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Around the Regions
2005 Activities

[Current Around the Regions]

[Links were valid as of 6/2007]

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 what’s 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 4 Region 5 Region 6 Region 7 Region 8 Region 9 Region 10 HHS Regions. Click on the Region you want.

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 Region’s web page.

Regional Directors:  http://www.hhs.gov/iga/regions.html

State Child Support Offices:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.htm#exta


Region 1

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Hugh Galligan
Regional Administrator
Administration for Children and Families
John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Rm 2000
Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
Phone: 617-565-1020
Fax: 617-565-2493

Regional Activity

As part of building an effective fatherhood strategy, Region I has developed strong collaborations 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 seventh year, features inspiring keynotes, workshops addressing important fathering issues, cutting edge and best practice models in fatherhood programming and service delivery, inspiring fatherhood moments, and numerous learning and networking opportunities. This year's conference participants included Head Start staff, early childhood educators, family service providers, parent educators, social workers, TANF workers, fatherhood program administrators, father advocates, and almost 70 Dads interested in improving their fathering skills and learning more about the important role they play in their child's healthy development. This year the conference was developed around three important arena themes — Dads and family and community, Dads and Personal Development, Jobs and Education, and Dads and the Legal System.  Workshops included fatherhood programming for Head Start dads, faith-based support programs, fathering a child with disabilities, men’s health and mental health issues, working with incarcerated dads and their families, understanding child support, developing education and employment resources for dads, knowing what to expect your child can do and when, the power of music and play, helping military dads be good husbands and fathers, and raising sons-raising daughters.  A unique feature of this year's conference was a series of three video viewing sessions that were followed by facilitated discussions.

The Regional Office also plays a key leadership role in producing a major Father's Day celebration for fathers and families called Dads Make A Difference. The free public event, now in its 8th year, takes place on the Boston Common, and draws a crowd of over 10,000 participants. The day's activities include onstage entertainment featuring magicians, comedy acts, and multi-cultural music and dance performances, hands-on educational exhibits, fun activities, and over 30 information tables about local organizations and resources to help families and especially dads. The event also honors approximately 75 Super Dads. These fathers and father figures are nominated by children who write a 200-word essay explaining why their dad or other significant male is a Super Dad. The event has several local media sponsors, including radio, TV and print, as well as corporate supporters. For the last four years the event has been coordinated with a prostate cancer awareness walk. This idea for a celebratory Father's Day event is now replicated in several other New England communities in NH, CT and MA.

Region I continues to provide leadership and support for father and male involvement projects both at the national level and in New England's Head Start and Early Head Start programs. For the past two years, the Regional Administrator participated in the Head Start Hispanic Institute producing three mini-plenary sessions on father involvement. The Regional Administrator was also the co-chair for The Father Factor: National Head Start Institute on Father Involvement held in Dallas in 2004. Virtually all of the Region I's Head Start and Early Head Start programs have expanded their parent involvement component and now provide a specific focus on involving fathers in their child's Head Start experience. 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. The Region’s Head Start Quality Initiative provides technical assistance to Head Start and early Head Start grantees to develop inclusion of fathers in their programs as well as an intentional father involvement tool to help them develop action plans and measure progress.

Regional Head Start 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 and model programs such as Boot Camp for New Dads, Just For Dads literacy program, Nurturing Fathers, The MArriage and PArenting (MA & PA) Parenting program, and NFI's Doctor Dad program. The regionally developed Head Start Self-Assessment Tool Kit which includes a subset of questions relating to father involvement activities, is now used nationally, with programs reporting that the assessment not only helps prepare for PRISM reviews, but also helps 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. MA recently received 1115 demonstration project funding to provide a wide range of services, including healthy marriage education, to new, young dads and their families and is partnering with community health centers, substance abuse treatment programs, community- based fatherhood programs and a hospital based program for teen mothers and fathers to deliver a 10-week marriage education-healthy relationships program. 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 resources available for fatherhood programs.

State Activity

Connecticut
Child Support Arrearage Adjustment. Connecticut offers eligible non-custodial parents who are seriously delinquent with child support payments help with removing some of the barriers to supporting their children both emotionally and financially. Participants in CT's Arrearage Adjustment Program are required to complete the requirements in one of the state's five certified community-based fatherhood programs which help each dad develop a plan for positive involvement and interaction with his child(ren). CT's Department of Social Services received a Responsible Fatherhood grant which will be used to help support and expand their fatherhood program certification process.

Maine
York County Community Action Corporation received a Responsible Fatherhood grant. They are collaborating with a wide range of community partners to provide fatherhood and marriage education programming.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts' Children's Trust Fund has established Fathers and Families Networks throughout the state. They meet on a regular basis for lunch and learn programs, and to coordinate fatherhood programming and activities throughout their geographic area. The State's OCSE 1115 project partners with the Father Friendly Initiative and this year served over 200 dads and their families.

New Hampshire
The NH Commission on the Status of Men was formed in October 2003. The first of its kind in the nation, the Commission holds monthly meetings to review and discuss issues that have an impact upon all men. Fatherhood was one of the first topics identified for review and discussion by the Commission. Child and Family Services of NH received a Responsible Fatherhood grant to work with incarcerated men and their families after they are released.

Rhode Island
Children's Friend and Service received a Responsible fatherhood grant. They will work with Hispanic dads and offer specialized fatherhood groups dealing with alcohol and substance abuse issues. The state has developed a very active network of fatherhood providers, practitioners, and advocates that meets regularly to share information.

Vermont
The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties received a Responsible Fatherhood grant to support and expand their home visiting and parent education and support programs for fathers.

[ Go to Map ]

Region 2

New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands

Mary Ann Higgins
Regional Administrator
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
Fax: 212-264-4881

Regional Activity

HHS/ACF AAHMI - Meeting the Fatherhood Challenge Conference
The HHS/ACF African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI) co-sponsored, along with the Apollo Theatre and Joseph Media, this day-long event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York — February 2007. Hundreds attended the conference which focused on the importance of being an active father and a positive role model.

The event featured celebrities, and community leaders as speakers. The participants also got a chance to see the Will Smith film, "the Pursuit of Happyness" (happiness is intentionally misspelled in the title) and a sneak peak at Tyler Perry's "Daddy's Little Girls." Both movies highlight two black men who are strong role models for their children.

HHS/ACF Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Grants
Through the HHS/ACF initiative to promote responsible fatherhood, funding has been awarded to a variety of programs to help fathers establish positive relationships with their children, provide financial and emotional support, and develop responsible parenting skills. Most of the money was awarded in competitive grants to faith-based and community organizations for skill-based marriage and parenting education, job training, and other services that help fathers provide emotional and financial support to their children.

Eight programs located in region II have been awarded a total estimate of $3 million per year for 5 years under the HHS/ACF Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. They are listed as follows:

New Jersey Department of Corrections
NJDOC Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Project
Target Population: Underserved incarcerated fathers who max-out (complete their sentence) while behind bars; the spouses and children of these incarcerated men

Puerto Rico Family Institute, Inc.
Building Pathways for Latino Fathers
Target Population: 160 fathers or expectant fathers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Hudson County, New Jersey; 140 low-income at-risk Latino couples, and 375 Latino adolescents

The Osborne Association
The Osborne Association's Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Project
Target Population: Fathers incarcerated at Sing Sing, Fishkill, and Wallkill Correctional Facilities and their partners

The Family Works Program
Target Population: Men released from confinement who are fathers and have been, or are current participants, in any of the Osborne Association's fatherhood or marriage education programs.

Child Find of America, Inc.
Parent Help
Target Population: 780 estranged couples

Family Services of Westchester, Inc
Parent Help
Target Population: 200 men (incarcerated and on probation) involved with the Westchester County criminal justice system

The Fortune Society
The Fortune Society Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Project
Target Population: Primarily African American and Latino fathers involved in the criminal justice system in New York

New York Youth, Inc.
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
Target Population: Disadvantaged teenage fathers from the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island

The Daddy Pack™ A National Fatherhood Initiative Project

The Daddy Pack™ is one of the many tools NFI provides to build knowledge and fathering skills for new and expectant dads. This creatively packaged tool includes a comprehensive set of resources that help fathers not only prepare for fatherhood, but also realize how important they are in their child's life. The pack is available in English and Spanish. Each Daddy Pack™ includes a survey fathers can complete and return to NFI. Data from the returned surveys provides NFI with valuable insight into the benefits fathers receive from using the pack.

NFI has provided hospitals in New York City and Northern New Jersey with 8,850 packs. Results from returned surveys demonstrate the packs are having a positive impact. 93% of fathers responded "yes" when asked whether the information in the pack helped them feel more connected to their child.

State Activity

New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Corrections has launched their Responsible Parenting Program (RPP) which is provided through ACF funding and is renewable annually for 5 years. This year the program will incorporate expanded services that in addition to Parenting Skills Education, Child Support Education, Aftercare Services and Vocational/Employment assistance, will also include Child Support Resolution assistance which will be administered at the men's Northern State and Riverfront State prison facilities. Each of these two locations will have a dedicated RPP social worker/case manager on site to provide individual child support case assessment and assistance to inmates who require paternity establishment, case modification and enforcement resolution assistance.

