism rate dropped from 40% to 27%, and child support monthly payment rates increased from 0% to 40-45%.
Denver Partners for Fragile Families (PFF)
The PFF program operates out of the "Young Fathers Program started by Human Services, Inc. (HSI) in 1994. Since July 2000 the program has been operating from a mixture of federal funding from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Welfare-to-Work and private funding from the Mott, Rose Community and Denver Foundations. Denvers PFF program is one of 10 running as a demonstration in the country. The program is focused on young fathers between the ages of 14 to 26 years of age. HSI, a non-profit organization, has been selected to operate the program and, in collaboration with the Denver County CSE unit, the Denver Mayors Office of Employment Development, Denvers Enterprise Community and various other partners they have created a curriculum that allows the young fathers to become self-sufficient and support their children.
El Paso County Parent Program (POP)
This program is in its fourth year of operation. The first three years it operated under a federal grant awarded to develop an innovative approach to create a strong community effort to serve noncustodial parents that lacked the means to support their children. The POP operates as a partnership between the El Paso County Department of Social Services, Policy Studies, Incorporated (PSI), the Center on Fathering and Goodwill Industries. These central partners work in coordination with other community agencies to provide services including employment and training, mediation, parent education, child support assistance and community referrals to unemployed and under-employed non-custodial parents and their families. An evaluation of the first three years of the program is available upon request.
Larimer County People Achieving Responsibility through Education, Nurturing,
and Training (PARENT) Program
The PARENT program is also open to custodial parents. It consists of a 6-week program designed to help noncustodial or custodial parents find employment and increase their knowledge of parenting. Funding for this program has been through CSE dollars and a federal grant. The federal grant allows the monthly support obligation to be paid for the custodial parent while the noncustodial parent attends the 6-week session.
Mesa County Parental Responsibility Employment Program (PREP)
This program is designed with "sticks and carrots. Noncustodial parents are referred through contempt process or drivers license suspension enforcement remedies. These parents are told by the CSE unit staff or court personnel to cooperate with the local Workforce Center and the PREP to obtain employment and training if needed, or to get other identified assistance such as budgeting skills. If the parent cooperates with PREP the contempt action and/or the drivers license suspension is lifted. In addition, upon completion of the program and upon entering into a repayment agreement with the CSE unit, interest is reduced and, if the noncustodial parents family is on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the arrears assigned or owed to the State can be reduced. However, if the noncustodial parent fails to cooperate with the PREP, contempt, drivers license suspension, interest and assigned arrears continue.
Pueblo County Yes 2 Kids (YTK)
YTK is designed to assist both the custodial and the noncustodial parent in overcoming barriers that may prevent them from supporting their children. Case managers work with the both the custodial and noncustodial parents and the child support enforcement technicians to open communication lines and create a positive atmosphere between the three parties so that both parents can begin to support their children. In addition, the case managers continually work to develop strong community connections with outside resources that can assist the custodial and noncustodial parents to become better supporters and providers for their children. Y2K has created unique opportunities for their targeted parents to obtain gainful employment, create fair parenting times, and even assist the parents in becoming more proficient with budgeting their resources.
Southwest Colorados Program of Self-Empowerment (POSE)
This program services Montezuma, La Plata, and San Juan counties. POSE is currently operating under a contract with the Department of Labor for Welfare-to-Work funding that is to expire September 30, 2002. They have developed good working relationships with the communitys employers and receive referrals from the local child support enforcement units and by word of mouth for the noncustodial parent clientele.
Note: Boulder, Jefferson and Montrose Counties are reportedly starting programs similar to those above.
Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver
Under the leadership of the father advocate with Rocky Mountain SER (a Head Start grantee), members of the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver contributed to the content of the Fathers Day proclamation that stresses the importance of celebrating fathers in a positive light. The Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver is composed of representatives from over 50 different service organizations and community members from Denver and the surrounding area. These representatives gather monthly to network, share information on resources, and develop community activities that recognize, celebrate and support fathers. The Fatherhood Coalition sponsors Fathers Day-themed activities. In addition, Fatherhood Coalition members will soon receive training on Dr. Dad, a nationally recognized program designed to ensure all fathers have access to training that teaches them about meeting the health care needs of their children. The typical Fatherhood Coalition member works directly with young, non-custodial dads to ensure they receive ongoing support and training to contribute to the health, education, and safety of their children.
Boulder County Board of Commissioners Head Start
This past program year, Boulder County HS has collaborated with Boulder County Prevention Connection to provide a seven-week parenting class in Spanish for fathers. This series, called Love and Logic, took place in both Lafayette and Boulder. The programs other fatherhood activities include a "Donuts for Dads" day where dads stopped by for doughnuts and to see the great things their children were doing in the classroom. On April 30, the program also celebrated the Day of the Child targeting Spanish-speaking fathers for a fun day of activities.
Board of County Commissioners of Adams County Head Start (ACHS)
On February 21, 2003, nine staff members participated in a Fatherhood Audio Workshop and conducted the DIG IN! - Male Involvement Program Assessment. They assessed the following areas: male involvement, emotional climate and philosophy, staff training, physical space, parent involvement, activities for fathers and father figures, involvement of non-resident fathers and father figures, and fatherhood development. The Management Team conducted the same assessment two weeks later.
During the months of March-April, 2003, the Management Team conducted a Walk-Through Program Assessment. The team visited all the centers and assessed their physical space, resources and materials available for fathers, program forms, and communication methods used with fathers. The results from this assessment showed the program is neutral to both men and women.
In April, the programs staff in-service featured Craig Heart, father involvement specialist with the Family Star Early HS program. Mr. Hart presented "Fathers Presence Matter." Craig discussed the importance of staff examining their own feelings and relationships with their fathers and husbands. He provided strategies for staff to identify their own issues in order to better serve men in the program.
Catholic Charities EHS
Two Catholic Charities staff members attend the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver meetings. The EHS Program Coordinator and Family Development Specialist attended the 21st Century Exploring Parenting/Fatherhood Toolkit conference in August 2002. The HS Family Services Coordinator is attending the Fatherhood Toolbox Conference in Jefferson County and has been implementing a father-friendly atmosphere and father-friendly activities.
On Thursday, June 12, 2003, the program participated in the Fathers Day Fair put together by Denver Human Services and the Fatherhood Coalition of Metro Denver. The fair included prizes, an appearance by the Colorado Rockies mascot, and a walk around Rude Park. Catholic Charities provided a presentation of the HS program, flyers for parents, and an activity for children.
Denver City and County - Denver Great Kids Head Start:
Denvers Great Kids HS and its delegate agencies: Catholic Charities, Clayton Family Futures, Denver Public Schools, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, and Volunteers of America have established a three-year goal with corresponding objectives to address strengthening families. These objectives include: Prevention, Intervention, and Reduction of Family At-Risk Behaviors, participating in programs that strengthen families by reinforcing the role of parents and family networks when providing developmentally appropriate guidance to their children), and developing Cultural Competencies to train HS staff on strategies and techniques needed to serve a culturally and linguistically diverse community.
With regards to the Fatherhood Initiative, currently each delegate agency (see above item) has developed a program for fathers, which includes other care-giving males involved in the childs life. Catholic Charities is participating in the Los Padres program, and Denver Public Schools (DPS) was involved in a roundtable discussion with Rocky Mountain SER and Los Padres. Two members of the DPS family services staff attended the training on the Fatherhood Toolkit offered in August 2002.