Inmates at the Edna Mahan Women's Correctional Facility and New Jersey State prison will continue to receive the Responsible Parenting Program services of Parenting Skills training, Parental Rights Education, Child Support education and Aftercare community support services.

Early Head Start / Head Start continue to promote fatherhood in a variety of ways:

New York
"Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers"

In support of this initiative NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has funded five pilot programs and created the first, in the nation, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for non-custodial parents. In addition, OTDA is supportive of a variety of outside fatherhood initiatives and community organizations that have programs and activities aimed at providing fathers with leadership and guidance to help them become better parents. This support extends to the four Healthy Marriages initiatives and seven Responsible Fatherhood initiatives that were awarded grants through the Administration for Children and Families.

Using a multi-faceted approach, the initiative will create incentives for non-custodial parents to remain in or consider marriage, increase their earnings, overcome legal barriers, seek appropriate treatment or counseling, overcome employment barriers, pay child support, and become actively involved in their children's lives. It is expected that by using this multi-faceted approach NYS can help low-income non-custodial fathers overcome obstacles and barriers that prevent them from being effective and nurturing parents.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Non-Custodial Parents

Employment and welfare programs generally focus on assisting families with children to become self-sufficient. Child Support policies generally focus on ensuring that non-custodial parents assist financially to support their children. The NYS Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers initiative bridges the gap between these employment programs, welfare programs and child support policies through a newly created, first in the nation, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for non-custodial parents.

The combined federal and state EITC has proved to be one of the nation's most effective tools at increasing labor force participation of low skilled workers, as well as an efficient means of supplementing the low wages paid to such workers.

The new EITC for non-custodial parents will reward those fathers already working to augment their wages. It will provide a substantial work incentive for those not working or working only intermittently. Most important, it will encourage greater involvement by fathers who may have avoided contact with their children due to their limited resources.

Pilot Programs

As part of their "Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers" initiative the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) awarded funding for five pilot programs across the state that will work with non-custodial parents providing guidance and training on healthy marriage activities, responsible parenting and enhancing economic stability. This initiative will provide: marriage education and counseling activities; parent education services; and employment, training, and placement services to low-income fathers. The pilot programs are listed as follows:

Erie County Department of Social Services
Dedicated, Accountable, Dependable and Self-Sufficient (DADS) Program
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202
Frank DeCarlo / 716-858-1053 / DecarloF@erie.gov

OCM BOCES
The Parent Success Initiative
4500 Crown Road
Liverpool, New York 13090
Mike Irwin, Project Coordinator
315-453-4421 / MIrwin@ocmboces.org

STRIVE/East Harlem Employment Service, Inc.
Dads Embracing Fatherhood (DEF)
240 East 123 Street
New York, New York 10035
Lizzette Hill Barcelona, Executive Director
212-360-1100 / LBarcelona@StriveNewYork.org

Chautauqua County Department of Social Services
Strengthening Fathers Initiative
Hall R. Clothier Building
7 North Erie St.
Mayville, NY 14757-1027
Don Nadeau, Project Coordinator
716-753-4576 / NadeauD@co.chautauqua.ny.us

Seedco
Parent Support Pilot (PSP)
915 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, New York 10010
Linda Rodriguez
(212) 204-1335 / lrodriguez@seedco.org

In September 2006, OTDA brought the pilot program leaders together with other key policy players on fatherhood issues in New York and held a roundtable discussion in Albany to discuss issues and strategies related to promoting responsible fatherhood. Participants were able to connect and share ideas and solutions to the complicated issues surrounding this population.

To build on the success of this meeting, OTDA hosted an expanded follow-up roundtable discussion at New York University in New York City in December 2006 entitled "Responsible Fatherhood: The New Frontier of Welfare Reform." The roundtable brought together research and policy experts, academics, non-for-profit organizations, minority organizations, faith-based organizations and State/local agencies to discuss these complex issues.

Other Responsible Fatherhood Programs Supported by NYS OTDA

Harlem Men Stand Up
The organization Harlem Men Stand Up, in partnership with Harlem Neighborhood Based Service Providers, Proud Poppa Publication, The CHANGE Institute, Center Care Health Plan and Mid-Town Community Court, hosted its quarterly Education & Employment Empowerment Summit in March of 2007 at the Harlem Children's Zone, Inc. Close to 200 men, women and youth attended the summit to share success strategies and action steps to improve educational and employment outcomes for Black men and boys. The agency provides information and support to organizations all over the New York State who support the strengthening of families through stronger fathers.

Fathers in Training for Fatherhood, Inc.
Parenting Workshops for Young Fathers
Gershwin JHS
800 Van Siclen Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Phone; (718) 759-6961

This organization conducts on-going parenting workshops for young fathers who are invited, along with their children, to group sessions that explore numerous topics such as, anger management, domestic violence awareness, and child custody and visitation.

New York State and Clear Channel Radio Celebrate Fatherhood
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), in conjunction with Clear Channel Radio, hosted a community celebration of fatherhood at The Trinity Institute in Albany, New York.

The festive event marked the culmination of a five-month long radio outreach program by OTDA and Clear Channel Radio asking area kids and dads to submit personally performed and written songs, lyrics and poems that celebrate the joys of having or being a great dad. To highlight the creative efforts of contest participants, five of the songs were selected to appear on a CD professionally produced by Cotton Hill Studios that will be used by OTDA as part of its outreach efforts throughout the state.

The local contest was part of OTDA's statewide efforts to encourage fathers to become more active in their children's lives by being financially and emotionally supportive dads. As part of the project radio spots ran statewide and posters highlighting the importance of involved dads were produced for use by counties, state agencies and community groups.

Early Head Start / Head Start continue to promote fatherhood in a variety of ways:

Puerto Rico

Early Head Start / Head Start continue to promote fatherhood in a variety of ways:

Virgin Islands

The Virgin Island has a very innovative program called Dial-A-Dad, which is sponsored by the IV-D program (the Paternity and Child Support Division of the VI Dept of Justice), the Access and Visitation grantee and ATT. The program offers $10 calling cards (distributed at the IV-D office) to any parent in an inter-jurisdictional IV-D case, free of charge, to be specifically used for communications between a parent and a child if both are not residing in the VI. The recipient parent is required to keep a calling card log to verify proper use of the card. Upon expiration, the parent may request additional cards (no limit) if the calling card log is presented and verified by IV-D staff (IV-D is working with ATT on automatic verification). ATT is a co-sponsor by virtue of providing the $10 cards at a discount. The program was implemented in FY03 and is very popular with parents, children and IV-D staff. Current plans call for a continuation of the program and development of an automated "proper use" verification system using ATT in-house technology.

[ Go to Map ]

Region 3

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Patrick J. Patterson, Region III Fatherhood Lead
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
150 S. Independence Mall West, Suite 864
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3499
Phone: 215-861-4019; ppatterson1 @ acf.hhs.gov
Fax: 215-861-4070

Regional Activity

On the final day of the 2004 National Head Start Fatherhood Institute Conference in Dallas, ACF RIII staff convened a meeting of Region III Head Start grantees in attendance to discuss the conference and plans for the future.  During this meeting, ACF Region III staff and grantees agreed that an action plan with responsible persons to carryout the Head Start/Fatherhood priority within the region should follow the conference.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the RIII Head Start/Fatherhood Advisory Committee was formed and introduced. 

 The 18-member advisory committee is comprised of two (2) grantees and one Head Start father from each RIII state. The ACF RIII Regional Administrator sent invitation letters to all RIII Head Start/Early Head Start programs inviting staff and fathers to participate on the committee.  An ACF Region III Fatherhood Team (Irv Bailey, Zachary Cohen, Patrick Patterson, Horace Phelps, and Darlene Tart) provides direction and on-going staff support to the committee.  The initial meeting of the advisory committee was in September 2004.  Since that time, the ACF RIII Fatherhood Team and advisory committee have met monthly to jointly plan and implement activities to promote, develop and strengthen Fatherhood/Male Involvement efforts of Head Start/Early Head Start grantees throughout the region.  The committee has effectively carried out the following activities to meet this region wide priority:

Effectively coordinated and facilitated Head Start Fatherhood Building Blocks grantee and cluster trainings in each RIII state.

Effectively planned and convened the RIII Head Start Fatherhood/Male Involvement Conference on April 10-11, 2005 in Grantville, PA.  The conference was an overwhelming success as more than 300 RIII Head Start parents, staff, and community leaders attended.

Developed a fatherhood link on the ACF-RIII website. The link is a resource for grantees and includes all five of the Fatherhood Building Blocks and a Head Start/Fatherhood program Tip of the Month.

Widely encouraged and facilitated pre-and in-service fatherhood training for RIII Head Start and Early Head Start programs.  The ACF RIII Regional Administrator sent a letter to all grantees in support of this goal.