Mile High and Denver Public Schools have been actively seeking out male staff members to create a welcoming environment for fathers and other male family members. Mile High is currently receiving training regarding male involvement. Some parenting and GED classes had male facilitators. By gaining information about the male perspective, staff is working to become more father-friendly. Including fatherhood as a topic for staff development has supported this evolution. As a member of the childs family, fathers and other male family members are invited to participate in program activities. Fathers and mothers are both invited to staffing meetings for special needs children. To take into account family needs, the parents are provided the option of participating in separate meetings for review of the staffing information.
Representatives from the delegates and grantee are involved in the metro Denver Fatherhood Coalition. The Coalition sponsored an event on June 12, to which all delegates staff and families were invited. Denvers Great Kids HS has been working with the Region VIII Office to establish initiatives through the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, which has committed to implement programs nation-wide supporting male involvement.
Developmental Opportunities (First Steps EHS)
First Steps EHS has been working on a fatherhood involvement initiative in conjunction with the Fremont County Family Center. Following are examples of completed activities.
Durango 4-C Council (Tri-County Head Start)
The program schedules time to share information at Parent Center Committee meetings and general parent meetings. The program provides a Focus on Fatherhood handout and the Fatherhood Facts book is available to staff/parents. Also provided are pamphlets about involving men in the lives of children, monthly Father/Male Mentor newsletters, the Colorado Fathers Resources Guide, and parenting classes The Incredible Years.
The program makes fathers feel welcome when bringing their child to school and they include fathers in all activities. The program provides incentives including t-shirts, books, gift certificates, and store bought items. The program also had specific family events to engage males, father/male interest surveys, and a motivational speaker about staff biases held on a 2/24 in-service day. A grandfather/male mentor also was asked to help interpret at-home visits.
Iliff Community Center Inc.
The Iliff Community Center, Inc. HS has involved fathers in the program for many years. One activity that has been a great success for the program has been Lunch for Dads. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, or any other person may attend so that the HS child has someone at the luncheon. Around two-thirds of the fathers and other male figures participate.
Rocky Mountain SER Head Start Fatherhood Initiative
The RMSER HS Fatherhood Initiative was built on collaboration and cooperation with the Fatherhood Project of Family Star Early Head Start and the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition (CSPC). The Director of the Fatherhood Project at Family Star assisted with staff training sessions in Denver and Trinidad. CSPC directed the collaboration for the Los Padres Curriculum Training in which forty-five fathers were trained and completed a 14-week curriculum designed to connect fathers in a more meaningful way with their families than before and to engage them in their childrens education and social development.
Upon completion of the training, thirty of those fathers attended the 23rd Annual CSPC & 10th Annual Youth Institute Theme: Wings for Tomorrow, Families Organize for Todays Education in Keystone Colorado May 23-25, 2003. Since 1980, CSPC has had an annual statewide conference addressing issues parents have identified in education, social welfare, immigration, language, and culture.
The Fatherhood Initiative is connected with the Fatherhood Coalition of Denver. This Coalition is composed of representatives from over 50 different services organizations and community members from Denver and the surrounding area. These representatives meet monthly to network and share information on resources and develop community activities that recognize, celebrate and support fathers. This year the Coordinator of the Fatherhood Initiative led the members in writing a Proclamation for Fathers Day.
The Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator serves on the Council for the Fatherhood Project at Family Star EHS, Denver, CO. The Coordinator serves on the Planning Committee for the Father & Family Collaborative to be located at the Family Star EHS facility in Denver, CO. This collaboration with Family Star EHS allowed Denver Father Advocates to attend the Los Padres training in English at Family Star EHS and a Family Star EHS father to participate in the Spanish Los Padres Training at RMSER. The Coordinator of the RMSER Fatherhood Initiative has designed and facilitates a workshop entitled Engaging Mens Hearts in which participants reflect on fatherhood through the poetry about fathers and then participants are asked to write their own poems about their fathers. The core of this workshop states that if we are not engaged with our own fathers or the fathers in us, it is difficult to deal with the fathers of the children we are working with.
Father Advocates made inroads in developing relationships with the fathers in several centers increasing the participation of fathers in the HS centers. This was the heart of the program. Each of the Advocates learned to network with other resources in their communities for the benefit of the fathers in their programs. All of the Father Advocates participated in the Los Padres Training. Each of the advocates will participate along with two fathers from the Los Padres training in each area of the Training of Trainers, facilitated by the CSPC staff to be held June 25-27, 2003. This Training will be held at the RMSER HS facility in Denver.
St. Vrain Valley Child Development Council (Longmont)
The program conducted Fathers at the Pool night and a 14-week training program for Hispanic fathers, called Los Padres. It involved sessions on early childhood education, communication, and community leadership. Three fathers completed the training successfully and received commendations from Governor Bill Owens. Bookshelves were built for the fathers homes to promote their own family libraries as well as specific books about Dads in Spanish and English. Each child also received a set of magnetic letters (English and Spanish) to do a variety of activities at home with their father.
Thompson School District R2-J
The Family Service Providers have made efforts to plan family activities that would appeal to dads. The program hosted Take-Apart Night during which dads work with their child to take apart a variety of old appliances. Dads are recruited for and hold officer positions in center committees and the Policy Council. The parent libraries have books for fathers. Every effort is made to involve fathers in parent/teacher conferences, staffing meetings, and transition meetings.
Wray School District RD-2 (Yuma County Head Start)
The Yuma County HS program serves 34 families with centers located in the communities of Wray and Yuma, Colorado. The following accomplishments have taken place concerning the Fatherhood Initiative during the 2002-03-program year:
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) continues to be a partner in the Governors Council on Families. Governor Judy Martz recently made a proclamation on the focus of the Council, which is family formation, supporting responsible fatherhood, and healthy marriage, and faith-based involvement. TANF is a partner in the Head Start Collaboration grant that includes strengthening families and improving parental bonds with non-custodial parents, particularly fathers.
Kinship placement policies in Montana prioritize placement with the non-custodial parent, typically fathers.
TANF policy does not require deprivation for two-parent eligibility, increasing the likelihood of the father being present in the home.
Action for Eastern Montana Head Start
Fun nights including all members of the family, have replaced some of the scheduled parent center meetings. Male subject posters have been added in each center parent room along with more male type magazines. A BBQ for important males in childrens lives have been held.
Donuts for Dads/Granddads, etc. days are being held. Also, males read to your kids days, specific projects geared to each center (i.e. design and build a rock garden labeled as Fathers Park), and information for fathers was added into the New Mothers Packets.
"Dads Info" was added to the yearly calendar given out at the start of the school year. Information was complied from a male friendly survey given to all parents and staff and the results were sent to all parents. A committee was set up to address areas to improve on male involvement. Attendance of males at parenting classes has increased by sending special personal invitations. Prizes purchased by parents for attendance give away gifts at meetings now include male as well as female items.
A.W.A.R.E., Inc. Early Head Start
The program developed a male support group that meets so fathers can talk about any issues on their mind. At each of these meetings a literacy activity is sent home with the fathers to share with their children. The program also has a few single fathers in the program which volunteer in the classroom and are brought into the group.
Central Montana Head Start, Inc.
The program held trainings for fathers, brought fathers into the classroom, and held a week of lunch with males. One activity was bowling with the fathers and children, which included the whole family getting together for a picnic and BBQ.
Child Start, Inc.
Father Focus Group - In February a focus group of HS fathers/father figures was convened. The group was comprised of nine HS fathers. Facilitation was provided by an independent contractor with 20 years of experience conducting this kind of group information gathering activity. The session lasted nearly three hours and a great deal of positive information was the result. The focus group was also used to form a HS Fathers Planning Committee. That group has met and decided upon various father and child oriented activities. Those activities will be initiated in September and continue throughout the school year.
Staff Training - Using the information from the focus group, a training package was developed for training for all HS staff. This training is intended to include members of the community who have current programs focusing on father/male involvement. It will familiarize staff and the HS community with available local resources, increase communication skills, identify needs of fathers, and present new fatherhood materials for buildings and classrooms. In other training-related developments, three staff members attended the state Fatherhood Conference and other training sessions. They are available to provide on-going technical assistance to other HS staff to include more fathers in their program activities.
The program purchased many books, including both childrens books with fatherhood/male involvement themes and adult books focusing on fatherhood issues. We also purchased posters with male themes to be distributed to each classroom and put up in public areas of the buildings. Male-themed materials are much more evident throughout the buildings and in classrooms. Teachers have been able to select from a broader range of male-oriented teaching materials.
Changing Expectations - Fatherhood literacy activities have been increased in the program. Male theme units have been created and incorporated into classroom activities. Family Community Partnership activities have included more fathers. Focus group information has been used to increase the father friendly environment in the HS center. In addition staff has been encouraged to improve their communications skills with fathers during home visits and other parent/teacher activities.
Literacy Activities - There has been a great increase in father participation in the programs early literacy events. This is readily evident by observing the numbers of fathers who attend all of the regularly scheduled early literacy events. A literacy contest is scheduled for the fall and will be a prelude to the annual Reading Fair.
Fatherhood Plan - A long term fatherhood inclusion plan is being created with input from staff and fathers. It will address all aspects of the HS program.
Deer Lodge County Commission
The program is continuing the Mr. Reading program and dedicated a week to the males in the program whether they are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or other males in the childs family. Fathers attend and participate in activities around the building with the children, such as getting the yard ready for summer and projects in the classroom. Kiwanis are involved with the males in the program. They also get a large number of HS boys which are part of the key club to come and read with the children, perform plays, and other activities.
District IV Human Resources Development Council
Currently, the program is advertising for a male volunteer coordinator. The program is considering having a BBQ for fathers. Several males are very active in the programs parenting class.
District IX Human Resource Development Council
The programs staff has several new ideas regarding Fatherhood resulting from a Fatherhood conference that the staff attended. The program has developed a Library at Home with early reader books that parents take home and read and send back a form with their comments on the book. A different book can be chosen if they dont like the original book they chose. They do this about three times a year. The Child Care partner is also included in this project. An audio conference involving males was held so they could interact with other males in other programs. Children and fathers in the program used their skills to build a storage unit. Fifteen fathers built a new sand box for the Belgrade site.
Head Start, Inc.
The program provided numerous activities for fathers and their children. Fathers activities included: attending a childrens play at the local theatre, literacy events, support groups facilitated by professional counselors (FAN Club - Fathers are Necessary), Dads Day in the classroom, and a Dads Newsletter. In the Head Start Inc. program 149 fathers of 315 participated in one or more events. The plan is to have fathers from the support group help other fathers through mentoring and networking.
Human Resource Council District XII (Butte)
Donuts for Dads days are held monthly. Fathers and other males built a library room in the gym for families and children to use. Fathers attended a class to help the kids make special gifts for their mothers for Mothers Day. A scholarship fund for males volunteering at least a specified number of hours has been established. The male volunteers write an essay to qualify for funds to continue their education goals.
Missoula Early Head Start
All of the fathers in the program participate in all activities provided, including a social work intern who started a fathers group. The fathers have elected their own leadership, a president and vice-president. They are now deciding on the activities they would like to do during the summer. The vice-president of the Parent Committee is a father in the center-based program.
Northwest Montana Head Start
The program has held Donuts for Dads days and a parent fair with booths geared toward males (i.e. a car maintenance booth, a hunting booth). Audio tapes are sent home with the childs favorite book for the fathers to read with them. Fathers are on the policy council. Two staff recently attended the Fatherhood summit and collected several resources and materials with ideas to implement next year on their Fatherhood Initiatives. The male involvement is estimated at around 10% in most of their centers.
The program held two fatherhood meetings around the "Diggin" curriculum. A panel of six fathers has completed a self assessment for the program to make flyers and questionnaires more male friendly. The program developed a male support group and developed plans to work with absent fathers. Packets are mailed to these males to keep them involved with their children that are participating in the program. Sixty-five or more fathers have been involved this year.
Ravalli County Head Start, Inc.
FY 2003 Fatherhood Outcomes as measured against FY 2002: The number of male volunteers increased 37%, far exceeding the programs objective of 15%; training, resources, and support to males as role models in our HS program were increased 30%; exceeding the programs projection of 15%; and strengthening the roles of fathers and other supportive men in early literacy was on average 35% higher than the programs stated objective.
A core group of fathers/father-figures was formed to organize a strategic approach to increasing male involvement in the lives of HS children. These men have planned and implemented activities for the whole family. They also took part in the Reading Fair, RIF Book Give-a-ways, the Parent Expo, and more. The fathers meet twice monthly aside from events. Altogether, the Dads Inc. group planned and held seven monthly outings including bowling, skating, and sledding. Their goal plan was to provide children with activities they do not typically have and to support healthy family relations including positive fatherhood. Their events are very popular, for example, one event was attended by 86 out of 130 Head Start families and another was attended by approximately 110 children and family members.
Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc.
The program hired a volunteer coordinator for 12 hours a week who had fathers and children build bookshelves at each site. All the children received a book when the bookshelves were completed.
Housing Industry, Training Inc.
The West River HS was awarded a special competitive fatherhood initiative HS grant. The program has hired fathers (current and past HS parents) to develop, implement, support, and evaluate male/father involvement in each center. The goals of this initiative are to increase fathers confidence in parenting skills, to increase positive parenting practices, and to increase positive interactions with fathers and their children. Fathers and other males will participate with the HS children in reading books, community book reading, fishing, a Fall Carnival, bike rodeo, and a zoo picnic. Community collaborators for this special initiative include: the local police department, county extension offices, work programs, Big Brothers, 4-H, and the Boy Scouts.
Mayville State University (0-5)
The program sent a copy of Father Times, a newsletter for fathers and father figures to each male involved in the program. This newsletter is from the North Dakota State University and included the following articles: Taking Time for Play, On Fathers and Play, Activities for Fathers and Children, Play Time, etc.
Newport School District #4 (TGU)
The program invited a local famous racecar driver to the HS site to meet with the children and their fathers. He also brought his racecar. The children and their fathers were able to have their picture taken with the driver and his car. They also held a race with Matchbox cars that children brought from home.
A MAPS (Males Achieving Parental Success) newsletter is sent monthly to each father in the program. Articles include Fathering Non-Custodial Children, Fathering, Couple Relationships, Kids, Male Munching, etc.
Williston Public School District #1
Outreach to male participants has increased over the past year, through an effort led by a father-friendly evaluation of the program, with the guidance of a father on Policy Council. Male support was reflected in many ways; through parent surveys, parent meeting agendas, resources specific for fathers in the parent lending library, male involvement events, and with fathers volunteering in the classroom. The Trenton HS center has books on display featuring fathers joining their children in the classroom, participating in literacy activities for a Daddy, Donuts, and Me event, and family members assisting with making valentines.
Interlakes Community Action, Inc. 0-5 (SD)
The program held a Fishing with Your Father program. During the program a small tub was set up with gifts and the HS child and their father went fishing for these gifts. Each child in the classroom wrote descriptions of their father and mother. The children completed sentences like: My Fathers favorite color is and My father is years old. All of the fathers and mothers were then invited to attend a meeting where the fathers had to pick the posted description written by their children that described them.