Effectively coordinated the FY 2006 12-month Head Start/Fatherhood Training Conference Calls series for RIII Head Start/Early Head Start grantees.  The calls are held at 10 AM on the first Thursday of each month.  These 1-hour conference calls have been a cost effective way for Head Start parents, policy council and board members, program directors and staff to learn and share Fatherhood/Male Involvement programming strategies and other topics.  All topics and presenters for each training call reflect input and were identified by RIII Head Start grantees.  Below are a few of the monthly training call topics:

Effectively Recruiting and Working with Head Start Fathers

Child Support 101 for Head Start programs

Male/Female Relationships

Working with Head Start Fathers recently released from Prison

State Activity

Delaware

Access and Visitation. Delaware established five family visitation centers that serve the State's three counties. These centers provide two essential services, depending on the family history: monitored exchange of children for off-site visitation or supervised on-site visitation. These services are available seven days a week, including weekends, evenings and holidays.  Family visitation centers facilitate opportunities for children to have safe and conflict-free access to both parents. They help to address custody and visitation issues when the parents have had a history of hostile or violent arguments during the pickup and return of their children; or when the visiting parent has a substance abuse problem that gives the court or custodial parent concern for the child's welfare; or when the visiting parent's living situation is unsuitable for meeting the needs of his or her children; or when the visiting parent has repeatedly failed to cooperate with visitation arrangements; or when the court suspects that the visiting parent may leave the state with the children; or when the children are in custody or care of the Division of Family Services (DFS) and DFS has determined that use of the visitation center is appropriate." Contact Jane Rattenni at (302) 255-9687; e-mail: jane.rattenni@state.de.us

District of Columbia

Access and Visitation. The Child Support Services Division of the D.C. Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (CSSD) uses Access and Visitation funding to support a Supervised Visitation Center that the D.C. Superior Court operates. This Center provides supervised visitation services to families in cases involving domestic violence. In conjunction with this project, CSSD also provides funding to the Children's Rights Council to supply similar services in the community to divorced, separated, and unwed parents, and to operate a hotline for parents with access and visitation problems. The hotline provides parents with information and service referrals to help them overcome obstacles to successful parenting.

CSE: Services to Incarcerated Parents — The Child Support Services Division of the D.C. Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia ("CSSD") is working to establish a program for noncustodial parents to request a suspension of their child support obligations after being sentenced to a period of incarceration. The arrears that incarcerated parents accumulate are often significant and difficult to collect. In addition, the debt accumulated during a period of incarceration can impede the parent's ability to re-enter society and gain lawful employment after being released. However, if the noncustodial parent does not request a reduction at the time of incarceration, there is no retroactive modification. By working with the D.C. Superior Court and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), the probation agency for the District, CSSD has developed a process by which parents subject to child support obligations who are sentenced to more than 30 days in jail are informed of the need to file a motion to suspend the support order and are provided with the tools to do so.

The Child Support Services Division (CSSD) actively participates and presents in the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency’s (CSOSA) “Rivers (Correctional Facility) Community Resource Day” through videoconferences and site visits.  The CSSD also participates in an annual reentry event, "30 Days of Reentry Reflection," sponsored by CSOSA and the Faith Community Partnership.

TANF: The DC Fatherhood Initiative (DCFI) is currently in its third year of operation. The first year was used as a planning year, garnering support for the Initiative by bringing together the relevant District programs and agencies that offer supports and programs for male (fathers) residents. Program implementation commenced the second year and resulted in over 800 fathers receiving services from one (1) of the seven (7) non-profit, community-based agencies receiving D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) sub-grants in TANF dollars. Service areas included job readiness training and placement assistance, life- and parenting-skills development, substance abuse intervention and treatment, housing assistance referrals, return offender guidance, and educational enhancements.

Outreach
The DCFI program implements a three-part strategy to meet the needs of limited/non-English proficient clients. First, through bilingual staff working at one (1) of our seven (7) DCFI service provider sub grantees; second, through a partnership with bilingual case management staff working at the DHS Strong Families Program; and third, externally, through access to the DC Language Line, which has speakers available to serve residents in over 200 languages.

Additionally, District residents can access fatherhood/parenting services through contacting 'Answers, Please!,' the Department of Human Services' information and referral hotline that features user-friendly searches by name, location, address, operating hours, telephone numbers and/or eligibility criteria for over 1800 social service programs. This service can be accessed via the internet or by phone and operates seven (7) days a week, 24 hours a day.

Current Fiscal Year
So far in this third year of operation, 140 fathers have reconnected with their children; 134 previously incarcerated fathers have received employment, housing, health and educational assistance, and over 50 fathers have obtained sustainable employment. Additionally, twenty-five (25) limited/non-English speaking clients have been served to date (Twenty-four (24) Spanish-speakers and one (1) Amharic-speaker).

Future Plans
Fiscal Year 2006 activities include the placement of the $1.3 million yearly operating costs into the Agency's base-line budget and the release of a new round of sub-grantee awards to continue and expand upon current successes in fatherhood service delivery.

DCFI Contacts:
Ms. Joi Yeldell, Grants Administrator, DHS Office of Grants Management; (202) 671-4402
Mr. David Ross, DCFI Program Manager, DHS Office of Grants Management; (202) 671-4394

Maryland

Access and Visitation Program: This program 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/Child Welfare: Maryland's Young Fathers Responsible Fathers Programs (YFRF) is one of three father-focused initiatives in the State. The YFRP program provides 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 five sites in five jurisdictions that serve young fathers, age 16 and up, who have one or more children and are at risk of becoming involved with the social service system. YFRF programs also encourage co-parenting for noncustodial fathers.

The target number of participants per year is 60. This number also includes some mothers.

The following are the outcomes of the program:

The data for FY 2005 will be forthcoming. They have requested assistance from DHR in obtaining the outcome data.

Frederick, Maryland
The fatherhood initiative includes a 2-hour weekly community-based group and the fathers having access to the services at the Family Support Center. Examples of discussion topics for the group include:

The goal is to serve 25 fathers per year. The outcomes of the program are as follows: 85% of participants will remain free of Child Protective Services (CPS) reports while receiving services; and 90% of participants will self-report enhanced family well-being on their Family Partnership Questionnaire. In the first two quarters of FFY 2005, 83% have reported enhanced family well-being. In the first quarter of FFY 2005, 100% of the participants remained free of CPS reports while receiving services.

Absent Parent Employment Program:
This program provides workforce development services to non-custodial parents.

Yearly 7,500 Maryland children are born to mothers under the age of nineteen.

Approximately 138,000 families in Maryland receive Temporary Cash Assistance.

49% of Maryland's child support caseload receives Temporary Cash Assistance.

Studies support a strong link between father absence and juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, violent crime, teenage pregnancy, and failure in school.

Maryland's Initiative for Fathers and Families acts as an advocate for fathers on behalf of children and families because children have a right to both the emotional and economical support of both parents. Likewise, Maryland's Initiative for Fathers and Families provides services to fathers complimentary to the State of Maryland's goal of welfare reform that promotes self-sufficiency, responsibility and accountability for all of Maryland's citizens. The programs offer fathers services in personal development, life skills, health and wellness, building relationships and employment development, all of which encourage fathers to be caregivers and nurturers to their children. This YFRF program, which is a national model for fatherhood intervention and education, has served more than 1400 men with case management and aftercare service referrals. Participants of this program have become actively involved in child rearing, have become employed, have paid child support on a regular basis, have increased their educational level and have become mentors to younger males.

Another program associated with Maryland's Initiative for Fathers and Families is the Access and Visitation Program. This program encourages non-custodial parents to have greater access to their children through programmed activities and services. The key operating philosophy in each of these programs is the greater the access a non-custodial parent has to his child, the more likely he is to support his children financially, emotionally and socially.

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 Programs and can be reached at 410-767-8477.
http://www.FatherhoodMD.org

Pennsylvania

(Commonwealth of) Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative:
The Department of Public Welfare's (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 Department of Public Welfare also provides services to low-income custodial fathers in selected areas of the state. These individuals can receive job training, parenting skills and help earning their GED. Twenty-three Workforce Investment Areas across the State can opt to use a portion of their SPOC money for this purpose.

The Department of Public Welfare has established a pilot program in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to provide job training and placement services for unemployed and under-employed noncustodial parents. The program is a collaborative effort between the Department's Bureau of Employment and Training, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, local Title IV-D agencies, and a private contractor. The goal is to enhance the employability and earning potential of the noncustodial parents so they can fulfill their child support obligations.

The Department of Public Welfare has established a pilot program in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to provide job training and placement services for unemployed and under-employed non-custodial parents. The program is a collaborative effort between the Department's Bureau of Employment and Training, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, local Title IV-D agencies, and a private contractor. The goal is to enhance the employability and earning potential of the noncustodial parents so they can fulfill their child support obligations.

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 fifteen years. In that time, it was expanded to include:

EFI began in January 2000 as part of the Governor's Fatherhood Initiatives. It provides services to expectant, custodial and non-custodial fathers. In addition to all services provided through the ELECT Program, this initiative provides young fathers with the opportunity to be mentored by positive male role models who assist them in becoming responsible parents and contributing members of their communities. EFI also provides services such fatherhood support groups, anger management sessions, assistance with child support and custody issues, denial skills training and support in strengthening the bond between fathers and their children. In fiscal year 2003-04, it provided services to 633 fathers.

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 2003-04, ELECT and EFW provided services to 2041 young parents. Approximately 78.1% of the seniors, participating in these 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

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, strengthening the parent/child bond and promoting the formation of two-parent families.