Northeast South Dakota Head Start Inc.
The program sends a newsletter called Down To Earth Dad to each father every month. Articles have included: Building Strong Minds, A Fathers Magic Touch, and Quality Time. The program has a Fatherhood Leader at each site who usually is one of the fathers at the site. The program meets monthly to organize activities for the fathers at each site. Some of the activities have included: Donuts with Dad and Father Fix-it-Up day. The program purchased a disposable camera for each child and the fathers took pictures of the father and child participating in the various activities. The father and child then made a photo album containing these pictures.
South Central Child Development
The program has made efforts to involve fathers and significant males in all appropriate aspects of program activities. A statement from a Head Start father at the Yankton site, who serves as president of the local ministerial association, indicated that the program was implementing a Fathers Advisory Committee. The role of the committee includes seeking input from fathers within the program and the community regarding the types of father/child literacy activities they would like to participate in with their children.
University of South Dakota (0-5)
The program sponsored a literacy program where the Head Start child could earn a free book by having their father, or a male figure, read 15 books to them. A Derby Car race was held where the fathers and Head Start children made their own derby cars. All the cars then competed in a race. The program held an evening with Clifford the Big Red Dog (from South Dakota Public Broadcasting) where each father and child had their picture taken with Clifford.
At the beginning of the year, a Male Involvement Survey is given to each family from every center. A Spanish survey is available for males that primarily speak Spanish. If there is no father in the home the staff finds a male role model for the child (with the mothers permission) to fill out the survey. This survey is used to set up activities and to get resources from father /males. The program has shared the survey with other Head Start programs in Wyoming. The program maintains a Father Liaison for each center. Fathers come to the centers to participate and lead many activities such as: Circle Time, Doughnuts for dads, and Reading time with dad. The Powell center had one dad come and make pizza with the children, and at the Thermopolis center dads came in a cooked dinner for the family. At many of these activities the moms also come into to help.
The program has a new activity, it its first year, called 21 Century Exploring Parenting, which is designed specifically so fathers can attend. Seven fathers attended the program.
The program is also developing a grant to incorporate Mother Goose Math. Fathers will play a major role in leading Mother Goose Math.
The program has also implemented the following male involvement activities:
Carbon County Child Development Program, Inc.
The program began implementation of the Fatherhood Initiative by holding a meeting on February 12, 2003. The meeting was attendees included fathers, Policy Council members, Family Advocates, supervisors, and the director. All three sites were represented. The program participated in the Region VIII Fatherhood Audio Workshop, and the staff and parents at all three centers were surveyed about this workshop. The surveys indicated that the respondents felt all three centers were father friendly, and the program could make fathers feel more welcome by making the reception areas more appealing to males. All three centers agreed to work on their reception areas to add features that were appealing to males. Each center also agreed to have at least two activities to increase the male/fatherhood involvement before school was out. Additionally, the program is part of the Fatherhood list server that continues to provide new ideas and resources.
The program help a special activity was held for fathers and children as part of the Parent Center Committee meeting. The males and children made boats out of tin-foil, and a competition was held to see which boats could hold the most pennies without sinking. Hamburgers and beverages were provided, and the fathers helped cook the hamburgers. Parents also brought salads, deserts and chips to share. The parents and their children then played BINGO. Local businesses donated almost $300.00 in prizes for BINGO. There were prizes for adult winners and all of the children received a prize. Twenty parents were in attendance of which 14 were fathers.
The Rawlins Center held a family activity in which fathers, grandfathers, and other significant male figures were invited. Paper airplanes were designed and flown by the fathers and the children. Contests were held to see which airplane flew farthest and small prizes were handed out (local businesses donated prizes). The parents and the children also enjoyed root beer floats at the activity. There were 65 parents in attendance of which 34 were males. The Hanna center held a similar activity in which 15 out of 21 parents that attended were males.
The male Family Advocate in Rawlins who is also a Head Start parent from the Hanna center held a barbeque for parents and children. Of the 18 parents that attended, 10 were fathers. The Rawlins Parent Center Committee voted to have a Cheeseburger for Dad/Family BBQ for both first and second lunches. Current and past Head Start fathers and grandfathers brought barbeque supplies, and barbequed and served lunch. Of the 230 people attending 120 were males.
The Saratoga Center held a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration. There were 7 fathers in attendance that were honored. The fathers also helped deliver and set up the chairs for this event. These fathers as well as other parents were recognized this for all of the volunteering they do, including fathers that provide maintenance when it is needed in Saratoga.
The program has also involved fathers and other significant males by inviting the local Hot Strikers Club composed of high school boys to come to events and spend time with children whose fathers were not able to attend. The program has hired a male family advocate who is also a Head Start father. The program also has male bus drivers in all three centers. The program also involves the fathers in the Family Partnership Agreement-goal setting process. When school resumes in September all three centers will continue to meet and brainstorm on what has worked and what the program will try in the future regarding male/father involvement.
Children Development Services of Campbell Co. (Gillette, WY)
For the Fatherhood Initiative with Early Head Start, the program is including men as part of our parent meetings and Budget Committee. The program schedules home visits and Discovery Times so the fathers or significant others are able to attend.
A Fathers Day breakfast was held in the classrooms and men were encouraged to come have breakfast with their children and grandchildren. The program holds quarterly Family Nights (Male Involvement Night) where families come to the center and work together making items such as garden stepping stones, and reading books such as If You Give a Pig a Pancake, where families made pancakes and pig noses with Junior High students. A potluck dinner was held which included making planters out of wood and planting seeds. The program has also held a woodworking night, played at the Fishing Lake (with water balloons, relay races, potato sack races), gone fishing at the lake, made and flew kites for kite night, and had activities in the atrium with paper airplanes and bubbles.
Community Action Laramie County, Inc.
The program is in the beginning stages of creating a comprehensive family and community involvement plan that will include a specific plan for fatherhood development and male involvement. The staff has participated in the fatherhood audio conference as well as several workshops at the regional conference. The staff has received training throughout the year on this issue. The plan will be fully implemented in the fall. The program has conducted several surveys with staff and parents regarding where the program stands in the area of male involvement.
The program has a Family and Community Involvement Coordinator and the fatherhood involvement piece is included in the job description. The coordinator compiled resources for the management team to begin the process of developing a plan.
Laramie Child Development Corporation
Approximately 10 percent of Laramie Head Start fathers and significant males were involved during the 2002-2003 school year in program sponsored activities. Male and father specific prizes were available at activities such as: early literacy books on male/child bonding and relationships, and camping and sporting equipment and caps and hats.
The program provided all families with the Laramie Head Start Parent Pack and it included information on Father/Male Involvement. Articles have included "Fathers and Their Childs Education. Its Important to Be Involved." The Parents for a Better Tomorrow (Parent Committee) meeting titled "Your Head Start 101" included a section on father/male involvement that included requesting fathers to be involved in coordinating program activities for fathers/males and their children.
The Parent Involvement Services Manager actively recruited male volunteers from the parent pool as well as from the community. Two male students from the Laramie High School received volunteer training and were placed in an afternoon classroom. One volunteer contributed 115 hours of in-kind services to Laramie Head Start and the second volunteer contributed 35 hours.