CSE: 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.

Pennsylvania Parenting Program Grant: The Pennsylvania Fatherhood Initiative is part of Pennsylvania's 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.

Current Providers of PPP Grant

COUNTY/AGENCY

SERVICES OFFERED

Allegheny County:
Community Building Services
Parenting education, job resources, service referrals, support groups, visitation services, mediation, and peer mentoring.
Allegheny County:
The Hill House Association
Education, parenting services, mentoring, peer support, parent-child activities, counseling, and child support arrears subsidy.
Butler County:
Family Pathways
Assessments, mediation, anger management groups, supervised visitation, therapeutic reunification, parenting plan development, monitored exchanges, counseling, co-parenting education, and community awareness training.
Carbon County:
Catholic Social Agency
Therapeutic supervised visitation, counseling, and psycho-educational components.
Fayette County:
Crime Victim Center of Fayette County, Fayette Community Action Agency
Supervised visitation, counseling, parent education programs, Roller Coaster programs for children, neutral drop-off and pick-up, and support groups.
Huntingdon County:
Parents' Fair Share
Parenting services, family relations services, employment and income support services.
Lawrence County:
Family Pathways
Assessments, mediation, support groups, counseling, therapeutic reunification, parenting plan development, and parenting education.
Lehigh County:
Catholic Social Agency
Therapeutic supervised visitation, counseling, and psycho-educational components.
Northampton County:
Catholic Social Agency
Therapeutic supervised visitation, counseling, and psycho-educational components.
Schuylkill County:
Catholic Social Agency
Therapeutic supervised visitation, counseling, and psycho-educational components.
York County:
The Fathers Workshop of York County/Kids Now
York County: The Fathers Workshop of York County/Kids Now Mediation, counseling, parenting education, employment assistance, legal assistance, and monthly activities to encourage access and visitation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has participated in the Federal Access and Visitation Grant Program since the program's 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) 2003 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 2004, the DPW, Office of Income Maintenance, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, renewed access and visitation grants to seven community-based initiatives. The renewal funding of $333,852 was the FFY 2003 award to Pennsylvania. The seven projects were selected in September 2003 through a competitive request for proposal process. The following agencies will provide services through September 30, 2005:

COUNTY/AGENCY

SERVICES OFFERED

Allegheny County:
Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh
Support groups, parenting education, parenting plan development, individual and group counseling, mediation services, and incentives.
Butler County:
Butler County Family Pathways
Assessments, conflict resolution, supervised visitation, therapeutic reunification, neutral or monitored exchanges, Court Report/Summary, and communications and co-parenting counseling.
Dauphin County:
YWCA of Greater Harrisburg
Supervised and monitored visitation, legal services, and therapeutic sessions.
Erie County:
Erie Family Center
Support groups, parenting classes and parenting plan development, assessments, SKIT Program, specialized counseling, and social activities for parent and child. Supervised, monitored, neutral drop-off/pickup visitation.
Fayette County:
Crime Victims Center of Fayette County
Education, counseling, legal aid. Supervised, monitored, and neutral drop-off/pickup, visitation.
Lackawanna County:
Lackawanna County Department of Human Services/Scranton Area Family Center/EOTC
Supervised and monitored visitation, parenting education and parenting plan development, counseling, and mediation.
Philadelphia County:
Impact Services Corporation
Videoconferencing between children and incarcerated fathers, and parenting education.

PA Head/Fatherhood Activities:
Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency
200 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
Head Director: Sam Ceccacci
Telephone Number: 570-963-6633
E-mail: sceccacci @ headstartslhada.org

The grantee is implementing a three step system for involving families.

1. Hire a part-time father involvement coordinator. This person will hold an in-service with staff to increase their awareness of father involvement. This person will develop a program to be presented at each center; train facilitators and market the program in each center; and develop a comprehensive survey of our fathers that will enhance program planning.

2.  Staff from each center will recruit an interested male figure to help organize and promote a "Guys Night Out" at each individual center. The Fatherhood Coordinator will then hold a group training of all the men interested in helping to facilitate this night out.

3.  During the event, the parents who were trained will facilitate the program and help recruit others.

Community Action Southwest
150 West Beau Street, Suite 304
Washington, PA 15301
Head Start Director: Douglas Kovach
Telephone Number: (724) 222-9100 x-451
E-mail: dkovach @ caswg.org

The grantee will be using federal funds to supplement three specific fatherhood activities:

1.   A Fatherhood Retreat

2.  Staff training that will specifically address how the project goals can be incorporated into program-wide plans and activities.

3.  Program incentives (for example, fathers participating in a planned Library/Story Hour activity will each receive age-appropriate books that their child can take home).

Danville Area School District
600 Walnut Street
Danville, PA 17821
Head Start Director: Susan Blake
Telephone Number: (570) 271-3268
E-mail: sblake @ danville.k12.pa.us

The grantee will provide training for HS staff in communicating, working with, and relating to fathers on a more mutually comfortable level; provide informational workshops for all HS parents; provide a workshop for fathers on reading, storytelling, and oral family history, using a professional storyteller; print new brochures geared to males; purchase books, magazine subscription, and training materials to be used for the activities stated; develop a lending library for fathers; and promote healthy relationships by providing for opportunities for couples to spend quality time together.

The grantee will ensure that all activities will educate, enhance, and empower fathers to have healthy relationships with their HS children and families. The HS and staff training will assist and enable staff and parents to further the program's commitment to father involvement.

Community Services for Children, Inc.
1520 Hanover Avenue, Allentown, PA 18109
Head Start Director/Executive Director: Ms. Patricia Levin
Telephone Number: (610) 437-6000
E-mail: Plevin @ cscinc.org

This grantee was one of the Early Head Start National Fatherhood Demonstration projects from 2000-2004. Over the three+ years of the Project, the program changed the orientation of the program to be fully inclusive of all fathers and as a result father participation in the program has significantly increased. All communications and record keeping systems were redesigned to include fathers. Policy Council implemented a Male Involvement Task Group. They created Father-Child Literacy building activities in the Family Library and also implemented them in the home.

The program currently works with their outreach and recruitment efforts to reach all fathers. A description of Head Start/Early Head Start on flyers, door hangers and posters includes language about fathers specifically. They are also doing Father-Friendly Environmental Assessments in each of the 28 classrooms, to assure that the materials, activities, and linguistic landscape in the classrooms is father friendly. Staff are receiving training in skills needed to allow them to comfortably reach out and communicate with men.

Huntingdon County Head Start
Head Start Director/Executive Director: Louise Ketner
Phone Number: 814.643.6800 x111.
E-mail: lketner @ hccadc.org

Huntingdon County Head Start Men's Group: Also known as M.U.S.C.L.E. (Men United in Support of Children's Lives and Education) the name was chosen by the men during the 02-03 program year. "Dads" refers to dads, step dads, grand dads, uncles or any male role model in a child's life. During the 2004-2005 program year, the agency held nine events and had a total attendance of 296 fathers with their children. The agency serves 242 families through Head Start and Early Head Start.

Columbia Sullivan Development Head Start Program
215 East 5th Street, P.O. Box 412
Head Start Director: Gail Menapace
Phone Number: (570) 784-8618
E-mail: ccdp @ epix.net

In an effort to involve more fathers and "father figures" in the lives of young children, the Columbia Sullivan Head Start program conducted and/or will be implementing the following activities:

1.   An "Evening with Dr. Midkiff" and a spaghetti dinner. The theme for the evening dinner discussion will center on the importance of male involvement in children's lives and helping young children gain self-control.

2.   "Saturday for Dads" will be the planning stage for Columbia Sullivan staff in conjunction with surrounding Head Start programs to plan and coordinate male involvement activities which will consist of a building project provided by Home Depot which "dads" can take home to complete with children. They will be provided with a book about cooking and the ingredients for making a dish with their children.

3.   Two fathers attended the Pennsylvania Head Start Association meetings and participated in workshops devoted to "fatherhood involvement".

4.   A community resource fair will be held with a focus on male involvement. Items of interest will be provided to families centering on male involvement in the lives of children and the community.

Lycoming/Clinton Head Start Program
2138 Boyd Street
Williamsport, PA 177901
Head Start Director: Anne Doerr
Phone Number: (570) 326-0587
E-mail: amdoerr @ stepcorp.org

1.    Lycoming/Clinton Head Start's Fatherhood initiative consisted of purchasing of new "fatherhood" books which would be added to classroom libraries and incorporated into teacher/home visitor lesson planning and classroom Literacy Backpacks. Literacy Backpacks go home with children for joint parent-child activities on a rotating basis throughout the program year. The books will also be integrated into ongoing quality early education activities in each of the program's 32 Head Start or partnering classrooms.

2.   The program also established a "Mr. Head Start" Task Force composed of Policy Council representatives, fathers and men important to Head Start children and program staff. The task force will explore opportunities for men to become more involved in program activities and enhance staff-parent interactions related to men.

3.   All staff received a pre-service training in August 2004 to alert staff regarding the high priority of involving men in the program. The program used information and materials from the National Head Start Fatherhood Institute, including the Fatherhood Building Blocks. The fatherhood Tool Kit and other web based curricular materials will also be used to assist in implementing the fatherhood initiative.