The program newsletter invited fathers/males to be part of a panel and provide input into father/male and child activities. The fathers that responded wanted separate activities and more time to discuss issues/challenges surrounding father/male involvement. One current HS father volunteered to lead the panel discussion on father/male involvement. The Parent Involvement Services Manager prepared a packet of information (Father/Significant Male Involvement...A Fathers Love) to be distributed during the panel discussion. The packet included the following topics:
The program held a workshop specifically geared to father/male involvement that was led by a Head Start father. The group reviewed and discussed the Father/Significant Male Involvement... A Fathers Love packet of materials and completed a survey about male involvement. The packet was distributed to every family after the workshop.
The Learning Center, Jackson, WY
The program held a meeting of all the fathers in the program and had a discussion on their role as fathers. The meeting was facilitated by a father in the program.
Lincoln-Unita Child Development Association
The program has created father/child activities that include Dinosaur Stomp (dining with dads), Boats and Books, Dads Day, Pizza Night, and Book and a Buddy. These activities build on literacy by structuring reading time for father and child and by including books in take home activity packets.
Northeast Community Action Program of WY (NOWCAP) Early Head Start
The Hot Springs County Site holds a Discovery Group twice each month. Seventy percent of the fathers are attending and participating in program activities and Parent Center Meetings. Sixty percent of the Dads are actively involved in the home visits as well, and in some cases, home visits are done primarily with the Father and child. The Southern Big Horn County site has fifty percent of the fathers actively involved in socialization groups and twenty-five percent are frequent participants in home visits. The North Big Horn County site has twenty-five percent of the males involved in socialization groups in Washakie County and fifty percent of the fathers are actively involved in the home visits.
The program includes pictures of males in recruiting materials and these materials are posted in businesses such as hardware stores, service stations, barbershops, and farm supply stores. The program also incorporates a father friendly curriculum into the program that is rich in handouts for males that include pictures of fathers with moms and with new babies.
Sweetwater County School
Fathers are encouraged to attend parent teacher conferences, home visits, and parent meetings. Books and materials that emphasize the fathers role, such as dollhouse families, and family Lego sets, are used in classrooms. Staff received training early in the year to address the Fatherhood Initiative. They were provided information regarding the benefits of male involvement as well as instruction on how to encourage families to participate. Teachers report that male involvement appears to have increased and more males attend Head Start home visits and socials than before. One father took a strong leadership role with the Parent Committee this year. Two fathers served on Policy Council. Several Home Based and Combination Option fathers attend the socials on a regular basis.
Wyoming Child and Family Development Inc. HS
The purpose of the Fatherhood Initiative Grant was to implement the You Can Count on Mother Goose, which promotes literacy and math skills.
Seventy males participated in the project. Each participant completed two two-hour sessions. A third session was made available for those who could not attend both of the regularly scheduled ones. The males in attendance included fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and uncles.
Head Start staff at each site presented the Mother Goose program. The primary goal was to help fathers and significant males realize their importance in their childs literacy development. Eleven childrens books were presented as well as ideas for doing activities that relate to the story. Upon completion of the two sessions, each family was able to take the books and activity boxes home.
A Center Coordinator submitted the following email: It truly almost made me cry to see those dads reading to each other and making books, etc. at the various stations. They are doing such a great job. They are really showing an interest in learning about becoming involved with their childrens literacy. Thanks for getting the program up and running. It has been a big hit here!
The participants were asked to complete a pre-questionnaire and a post-questionnaire regarding literacy issues in their families.
Wyoming Child & Family Development, Inc. EHS
The program has a male focused literacy project. More than 70 fathers have participated in this training effort and have received books and literacy kits. Fathers were also observed assuming active roles on the Policy Council, Center Committees and parent group meetings as well as providing literacy activities for children in classrooms.
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(Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, and American Samoa)
Regional Health Administrator
Federal Office Building
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94012
Administration for Children and Families
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94102
Administration for Children and Families
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94102
CHOICES Program. The Office of the Regional Health Administrator is involved with the Choosing Healthy Options If Considering Engaging in Sex (CHOICES) Program. The Program targets high-risk adolescent and post-adolescent males, ages 12-24, in the Central East Oakland and greater Richmond areas to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. CHOICES is a male focused information and education program aimed at promoting family planning, responsible fatherhood, and goal-oriented lifestyles. CHOICES provides opportunities for young males to receive health education and to interact with older peers who serve as role models. The program is designed to help participants learn how to set life goals, acquire an education, obtain a good job, and improve life skills. The program has provided community forums and health education workshops to more than 1,500 individuals over a two-year period. Of these, 64 young males successfully participated in a 10-week life development curriculum. An additional 40 are targeted toward the end of 2003 and more than 100 adults have pledged to participate as mentors, role models and guest speakers. The Region IX Office of Family Planning is in the last of its three-year commitment to fund the program through the Alameda County Department of Health.
Regional Conference Calls. Regional staff continue to facilitate quarterly conference calls with the Region IX and X States, providing a forum for the exchange of information and best practices (Fatherhood conferences, Healthy marriage initiatives, sharing of research findings, etc.). The calls also discuss activities at the State and local levels, showcasing collaborative efforts between child support enforcement (CSE) and sister agencies as well as Access and Visitation projects, prison initiatives (order modifications, job training, etc.) DOL/work referral initiatives, etc.
Funding. Regional staff continue to alert State CSE, TANF, Head Start, and Child Welfare agencies, and other interested parties (Fatherhood projects, Faith and Community based coalitions, etc.,) regarding competitive funding/grant announcements related to Training for Healthy Marriage and Family Formation, Projects to Develop Programs to Strengthen Marriages, Fatherhood, and related activities (Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents, Positive Youth Development, etc.). Copies of the Federal Register funding announcements were shared with our grantees.
Access and Visitation. Arizona provides pilot grants to a number of counties. Maricopa County, for example, provides a wide range of access and visitation services for cases in the courts following or during divorce or paternity establishment including mediation, negotiation of compliance with court-ordered access, and visitation enforcement through a parental conflict resolution class. Drug testing, supervised visitation, and related services are also provided. Contact Kat Cooper at (602) 506-5714.
Parenting Academy. The Arizona Parenting Academy, a collaborative effort with Faith and Community based partners, is expected to begin its first semester on July 1, 2003. The goal of the Academy is to provide young fathers with the tools to become emotionally and financially responsible for their children. The Academy is projecting to enroll 15 - 20 fathers each semester for a total of 30 - 40 graduating during the 17 month project period. The project will have a Management Information System that will gather data regarding the project and its outcomes.
TANF. Arizona funds its Statewide fatherhood initiative with TANF funds through contracts with local organizations to provide services. The State also funds a young fathers mentoring program to assist fathers with parenting skills, employment, and visitation arrangements.
Collectibility Study. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis signed legislation enacting massive reforms of the child support system creating a new state agency responsible for overseeing Californias child support program, called the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). It also mandated that the newly created department analyze the current amount of child support arrears statewide and determine the amount that is realistically collectible. DCSS contracted with the Urban Institute to conduct the study and established an Advisory Group of national, state, and local child support experts and stakeholders to advise the study.
The findings of this report reveal a new understanding of the composition of the accumulated debt and a more precise view of the stratification of debtors. Some of the key findings include:
Incarcerated Child Support Obligor Modification Project. California DCSS, in partnership with the San Francisco County Child Support Enforcement Agency and other local agencies, is developing a modification project that would provide information, outreach, and review and adjustment request forms to child support obligors entering the State Prison system. This pro-active project is designed to address arrears before they accrue. By avoiding the accrual of arrears during the period of incarceration, the child support program hopes to remove a barrier and assist obligors in meeting their future child support obligations.