School District of Philadelphia Prekindergarten Head Start Program
2120 Winter Street, Room 402
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Head Start Director: Jennifer Plumer-Davis
Phone Number: (215) 351-7060
E-mail: pludavis @ phila.k12.pa.us

The School District of Philadelphia Prekindergarten Head Start (PKHS) Program long recognized the importance of involving fathers and other male caregivers in the educational and emotional development of children and has worked aggressively to foster the active and meaningful participation of adult males in all aspects of program planning, design, implementation and management.

In 1992 the PKHS established the Fathers Advocating male Involvement in Lives of Youth (FAMILY) which encourages fathers and other male figures to participate in a broad array of program activities on a regular basis. PKHS FAMILY is lined with regional chapters of major youth development organizations, (e.g. Bid Brothers/Sisters, boys Scouts of America) and local institutions of higher learning within the city of Philadelphia. Recently, national fraternities have played an active role with PKHS in developing and conducting activities that have helped and will continue to enhance the role of fathers in their child's education and their family's prosperity and self-sufficiency.

Virginia

Access and Visitation: Using a competitive process, Virginia awards sub-grants to non-profit and governmental organizations which provide services including mediation, parent education, development of parenting plans, neutral drop-off and pick up centers, and monitored/supervised visitation. These organizations serve never-married, separated and divorced parents in nearly all geographical areas of the state. Contact Bob Owen at 804-726-7434 or email: bob.owen @ dss.virginia.gov.

CSE: Virginia's Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) promotes the fatherhood movement through its 21 district offices largely as an information clearinghouse and referral source, and occasionally through community partnerships and cooperative agreements. DCSE staff make referrals to community resources, provide workshops at local fatherhood conferences and speak to targeted groups (e.g., incarcerated men, young fathers and fragile families). DCSE provides technical support and materials to fatherhood groups and service providers through joint projects that might include community campaigns and training.

For the latest information concerning Virginia DCSE's fatherhood initiatives, please visit: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/dcse/fatherhood.html

Virginia DCSE Contact: Peter Berinato, Fatherhood Coordinator, Management Services Unit. Phone: 804-726-7426 E-mail: peter.berinato @ dss.virginia.gov

West Virginia

Access and Visitation. This program provides a mix of services through community-based organizations such as parent education, supervised visitation and neutral drop-off and pickup sites. Contact Susan Perry at (304) 558-0909.

YOU ARE A PARENT — CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES FOR WEST VIRGINIA INMATES   In 2004-5 and 2006 West Virginia’s Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) developed and delivered to the Division of Corrections prisons and to the Regional Jail Authority the tools to assist in their new legislative mandate to collect and send to BCSE child support owed by their inmates.  The tools, developed with a grant from the U.S. DHHS ACF Office of Child Support Enforcement, 09FD0103, include a 17-minute video, a 24-page booklet, a 1-page pamphlet, and a power point training presentation which includes the video.  These tools were delivered to the prisons and jails administrators, wardens, and directors of inmate services for 23 facilities and parole officer supervisors in March 2006. The BCSE Attorney for the Hospital Paternity Project and Community Outreach trained individual facility staffs in March and April 2006.

Both the Division of Corrections and the Regional Jail Authority have made the video and printed pieces part of their mandatory orientation programs for new prisoners and inmates.  Corrections policy directed the staff to begin offering assistance in Administrative Modification of child support orders to inmates on April 1, 2006.  In 2005, the WV Legislature also enacted administrative modification statutes for BCSE and its customers.  Because it eliminates the initial hearing and long waits for time on the docket, administrative modification is particularly suited to use by inmates, whose location and income are certain.  For more information, please contact Elizabeth Jordan, Community Outreach, at (304) 558-3716 or email: elizabethjordan@wvdhhr.org

GET MORE — Teen Pregnancy Prevention: WV BCSE's collaboration with the WV Department of Education and the WV Bureau for Public Health/Maternal, Child & Family Health, is a teen pregnancy prevention program comprising a videocassette and a curriculum of six discrete lessons with many classroom activities.  The title suggests that teens "get more" out of their educations and wait until they are mature enough to nurture, finance, and enjoy having a baby.

Funded by a federal grant in 2001 and distributed in 2003 to all WV high schools and middle schools, GET MORE presents exercises in responsible goal setting including how to say 'No"; two lessons on sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, a lesson on contraceptives, and two lessons about the cost of having a baby and about child support obligations.  The video featured student parents in two WV high schools which have nurseries for the babies.

In 2004-2005 GET MORE was distributed to the WV Council of Churches (42 denominations), to Health & Physical Education teachers, to HEAD START parent councils at their convention, to Public Health Nurses and Doctors, and to any classroom teacher, youth group leader or parent who asked for a set.  Supplies are still available at no cost.  Contact this author if you would like to have a set.

This program is designed for both boys and girls and works to instill in young men a sense of responsibility for babies they father.  Particularly to the units on child support and the costs associated with a new baby, the boys pay close attention and have relevant questions for the teachers.  They also become aware of the different approaches that girls have to sexual activity from those of most males.  For further information, please contact Elizabeth Jordan, Community Outreach, at (304) 558-3716 or email:  elizabethjordan@wvdhhr.org.

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 an 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 Children's Health Insurance Program, and owe $500.00 or more in arrears to be eligible for the program. Eligible participants are 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. West Virginia has conducted 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 Virginia's Fatherhood Initiatives, please contact Sue Buster, TANF Program Manger, at (304) 558-3796, or Elizabeth Jordon, Outreach Coordinator, at (304) 558-3780.

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 (BCSE) collaborated with teen parents, Kanawha and Cabell County high schools, the State Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools, and the Bureau for Public Health's Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and Abstinence Only Education Programs in an attempt to produce a well-rounded program. Educators were able to implement the curricula in the 2003-2004 school year. The videos were also distributed to more than fifty health education and physical education teachers at their annual convention in July 2004. As part of the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement's Hospital Paternity Affidavit Program, Get More was given to each of the 33 birthing centers in West Virginia. In addition, BSCE participated with Get More in the interdepartmental Conference on Healthy Marriages, led by the West Virginia IV-A agency, the Bureau for Families and Children and the WV University and WV State University extension services. Contact Elizabeth Jordon, Outreach Coordinator, Bureau for Child Support Enforcement at (304) 558-3780, for further information.

Fatherhood Day: A proclamation was signed by the Governor designating June 16, 2004 as Fatherhood Day in West Virginia. Each Bureau of Child Support Office around the State made banners to be displayed in Department of Health and Human Services offices during that week. Child support staff also set up booths at various locations in the community during the week to answer questions concerning establishment of paternity and support obligations. Notaries also were present at these sites to facilitate the signing of paternity affidavits. Contact Elizabeth Jordon, Outreach Coordinator, Bureau for Child Support Enforcement at (304) 558-3780.

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Region 4

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

Robert Richie
Program Manager
Child Support and Developmental Disabilities
Administration for Children and Families
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW, Suite 4M60
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909
Phone: 404-562-2958
Fax: 404-562-2985

Juan Gordon
Financial Operations Specialist
Head Start Branch
Administration for Children and Families
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW, Suite 4M60
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909
Phone: 404-562-2869
Fax: 404-562-2984

Regional Activity

May 10-12, 2005, ACF Region IV hosted Framing the Future: A Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Forum at the Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, Georgia. This discussion exploreed the challenges and opportunities in building a strong Fatherhood-Healthy Marriage partnership that can result in building stronger children, families and communities. Both the Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Initiatives view improving child well-being as a mutual goal, and identifying efforts for collaboration may make a significant positive impact on the status of at-risk children throughout the nation and serve to educate and inform a wide spectrum of audiences.

Supplemental fatherhood funds were granted to 128 regional Head Start grantees who used the monies to support activities including field trips with children, Dad banquets, read-a-thons with children, Dad nights out with children, fishing trips, sporting events and family nights out among other activities.  Details of ongoing activities are associated with each State below.  Male involvement programs in the region included 21,204 fathers and 10,172 children.

State Activity

Alabama

Access and Visitation. The grant, administered by the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts (AOC), has provided divorce mediation and child issues and parenting plan mediation training for Judicial Volunteer Program coordinators in four judicial circuits in Alabama. This enables coordinators to train citizen volunteers to mediate visitation issues and to assist with development of visitation parenting plans with parents before they go to court. In an effort to work with the Alabama Fatherhood Initiative, the AOC has developed two workbooks, one for parents and one for children. Both workbooks are designed to encourage divorced or never-married parents and their children to work together to facilitate communication between them and to explain good ways to handle living apart. Contact David Williams of the AOC at (334) 242-0333.

TANF. The Alabama Fatherhood Initiative (AFI) is a statewide network of many agencies and organizations working together to provide programs and services to help non-custodial parents financially support their children and have greater and more constructive involvement in the lives of their children. A statewide Fatherhood Coordinator, funded with TANF dollars, is housed in the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) Family Assistance Division.

The Children's Trust Fund of Alabama, in partnership with the State Department of Human Resources, has funded 32 fatherhood programs throughout the State of Alabama. DHR funding comes from TANF. Programs continue to target several areas:

Three colleges in the Alabama College System have ongoing fatherhood initiatives using the skills based, short-term training model developed jointly by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.  This model provides for a case manager to be present in Child Support Court to serve non-custodial parents who are either unemployed or underemployed and not paying their support.  Child Support judges are typically ordering non-paying parents to participate in these services.  Case managers report back to the judges regarding parents’ participation.  Gadsden State Community College, with campuses in Gadsden and Anniston serves both Etowah and Calhoun Counties.  Calhoun Community College in Decatur serves Morgan County and some non-custodial parents in Limestone County.  Southern Union Community College provides training and employment services for Lee County parents.  Most recent numbers for these programs indicate a total of 425 individuals served which resulted in a child support collections total of $485,999.

In addition, TANF funds are used to fund small community-based grants to provide employment and training services as well as some fatherhood support groups.

The Alabama Fatherhood Resource Directory was first published to pull together information on all of the fatherhood programs across the State so that non-custodial parents can find the services they need in their local communities.

Partnering with the Alabama Fatherhood Initiative and faith and community organizations, the National Initiative for Human Development was instrumental in convening the first Alabama Fatherhood Conference in June 2004. A state fatherhood conference is now an annual event in Alabama with the next conference scheduled for May 3-5, 2006. State Contact: Martha Cantrell at (256) 340-5996.

HEAD START

The OCAP program, in Troy, Alabama has made a vital impact in the community through its Family Sports event, group basketball.  The program conducted a father involvement team building and needs session and allowed the fathers and the community to design an events program.  The events have been a great success with local officials and businesses supporting this family effort.  The impact has been that over 75 fathers are now actively involved and the overall community has recognized the need for male involvement in the lives of their children.  An effort is currently being made to market the sporting events in an effort to obtain sponsorship for future events.

Florida

Child Support Enforcement: The Orlando, Florida, Child Support Enforcement office, working with the Orange County Corrections Department, the judiciary of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County Workforce Development, Orange County Probation, Orange County Legal Aid, Headstart, Healthy Families, DCF, and several community partners, implemented an educational and outreach project that targets incarcerated and formerly incarcerated non- custodial parents. The program is entitled Low-Income Non-custodial Parent Outreach Service (LINOS). The Orlando CSE Service Center has three designated staff members that meet weekly with the inmates. CSE staff had to gain the inmates trust to change the NCP's perception that CSE was interested only in putting them in jail. The Orlando CSE staff was very successful in making it clear to inmates that CSE was there to educate them about CS issues so they could make informed decisions when they left the jail environment. Only 20 inmates attended CSE's first session; as of 03/23/06, 2,320 inmates had received the LINOS presentation and an unknown number of non-custodial parents had received the program’s child support and other services information without actually enrolling in the program.

The LINOS brochure contains information on all the service providers and telephone numbers. The brochure and large LINOS posters are displayed in CSE service center lobbies, the courthouse, the jail, and many other community partners distribute the LINOS brochure and display the poster. CSE tracks enrollees in the LINOS program on payment history, scheduled appointments with community partners and job referral information. There is a designated DOR CSE LINOS liaison for NCPs to contact once released from jail. The LINOS program is a good example that improving relationships with NCPs, establishing strong community partner networks, and innovative actions result in a winning combination for all, especially for children and families.

Contact:
David Gillen
Revenue Service Center Manager
Florida Department of Revenue
Child Support Enforcement
400 West Robinson Street
Hurston South Tower, Suite S609
Orlando, FL 32801-1782
407-245-0103

Head Start/Early Head Start:

The Florida Fatherhood Coalition will be sponsoring a conference (dates as yet undetermined) under Governor Bush's Fatherhood Initiative.

Georgia

(State of) Georgia Fatherhood Initiative
Scott Stapleton, Manager
P.O. Box 1427
360 Bay Street, Suite 300
Augusta, Georgia 30903
Phone: 706-721-7139
Fax: 706-721-7151
Email: scottstapleton @ dhr.state.ga.us

Head Start and Child Support — In the last of four Parent-Mentor events in Region IV, NCFL and Head Start parents met in Atlanta for a great weekend of training and discussion of fatherhood ideas.

During the closing session on Sunday, remarks by several participants attested to the positive, effective efforts made. One father said, "A lot of times men don't feel like they can really talk or express themselves in groups like this. But I think we all opened up and connected this weekend. Our trainers made us feel like it was okay to be ourselves and they showed me how important I really am to my kids. I think we all realized we are in this together...we got to help each other out."

Another Dad said, "I am a changed man. I am going to be a better Dad now. You got to tell somebody up there who makes the decisions that we need more of this kind of stuff for parents. I am so glad I took this chance and gave it a try." Many similar comments assured that wonderful things happened and the hard work putting it together was worth the effort.

Kentucky

Head Start/Early Head Start:

Mississippi

Sunflower Humphrey's Counties Progress, Inc. Fatherhood Initiative: Activities include Dad's Day with Kids; Boys to Men Fatherhood Conference; Character Building: What I Think About Me; Sporting Events; Breakfast with Dad; Art in a Suitcase (dad's and kids participate in art, music, poetry, dancing and other activities)

Yazoo City Community Action Agency Head Start:

Washingon County Head Start:

North Carolina

Access and Visitation.  The State has awarded grant funds to four Family Court Districts to facilitate access and visitation by non-custodial parents with their children.  Counties funded to operate programs are Cumberland, Durham, Halifax, Anson, Richmond, Stanly, Union, and Buncombe.  A smaller amount of funds was also allocated to the Wake County Human Service Working for Kids program.  Program services include supervised visitation, mediation, counseling, legal clinics, job skills/educational training, development of parenting plans, and substance abuse and mental health services.

Head Start.  The Operation Breakthrough program started the “Proud Fathers’ Club” which holds monthly events in which fathers interact with the Head Start children.  In collaboration with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the club has initiated the 3 Rs program for Reading, Writing and Arithmetic where fathers and children play games involving these subjects and enhancing classroom curriculum.  During their holiday celebration, a winter wonderland was created centering upon trees, holiday stories, and family relationships.

South Carolina

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina Fatherhood Initiative. 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 statewide 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 absent fathers, and other fatherhood programs.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation and SC Center for Fathers and Families currently fund 10 fatherhood programs at 12 sites in the state including community based, alternatives to incarceration, and prison based programs. A large proportion of funding for the fatherhood programs comes from the SC Department of Social Services (DSS), primarily TANF money. The SC Center for Fathers and Families was founded in 2002 by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. Its mission is to develop and support a statewide infrastructure to strengthen relationships between fathers and families. The Center provides resources, leadership and education to fatherhood programs associated with the Fatherhood Initiative. The South Carolina Fatherhood Practitioners Network, Inc. was founded to foster communication, professional development, education, and collaboration among service providers. The Network has conducted several practitioner conferences in the State. For more information, contact Patricia Littlejohn at (803) 254-0230

Access and Visitation. The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) has initiated a pilot project called Visitation Involvement Parenting (VIP), in which the CSED provides mediation services for the parents to establish a plan for access and visitation so that the child will have the benefit of both parents taking an active role in their life. The VIP Program also provides employment and training services for the non-custodial parent so that he/she can adequately provide financial support for the child and the VIP Program will provide instruction to both parents on how to request help from the Family Court to enforce the visitation order. This program is available in four counties. In order for the VIP Program to be available, both parents must live in one of the counties or the non-custodial parent must live in one of these counties and the custodial parent must agree to travel to the county where the non-custodial parent lives for any classes or mediation sessions. For more information contact Linda Cook at (803) 898-9350.

Tennessee

Access and Visitation.  The Tennessee program provides pro se initiatives intended to address the needs of divorced, unwed, and never married parents, emphasizing parenting time issues of non-custodial parents.  Areas in the State providing services are Memphis, Clinton, Knoxville, Clarksville, Cookeville, Scotts Hill, Columbia and Jacksboro, Tennessee.

A Special Improvement Project in Shelby County (Memphis) provides in part, training for county Child Support workers regarding the benefits of improved relationships and marriage and the identification of members of their caseload who might represent an appropriate audience for marriage promotion discussions.

Head Start Fatherhood Projects in Region IV

 Alabama                                

 Dothan City Schools Head Start Preschool Center

Father Read:  NAEYC; with community leaders and Kiwanis club members; Fatherhood Breakfast: Ministerial alliance; City Council; Family Reading Day   

Mobile Community Action, Inc.

The agency has collaborated with Mobile County Public Schools, where readers work with male involvement participants on improving reading skills; Local Massage Therapy businesses provided massages to participants; Local radio stations provided prize give-aways; Mississippi Head Start Association, where participants competed in a basketball tournament.  Five of twelve parent center committees’ chairpersons are fathers.  Two fathers attended the National Head Start Institute on Father Involvement.