California State Faith-Based Initiative. On April 4, 2002, California Governor Gray Davis announced the award of $7.85 million to support 20 new and 20 ongoing and established community and faith-based initiative programs throughout the state. This is the second year of the Governors community and faith-based initiative. In the first year of funding, 20 community and faith-based organizations received $3.75 million in first-time funding for innovative and diversified employment assistance programs and services to persons not traditionally served by the workforce development system. More than 680 organizations submitted proposals totaling $184.5 million for the second year of community and faith-based funding.
Access and Visitation. California provides a regional approach featuring parental education during the time of family disruption in an effort to increase parenting skills as a means for minimizing conflict and encouraging the development of parenting plans. Group counseling is provided to both parents and children on how to solve parenting problems. Other services, such as supervised visitation and neutral drop-off and child exchange services are provided to families during the litigation of a divorce or custody dispute. Contact Shelly Danridge at (415) 865-7565.
Guam CSE is working with the Agency for Human Resource Development (AHRD) to develop a program to assist low income non-custodial fathers (NCF) to meet their child support obligations. CSE will refer NCFs for services including employment training and education, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the NCFs abilities to support their children. The effort will be performed under a Memorandum of Understanding, currently under development and review by both agencies.
Nevadas Employment Assistance Program (EAP), currently operating in Las Vegas/Clark County will be expanded to the Reno/Washoe County area not later than August 1, 2003. The goal of the program is to refer unemployed and underemployed non-custodial parents to the EAP for job training and eventual employment. In Washoe County, staff will use the procedures manual developed by Las Vegas and have the NCF assessment and referral process performed by a child support worker. Contact Rota Rosaschi at 775-684-0610.
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(Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington)
Elizabeth G. Healy
Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist
Department of Health and Human Services
2201 6th Avenue, RX-01
Seattle, WA 98121
Regional Health Administrator, OPHS
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 20
Seattle, WA 98121
Associate Regional Administrator
Administration for Children and Families
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98121
Administration for Children and Families
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98121
Rural Alaska Community Action Program - Rural CAP is a Community Action Program serving rural communities in the state of Alaska. Rural Cap has had a fathers group in place for the last three years called Work of Loving Father Figures (WOLF2). As part of the Fatherhood Grant, 25-30 fathers from WOLF2 attended a Parent Conference in October. This was the first time the program was able to include father representatives from all of their Head Start sites at the Parent Conference. During the two day conference there was a special training for fathers that focused on: Head Start roles and responsibilities, parents as the first teachers, literacy workshops, reading development, and father/child activities. They also discussed the new opportunities made available through the Fatherhood Grant. All of the fathers who attended the conference have children in Early Head Start or Head Start program.
Contact: Shirley Pittz, Child Development Division Director
Enhanced Work Services for NCP Project - EWS is funded under the Work Incentives Act and provides a comprehensive set of services that assist adults in finding employment, maintaining employment, and improving their employment situation. Services provided include job search skills, family counseling, budgeting, time management training, short-term skills training, vocational rehabilitation, GED/English as a second language, remedial education, work skills, parenting training, mediation services, post-employment services and assistance in obtaining and retaining child care and transportation. The program involves a collaborative effort between individuals, families, and communities. The goal of the EWS for NCP Project is to increase the number of non-custodial parents who access Enhanced Work Services and, as a direct result, gain employment and start to pay child support for their children. This project is a joint effort between Child Support Management, the SR EWS Contractors and the External Resources Management Team (CERM).
Contact Russ Barron (208) 332-7258 email@example.com
Friends of Children and Families, Inc.- Friends of Children and Families is a single purpose Head Start agency in suburban Boise, Idaho. The primary goal of the grant was to encourage fathers to read to their children. In an effort to do this, they added a design element that was not mentioned in the grant. This has lead to the implementation of father/child events that take place every other Saturday. When children arrive at the events, they receive book bags filled with books that relate to the event to take home. The books distributed at the events will also be placed in the classrooms so teachers can familiarize the children with the topics. This helps to create better home-school collaboration.
The first event in March was called Community Helpers and Firemen. The Boise City Fire Department brought a fire truck, the Police came, and paramedics brought an ambulance. For outreach, they developed a flyer that reads; An event for men, and the Head Start children in their lives; Dads, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and more; Everyone is welcome. Sixty percent of the children in the Head Start program are from two parent families, but they wanted the flyer to be inclusive of all family constellations.
To sustain the Saturday events after the grant is over and to keep the costs low, they are developing a parent share back model. They will offer a workshop for interested parents that would teach them how to implement the Saturday events in four simple steps on their own. They plan to offer an honorarium to compensate the dads for their planning efforts and implementation of the event. Although it is intended to be a father/child activity, they are offering child care in case the children want to do something else and give fathers a chance to come together and talk.
Contact: Lou Landry, Executive Director
Lewis Clark Early Childhood Head Start Program - Lewis Clark Early Childhood is a single-purpose organization serving the rural communities of Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, and Nez Pierce counties in Idaho A one-day training that focused on Male Involvement and Early Literacy was organized in November for 65 teachers and Family Advocates. The grant money paid for a guest speaker. The training went well, and was very interactive. A training packet distributed with resources on how to be male friendly. (grandfathers, fathers and uncles) was an eye opener for staff who sometimes take fathers for granted. A table that was set up had Male Involvement materials ordered from the center for successful fathering, while books and videos were available for both staff and parents to check out. Tickets were drawn at the training where about six or seven teachers won the books that were chosen for the take home packets in order to familiarize them. One teacher said that the minute the books were placed in her classroom and sent home, kids came back saying that their dads read to them and did the activities with them. A book called Common Sense: No frills, a plain English guide to being a successful dad was an excellent book.
The grant money was also used to purchase materials for take home packets that fathers can check out. The goal was to have them done sooner, but they are still in the process of putting them together. The take home packets each contained two good books and a game. There are enough books for 95 take home packets with four for each classroom. They are really excited about it and cant wait to get them in the classrooms. Because it is very time consuming, they established a staff-based Fatherhood Committee to coordinate this effort. To develop outreach and provide resources to fathers, they want to start a male involvement group. They are actively pursuing this, but it has not yet been developed.
Contact: Darwin Bleth, Parent Involvement Coordinator
Klamath Family Head Start - Klamath Family Head Start is a single purpose agency located in rural Klamath Falls, Oregon. Planning efforts for the grant began in September 2002. One goal was to have a fun activity that would immediately engage the men and get them involved. At the beginning of the program, a male involvement survey was sent to all dads to gather their ideas of how they want to be involved in their childs life, their interests, and the activities they like to do with their child. A copy of the survey results was given to the teachers so they would know what the fathers were willing to do in terms of volunteering in the classroom and also to help the teachers plan the parent meetings. A flyer was sent out asking if they wanted to be involved in the Fatherhood Program. For those who said yes, another flyer was sent informing them of an upcoming event followed by a personal phone call.
A father/child bowling night took place where fathers, grandfathers or the primary male in the childs life were invited. Seventy-seven men attended with their children and many of them were grandfathers. A room was reserved at the event to hold a meeting to discuss what the fathers would like to do as part of the grant. The event was so successful that so many men showed up they couldnt fit in the meeting room.
Contact: Melinda Gomez, Parent Involvement Content Area Expert
Mt. Hood Community College - Mt. Hood Community College Child Development and Family Support Programs is a school district agency located in suburban Portland, Oregon. A part-time Fatherhood Specialist was hired with the grant. He is a past parent who really knows how to speak and relate to the dads. The Fatherhood Specialist plans and facilitates the meetings. Monthly meetings have been implemented on Wednesday evenings for fathers and their children. During the first half of the meeting childcare is provided so the men have an opportunity to discuss parenting issues. The second half of the meeting is spent doing a parent-child activity such as color bingo and literacy activities. There is a lending library for the meeting with childrens books, and activities parents can check out to use at home.