 Georgia                                  

 YMCA/Early Childhood Development Co., LLC    

 “Meet the Falcons Day”

YMCA ECDC HEAD Start — Fatherhood Initiative - Fall Men’s Conference — “Adam Where Are You?  The lead Fatherhood staff participated in the Building Blocks for Successful Fatherhood Program at the National Head Start Training Conference

Florida                                   

 Miami-Dade Community Action Agency

Special collaborations were established to include CDL Driving School, Miami Dade CAA Foundation and NFL All Pro Dads.  The transportation initiative provided three (3) fathers with improved skills, knowledge and hands-on internship as bus monitors for HS/EHS.  The initiative was implemented in a two (2) phase process that included:  Internship with CAA Transportation Services as a bus monitor.  Phase two: Fathers attended the CDL School Inc. for skills and written exam preparation including the Florida State Road Test.  The program assisted the fathers with background screening, First Aid/CPR Training and Customer Service.  As a part of the annual Pre-service Training conference “Building blocks for Father Involvement: training was presented.      

Kentucky                                           

 Bourbon County Pre-school Head Start

Since attending the fatherhood initiative conference two years ago in Dallas, Texas, Bourbon county Preschool Head Start ‘s fatherhood program has grown tremendously. The first fatherhood activity “Dads Day Out” with over 200 fathers attending.   Bourbon county Preschool Head Start has placed a major focus on staff training to work with fathers.  Literature and packets with fatherhood activities are made available to all staff.  In addition; collaboration with the Bourbon County Extension agency provides activities for fathers such as “Desserts for Dads”.  The children made desserts for fathers; over 100 dads were in attendance.                                       

Audubon

Project titled “Father Factor”:  Promoting a Male Friendly. Environment.  The implementation process included training for staff on including fathers in the program.  Visual materials (posters) distributed and displayed at each site exhibiting males in a positive manner.  A Father Factor Fair was implemented in each county.  The total attendance for all of the Father Factor Fairs was 610 and from this total 228 were fathers or father figures.

Jefferson County Public Schools Head Start/Early Head Start Program

 Jefferson County has strong support of the Fatherhood/Male Initiative programs from Dr. Stephen Daeschner, Superintendent and a core group of Fatherhood Male/Initiative members and staff.  The implementation of the “Building Blocks for Father Involvement Model’s” strategies contributed to the success of the program.  One of our successes is a single father raising five children from ages fifteen to eight, volunteers in Head Start classrooms, serves as an ambassador on the policy council; member of the Fatherhood Male/Initiative Core Group and chair of the Program Design and Management advisory committee. He received the Ann Phipps Scholarship at the State and Regional levels and went on to be awarded the National Ann Phipps Scholarship award in Los Angeles CA.

Mississippi                            

Yazoo City — The program conducted several activities during the past 12 months.  These activities were geared toward increasing male involvement.  Activities included Fathers’ Story Time, Donuts for Dads, Men’s Health Fair, Fathers of the Month/Year, and job readiness training.  The training seminar “Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers” was also conducted.

Partnerships were developed with the local WIN Job Center, the Police and Sheriff’s Departments, local school districts, the American Legion, the Yazoo City Fire Department and several civic organizations. These agencies assisted with training, education, and in a variety of other areas.

Sunflower Humphrey — The agency focused upon increasing father’s participation in a broader range of activities during the year and that focus paid off with a greater number of fathers involved in the Policy Council, Parent Committee groups, field trips with the children, Dad’s Day Out, Parent-Mentor training, Jobs for Dads and fundraising activities.

The agency also increased its partnering activities in the local community, collaborating with the local Child Support Enforcement agency, the Youth Court, the Police Department as well as surrounding retailers such as the New Deal Grocery, the Sunflower Food Store and Wal-Mart.

Washington County Opportunities — The agency supports fatherhood efforts with activities which include breakfasts for fathers and mothers with a program on family relationship skills, fathers and children participating in the Greenville Christmas Parade and Martin Luther King Parade sponsored by the 100 Black Men of the Delta, fathers and children attending Alcorn State University baseball games, literacy training at Delta State University, participating as guest speakers at Adopt-a-School ceremonies and sponsoring family style picnics.

North Carolina

Macon Program for Progress — The agency uses the 24/7 Dad information and provides meals, child care, door prizes and other activities for the males and fathers who attend training.  The agency employs two male family advocates who speak Spanish, an advantage in training the groups, which include many Hispanic males.  Other activities included families enjoying Thanksgiving meals at the centers, Fun for Fathers activities, fathers/males and children developed family scrapbooks and, at Christmas, fathers and children completed handprints together as gifts for the mothers.  Literacy is focused upon at all events, with the literacy specialist reading stories with fathers and children to support partnering and role playing.

Economic Improvement Council, Edenton — The program has emphasized the significance of fathers participating in the education of their children.  A “Ten Ways to be a Special Dad (Or Other Important Man in a Child’s Life) list was distributed to parents and fathers are encouraged to volunteer in classroom and recess activities.  The agency also held a Fathers’ Night in which fathers were given the opportunity to communicate effectively with their children, a reading project, in which fathers visited classrooms and read stories, a Father/Child Olympics Day with fathers engaging in various sports with their children.  Olympic gifts and ribbons were given to each participant.  A Fatherhood Banquet was also held with fifty fathers attending.

Chapel Hill Training and Outreach Project — The agency held Dad’s Day to Play activities, inviting fathers on regularly scheduled days each month, fatherhood luncheons in the classrooms, a Winter Festival, Fathers’ Talent day where fathers share their skills, and reading backpacks in which children sign out a backpack with books to be shared with their Dads.

Four County Community Services -- The agency is partnering with local faith-based institutions, the Southeastern Job Link Center, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the cooperative extension services in Bladen, Columbus, Scotland, Robeson, Brunswick and Hoke, family literacy agencies, the Men Mentoring Men program and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.  Training is conducted at each center on various topics with representatives from these agencies speaking and serving as resources for the fathers.

The agency held Fatherhood Spring and Winter forums, fatherhood advisory and policy council meetings and participated in activities at the centers which included Pictures with Dad, Fathers reading day, Donuts with Dad, a fatherhood picnic and the Father of the Month. 

South Carolina                      

Fourteen Grantees honored fathers during the annual HS Awareness Celebration at Finley Park, Columbia SC              

Tennessee                             

Tennessee State University Early Head Start

Fathers and other role models involved in “Come Read to Me”.  The TN CARES EHS Basketball team (comprised of dads) competed against other community basketball teams TN CARES EHS DADS WON!!  This was partnership with the local Community Resource Program with other league teams.  Parent Fair-TN CARES presented a Parent Fair that with sessions designed for dads/males.  Classroom subs — currently the program has male volunteers serving as substitute teachers.

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Region 5

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin

This page in PDF format (32 pages)

HHS Region V Fatherhood Contacts:

Suzanne Krohn
Acting Regional Director
Department of Health and Human Services, Region V
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 353-5160
Fax: (312) 353-4144

Joyce A. Thomas
Regional Administrator
Administration for Children and Families, Region V
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 353-4237
Fax: (312) 353-2204

Kay Willmoth
Regional Program Manager
Office of Head Start
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 353-4237
Fax: (312) 353-2204

Dianna Durham McLoud
Family Life and Healthy Marriage Specialist Region V
Administration for Children and Families, HHS
233 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 886-5337
Fax: (312) 353-2204
E-mail: dianna.mcloud@acf.hhs.gov

Lois Rakov
Contract Support
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
225 West Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL. 60606-1228
Phone: (312) 375-4974
Fax: (312) 578-4667
E-mail: rakov_lois@bah.com

Region V Fatherhood Workgroup Leads

Child Care
Tou-Fu Vang (toufu.vang@acf.hhs.gov)
Child Support
Geneva Bishop (gbishop@acf.hhs.gov)
Child Welfare
Constance Helene Miller (chfmiller@acf.hhs.gov)
Family Life and Healthy Marriage Specialist
Dianna Durham-McLoud (dianna.durham-mcloud@acf.hhs.gov)
Head Start
Chandra Allgood-Foster (callgood-foster@acf.hhs.gov)
Office of Community Services
Elizabeth Hailey-Smith (elizabeth.haileysmith@acf.hhs.gov)
Runaway and Homeless Youth
Jenny Weiser (jweiser@acf.hhs.gov)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Thomas Schindler (thomas.schindler@acf.hhs.gov)
Tribal
Krista Thomas (krista.thomas@acf.hhs.gov) and Bill Clair (bclair@acf.hhs.gov)

Helping Men Become Responsible, Committed, Involved Fathers

Region V Fatherhood Initiative:
Building and Enhancing Fatherhood/Male Involvement

Region V Program-Wide Commitment to Father Involvement

The Fatherhood Initiative is one of the top priorities for the Region V Administration for Children and Families (ACF). For this reason, Region V ACF has designed its fatherhood efforts to carry out identified objectives. The objectives include:

ACF Region V's continued commitment to the Fatherhood Initiative is illustrated by the following activities: 

To help you navigate through Region V Fatherhood Materials, the following quick links will take you right to these topics.

Fatherhood Funding

The latest Fatherhood grants, announced in October 2006, allocated $50 million annually for responsible fatherhood programs. The measures were part of a bill that reauthorized welfare reform. The fatherhood programs are to promote the objectives of the ACF Fatherhood Initiative. The key authorized activities include: Healthy Marriage Services, Responsible Parenting and Economic Stability for Fathers.