To help recruit fathers, the Fatherhood Specialist made a beautiful display board for each Head Start site which is used during the pre-service, and at the monthly parent meetings. It includes a narrative explaining why fathers should be involved, lists the many activities and ways they could be involved, and displays photos from a fathers support group that was implemented last year. The Fatherhood Specialist tries to attend all of the parent meetings to interact with the fathers.
In Spring of last year the Fatherhood Specialist started a fathers group primarily to talk about their involvement in Policy Council, and recruit them to help fix and maintain the Head Start sites. As a result, the group were able to build upon the Fatherhood Grant. In addition, the Early Head Start (EHS) program Family Specialist is recruiting dads from EHS to go to the monthly father meetings. This was not part of the original grant proposal because the EHS program was not implemented until last summer.
Contact: Linda Jensen, Site Coordinator
Southern Oregon Child and Family Council, Inc. - Southern Oregon Child & Family Council, Inc. is a single purpose Head Start agency located in suburban Central Point, Oregon.
In August three staff attended the 21st Century Parenting Curriculum Fatherhood conference. In the fall the staff developed a training plan, wrote job descriptions, hired a part-time Fatherhood Advocate, and contacted trainers. They also began to develop a system that tracked male participation. The goal was to increase and maintain a high level of male participation on the Policy Council and committees. Last year 17 men participated in the Policy Council and this year there are 19 male representatives out of 73 members.
Another goal was to increase male classroom volunteer presence by 10% program-wide between October and May and to develop an incentive program. Last year, there were a total of 252 male volunteers. This year there were 236 male volunteers from September to December. These numbers represent men who volunteer in any way and not just in the classroom. The numbers have not been broken down to determine how many of these men volunteer in the classroom. As an incentive, the program is buying T-shirts, bumper stickers and pins to reward top volunteers.
The program implemented an activity called Male Involvement days wherein each center will plan and provide activities once during the program year. Six activities have taken place to date and five more are in progress. There was a Read Me a Story project, which was a literacy based male involvement project. They had a Read Me a Story tub that contained a disposable camera, paper, markers, log-in sheet, and crayons so fathers could get comfortable and enjoy reading to the child. With the materials, the child drew a story about reading. The father and child had their picture taken together and the program developed the photos.
Other Male Involvement Day activities included: a bowling night for the family, a fishing day for dads, a box car derby, and a family day for dads. There was also a father friendly family fun fair that was organized in collaboration with several community agencies. There were pony rides, face painting, barbecue lunch, dunk tank, jumping castle, fishing booth, snacks and more. All of the agencies had representatives to offer information on different services.
Another goal was to promote the role of fathers in the area of literacy. The objective was to increase male knowledge of normal child development through distribution of child development handouts to fathers, and the six-week ongoing support group that talk about child development.
Contact: Alison Laughlin, Family and Community Partnerships Manager
Umatilla Morrow Head Start is a single purpose agency located in rural Hemiston, Oregon. It is one of four Grantees in Oregon recommended for funding. The Male Involvement Coordinator works with the Blue Mountain Community College to develop the English as a second language class for fathers of Head Start children. The curriculum focused on reading to children. The grant pays for a teacher who taught the fathers using the books ordered for preschool aged children. Eighteen people (5 men, and 12 women) who are enrolled and attend class twice a week are Hispanic and have children in the Head Start program. Childcare is provided, and there are snacks and activities for the children. Currently, they are developing a support group for fathers around a sport night, like volleyball or basketball. They are also working on a soccer tournament that will involve all of the Head Start sites this spring.
Contact: Jesus Rome, Family Advocate/Youth & Male Involvement Coordinator
Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (http://www.aboutdads.org) collaborates with the Washington State Division of Child Support to assist fathers with problems related to child support. DCS will do the research and offer realistic remedies to the child support problems. Some of the issues that the fathers receive assistance with are paternity establishment, negotiating lower child support arrearages and modification of orders. Founded in 1999, DADS is a community based organization that has served approximately 300 fathers thoughout the King and Pierce County area. DADS offers weekly support groups to help fathers deal with family court issues, develop parenting plans, provides referral services, mentoring and assistance with completion and filing of child support documents. DADS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping fathers recognize the importance and the value of being involved in the lives of their children.
Contact Marvin Charles 206-722-3137 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Conscious Fathering Program (http://www.helpfordads.com/) is designed to provide infant care skills while stressing the benefits of responsible fatherhood. With currently over 1000 attendees, the Program has now grown to be the largest of its kind in the State of Washington, available in 5 hospitals throughout the Puget Sound area.
A second Conscious Fathering Program directed to the fathers of children 0 to 3, called Conscious Fathering for the Toddler will be available in several locations in the greater Seattle area on an ongoing basis. The program outlines how to build a life foundation for children that enables them to live in a safe, secure and loving environment as they develop their individuality. Contact Bernie Dorsey 206-824-8388 email@example.com
Washington State Fathers Network and National Fathers Network. The Washington State/National Fathers Network advocates for men as crucially important participants in the lives of their families and children. The Network provides support and resources to fathers and families of children with developmental disabilities and chronic illness, and to the professionals who serve them. For example, the Network has training materials for health providers about how to work with men of color who are caring for their special needs children.
Contact: James May, Director, Phone: 425-747-4004, www.fathersnetwork.org
Enterprise for Progress in the Community- Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPIC) is both a rural and suburban, single purpose Head Start agency located in Yakima County, Washington. The program first conducted a needs assessment on the entire agency to see where they were in terms of being father friendly. All of the top management, supervisory staff, direct service staff, and some Policy Council members were brought together to learn about fatherhood involvement. They shared information and helped develop a fatherhood program that was applicable to the programs population of fathers who are primarily Latino. They decided to implement a pilot fatherhood program at two Head Start centers using the Face to Heart curriculum. There are two facilitators per group and the groups are conducted in Spanish. One center began the program in November and the other center began in January. This is a twelve-session curriculum and the fathers meet two times a month.
The twelve curriculum topics are:
Contact:Leo Lopez, Fatherhood Coordinator
First A.M.E. Child and Family Center - First A.M.E. Child and Family Center is a faith-based program serving the urban community of Seattle, Washington. Fatherhood Coordinator Marvin Charles, will be presenting Fatherhood Involvement at the Regional Conference in March. Marvin is new to the program this year, but has worked in the fatherhood field for the last three years. Marvins first week was spent at a Fatherhood Train the Trainer meeting in Kansas City called Quenching the Father thirst. Marvin was extremely impressed by the Training which taught him how to facilitate a thirteen week course that was developed by the National Center For Fathering, Urban Father Project for fathers. The training was culturally sensitive and ties in perfectly with the grant which, proposes a twelve-week training course for fathers to help them recognize and understand their roles as fathers. The next step will be to implement the training.
A weekly Father Support Group was implemented to provide awareness on the importance of being involved in the lives of their children. The goal is to involve dads both from the Grantee and from the community. The first group met in February with six men attending. They are doing more networking to involve additional fathers. Marvin found that it is an asset to help fathers with crisis management as a starting point to set the groundwork for trust and loyalty. Marvins specialty is child support issues and he has found that most men dont know how to navigate through the child support system or deal with judicial matters. Marvin has found that by sharing these resources with fathers and helping guide the fathers through these issues, it begins to foster a lasting relationship. One thing he focuses on is the involvement of the father in the life of their child. For those fathers whose fathers were not involved with them, it seems normal to not be involved. Marvin helps them realize that it is normal to be involved with your child and wants to help them break the cycle. Marvin will see if the men in the support group are interested in attending the 13-week training. If so, he will have the support group every other Thursday and the training on alternating Thursdays.
The collaboration with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to do volunteer mentoring program in the Head Start classroom is in progress. The men are eager to come and read to the Head Start children in the classroom. They have received background checks and they are just waiting for the results before they begin.
Contact: Marvin Charles, Fatherhood Coordinator
Kitsap Community Resources - Kitsap Community Resources is a single purpose, community action agency located in the suburban area of Bremerton, Washington.
The program began by recruiting male Kiwanis Club members since there were many single moms in the Head Start program, but not many fathers. The Parent Involvement Coordinator spoke to the Directors of the Kiwanis Club at their meetings and explained the need for volunteers in the Head Start program. Kiwanis Club members were asked to be a male presence in the classroom, serve as role models, and read to the children. In October, Kiwanis Club members began to volunteer in the Head Start classrooms. They read to children once a month during circle time in fourteen Head Start classrooms. The full-day program has volunteers read ten times a year and the part-day program has a volunteers read eight times a year. Every child gets to keep a copy of the book that the volunteer reads to them. The books that are purchased for the program have themes that relate to fathers and their children.
Contact: Michelle Dougherty, Parent Involvement Coordinator
Neighborhood House - Neighborhood House is a single-purpose Head Start Grantee that serves the urban community of Seattle, Washington. Almost 90% of the families served by Neighborhood House are recent refugees and immigrants. Neighborhood House has designed a Fatherhood Project for the purposes of helping fathers to be better prepared to advocate for their children, and to attain stronger parenting skills around the support of their childrens educational program. The outcomes will result in stronger early literacy skills for their children and, overall, better academic success in the future.
Neighborhood House has formed a partnership with the local affiliation of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, alumni group. The intent of this partnership with this respected community group is to strengthen the male parenting role by offering mentoring opportunities and suggestions on parent education ideas for the Head Start fathers. The plan is for these men to become role models for the families by sharing their life experiences and their talents with the group.
A facilitator, Melaku Daniel was hired from within the Head Start program to create the strategies for the established goals and objectives of the program. He was also responsible to make arrangements for the fatherhood meetings, any special resources to be used, and collect or order supplies for the program. Additionally, Melaku will help create the method of measuring the outcomes of this project.
This program was offered in four public housing communities where Head Start classrooms are located. A series of six meetings, one per month, has begun in each site. The fathers at the sites chose meeting times and days. Almost all of the meetings are held in the evenings, a pizza dinner is provided and childcare reimbursement if needed. Although fathers were invited, families within the program were told that if there was no father in the childs life, anyone that is a "father figure" to the child is welcome to attend the sessions. This would include non-traditional families with someone in the household that has influence in the childs early education to participate in the program, thus leaving no child out.
Contact: Kathee Richter
Skagit Valley College - Skagit Valley College is a community college-based Head Start program serving rural and suburban communities in Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties in Northwest Washington state. A part-time Fatherhood Coordinator position was created to work on the grant. A Father Advisory group composed of staff, Head Start parents, community agency representatives, and three male mental health counselors was developed. The group meets quarterly to discuss the direction of the grant, how they can sustain the grant in the future, and how to broaden the awareness in the community. The group is very invested in the grant and feels that it is something that is greatly needed in the community. The Advisory group has given men a voice and an avenue to explain how they feel, and what the program needs to do to reach more fathers.
The program offered a full-day workshop for parents, staff, and community partners about barriers fathers have and awareness of their issues. There was a high turnout of fathers and over 150 people attended the training. Transportation and childcare was provided.
In June the program will implement a Mother Read/Father Read training for Family Services Specialists and Infant and Toddler Specialists. They will learn how to use the curriculum during home visits. They are currently ordering books to be distributed during parent activities and home visits. The program expanded their lending library to offer more books to families to read at home. In addition, they partnered with the local library to develop a book list which was distributed to staff and families.
Contact: Terri Dickson, Program Manager
Washington State Community College of Spokane Head Start Washington State Community College of Spokane is a school district agency located in urban Spokane, Washington. One goal of the grant is to train staff to provide father friendly services. Two program-wide training sessions on the provision of father friendly services was completed in September and October. All staff who had contact with fathers were strongly encouraged to attend the training. Preliminary assessments of the staff showed a bias in viewing the family as the mom and the child. The Grantee felt it was important to change the culture of the entire organization, so that staff saw men with an integral role in the family, and in the childs education. Staff gave very positive feedback about the training and two more sessions are scheduled in March and April.
Another goal was to build a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team and train them how to conduct ongoing activities for fathers. In October, NPCL came to Spokane and provided a site-based, customized training in the Fatherhood Development Curriculum. Rather taking ten staff to NPCL as mentioned in the grant, they had the speaker travel to their site resulting in 25 staff that participated in the train the trainers program instead of just ten staff. The curriculum is designed to train staff to implement programs specifically targeted for young, unmarried fathers. After the training, 25 staff from Head Start and various community organizations were equipped to implement a 26-week fatherhood curriculum. By successfully involving many community organizations in the training (YWCA, ECAP, Casey Family Partners, Support Enforcement, etc), they met their goals to have a community-wide team address fatherhood issues. An agreement was made that Head Start would provide the training to community organizations with the understanding that each year they would take turns facilitating the support group. Head Start is responsible for implementing the program this year.
The third goal of the grant was to conduct a Nurturing Fathers Training. Rather than offering two 13-week sessions, they are just offering one. The Grantee contracted with a staff person from SCAN (Spokane Child Abuse and Neglect Program) to implement the training. He is a certified trainer in the Nurturing Fathers curriculum who works with Head Start one-day week and coordinates community efforts. This is a positive discipline curriculum for fathers in intact relationships or a single parent. In March, a training is being offered to staff and some Head Start parents. The Nurturing Fathers curriculum will be co-facilitated by two Head Start dads during the day and will begin in the Spring.
A new partnership was established with the local Support Enforcement Agency. Staff from Local Support Enforcement Agencies was invited to attend one day of the training to discuss local laws and regulations regarding paternity establishment and the collection of child support. The supervisors from the division of child support as well as an officer from the court attended the customized portion of the training. After attending the training, they were so excited to learn what the Head Start program was doing and proposed a collaboration with Head Start to assist fathers in getting them back on track if they were delinquent with child support.
An Inter-local agreement with the Department of Child Support (DCS) is in process right now. Ten Head Start family service coordinators underwent training to learn about the paper work involved and better understand the processes of the child support system in Spokane. An agreement with DCS was established that: if a father who is in arrears in his child support is interested in getting back on track, and is working with a Head Start family service coordinator and willing to make a good faith effort, then the FSC is connecting the father with the Supervisor of Support Enforcement in Spokane. He is doing an immediate case review of the fathers case to determine if the amount of child support ordered was reasonable, if not, what kind of amendments can be made to the order to establish a graduated payment plan. If at the end of six months, dad has made all of his payments and is making contact with the agency, the agency is granting waivers of arrears of the child support so the father can start at square one. The father needs to be involved in the Head Start program in some way.
Contact: Sandy Turner, Social Services Specialist for EHS/HS
Around the Regions from 2002.
Additional information on grants and projects supporting fatherhood activities are profiled in the federal guidance developed by six federal departments, Meeting the Challenge: What the Federal Government Can Do to Support Responsible Fatherhood Efforts. (See especially State Websites and Statewide Initiatives) from 2001.
Last Revised: June 8, 2006