Responsible Fatherhood Grant Awards

Illinois
Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County Inc., Chicago; City of Chicago, Chicago; Circle of Parents, Chicago.
Indiana
Indiana Department of Correction, Indianapolis; Indiana Youth Institute, Indianapolis.
Michigan
Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan Works! Detroit; Baraga Houghton Keweenaw Child Development Board Inc., Houghton; Community Action Agency of Jackson, Jackson; Oakland Family Services, Pontiac; Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency (OLHSA), Pontiac; Wayne-Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Wyandotte.
Minnesota
Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation, Minneapolis; Resource Inc., Minneapolis; Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice, Minneapolis; Goodwill Industries, Inc. St. Paul.
Ohio
Lighthouse Youth Services, Inc., Cincinnati; the RIDGE Project, Defiance; WSOS Community Action Commission Inc., Freemont.
Wisconsin
Rosalie Manor Community and Family Services Inc., Milwaukee.

Region V's funding for fatherhood and on-going funding opportunities have contributed to the further development of many Early Head Start and Head Start fatherhood / male involvement programs. In 2005, fatherhood grants were awarded to 191 of the 232 Head Start grantees in the region. Grantees' applications described efforts in father involvement and explained how these funds improve and sustain father involvement. Funding levels were based on each grantee's funded enrollment level.

Approaches in developing and enhancing fatherhood / male involvement programs have varied a great deal. The agencies undertook a variety of efforts to make their sites friendlier. Some agencies used father-child photographs, posters and flyers. Other agencies simply provided reading materials that were geared towards the interests of fathers. Additionally, agencies implemented many father-child programs that included hands-on activities and supported family and early literacy. Agencies have also instituted a range of efforts to bridge Healthy Marriage and responsible Fatherhood.

Fatherhood Review

Boy on his father's shoulders.In April 2004, ACF Region V reviewed grantee activities at sites that received fatherhood funding and demonstration grants to determine best practices and lessons learned. The review is entitled "Programs that Promote Father Involvement and Children's Early Literacy and Language Development." (Please click here to view the Review and Analysis.)

The review presents best practices highlighted by the grantees and offers advice to Head Start agencies starting a new fatherhood program. The report also summarizes recommendations and lessons learned from the grantees. Here are just some of the ideas:

The Fatherhood Review contains many recommendations made by Early Head Start and Head Start staff. Below are some of the recommendations:

Region V has widely distributed the Fatherhood Review and Analysis. The report and its "Lessons Learned" have been regularly featured at sponsored workshops. Some of those include: Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services Fatherhood / Healthy Relationships Conference (November 2006); Seventh Annual Southwestern Fatherhood and Families Conference, in Phoenix, Arizona (February 2006); and International Fatherhood Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (June 2006). Since April 2004, when Region V initially distributed the report through the Region V Fatherhood Listserv to over 300 participants, ACF has distributed over 500 additional copies of the report, to grantees, child care agencies, state collaboration offices, state and community partners, and interested parties who requested copies.

Fatherhood Workgroup

The Fatherhood Workgroup is another way Region V supports the Fatherhood Initiative. Workgroup members from each ACF program area meet on a quarterly basis. The group also represents Region V at various fatherhood and family conferences, training events, and meetings. Members contribute information to the national Fatherhood Website, help the region promote father / male involvement, encourage the creation of father-friendly environments and work together to develop and support regional, state and community collaborations. The workgroup's contact information is listed at the beginning of these materials.

Fatherhood Capacity Development Workshops

The Fatherhood Workgroup plays an important role in selecting capacity development workshop topics to enable Region V staff to keep up to date with current legislation, research and ground-breaking programming. The group plans workshops that provide practical job related information to share with grantees and program partners. The Workgroup has presented workshops with topics such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Helping Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Father playing with two children.In 2007, the Fatherhood Workgroup sponsored a workshop in partnership with the Department of Labor (DOL) on March 14, 2007, entitled "Opening Doors: The Department of Labor and Employment and Training Administration Opportunities for Parenting Men, Women and Youth." Participants learned about various Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration discretionary programs.

Two workshops took place in 2006. On January 30, 2006, ACF presented the workshop, "Child Welfare and Fatherhood: Reintroduction of Absent Fathers as Placement Options in Child Welfare Cases." Speakers represented the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; the Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc.; and the Cook County Public Defender's Office. On June 26, 2006, ACF held a second workshop, "Fathers of Tradition," featuring a presentation by the Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Chicago.

For more information about the American Indian Center of Chicago please view their website at http://www.aic-chicago.org/ or contact Joseph Podlasek, Executive Director, at joep@aic-chicago.org or at 773-275-5871.

The Region V Fatherhood Listserv

Envelope symbolizing listserve.ACF launched the Region V Fatherhood Listserv on March 24, 2004. As of May 2007, the Region V Fatherhood Listserv includes 333 active participants. Listserv participants share a commitment to fatherhood and male involvement efforts for the sake of the children and their families.

The initial members were mostly Head Start and Early Head Start grantees. The Listserv has expanded to include partners from Child Welfare, Child Support, Runaway and Homeless Youth Services, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families' (TANF) programs, state agencies, and other community-based organizations. In 2006 and 2007, the Listserv gained new members from diverse agencies such as the SAFER Foundation, the American Indian Center of Chicago, Illinois Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, the Open Door Youth Shelter at The Night Ministry, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration/ Region V, and from many state fatherhood associations.

To join the Listserv, send an e-mail to join-fatherhood@lyris.acf.hhs.gov.

By becoming a participant, you will obtain new information quickly and receive invitations to take part in the FREE quarterly Collaboration Network Conference Calls!

Listserv members receive grant information, recent research, new training materials, and announcements of upcoming events. They also exchange information and answer questions to help each other in the development or enhancement of fatherhood / male involvement efforts. They have assisted each other in searches for trainers on topics such as parenting classes for ex-felons, newsletters for fathers, speakers for conference agendas, and pertinent website sources.

As a listserv member, you can share information and make announcements by sending your information via e-mail directly to ACF Region V. Please send your articles / information you want to share to Nancy Sanchez at nancy.sanchez@acf.hhs.gov, with a "cc" to Elizabeth Hailey-Smith at elizabeth.haileysmith@acf.hhs.gov. Region V offers several listservs in addition to Fatherhood, such as Healthy Marriage, Faith Based and Tribal listservs. Please be sure to specify on which listserv you would like your message to go out. Messages are subject to editing by the Regional Office to comply with Federal Government requirements.

The Region V Fatherhood Strategic Plan

An important part of the Region V Fatherhood/Family Strengthening Initiative has been the development and implementation of Region V's Annual Fatherhood Strategic Plans for calendar years 2004 through 2007. Region V Fatherhood Workgroup members solicited input and worked together to develop the strategic plans.

Region V staff uses the strategic plans as guides to promote father-friendly practices in all areas of its programs and to integrate father and male role model acceptance. The strategic plans outline the steps Region V staff members are taking to develop partnerships to enhance fatherhood and male involvement through outreach, sharing information and implementation. The following are examples of implementation activities by program area:

Child Support Enforcement: Region V Child Support staff provided Fatherhood materials to Child Support Directors and Managers on September 18, 2007, at the Urban Jurisdictions meeting September 18-20, 2006, at the Holiday Inn Center Hotel, Chicago. Region V Child Support staff continues to assist in planning and carrying out the Region V quarterly Collaboration Network Calls in partnership with Head Start, Child Care, and partners from Child Welfare, TANF, and Runaway and Homeless Youth. Child Support continued its outreach to fathers by releasing both English and Spanish versions of a brochure entitled "Child Support from the Father's Side," which explains who must pay child support, when, why and how. To access the brochures please click here.

To continue collaboration activities between Head Start and Child Support, staff developed a Child Support Collaboration Liaison Chart with the contact information for each of the Child Support Liaisons in the region and sent the list out to the Fatherhood Listserv. The list was updated and distributed in January 2007.

On June 14, 2006, at the Indiana Child Support Training Conference, Region V Child Support staff met to work in collaboration with Indiana Child Support, the Indiana Head Start Association, the State Judiciary, and the Indiana Department of Corrections. Participants focused on the real need to help incarcerated fathers with their efforts to pay their child support and to improve issues with the child support system and introduced plans for a "Prison Pilot."

On September 8, 2005, Region V staff joined many partners at a special training event with representatives from the Allen County IV-D Office, the Huntington County IV-D Office, the Director of the Indiana Judicial Center, the IV-D Magistrate for Marion County, the Chaplain of the Marion County Jail, the Marion County Sheriff's Department, the Indiana Child Support Bureau, the Indiana Head Start Association, and Illinois Child Support. Region V Child Support staff took part in Indiana's Child Support Training on June 16, 2005, presenting a Federal update that referenced the importance of collaboration in an effective Fatherhood Initiative. Region V Administrator Joyce Thomas spoke about the Fatherhood Initiative as the luncheon speaker at the Indiana conference. For more information and a copy of the liaison chart, please contact Geneva Bishop at gbishop@acf.hhs.gov.

Child Welfare: Child Welfare staff took part in the planning and outreach for a Region V sponsored workshop with the Department of Labor entitled, "Opening Doors: The Department of Labor (DOL) and Employment and Training Administration Opportunities for Parenting Men, Women and Youth" on March 14, 2007. In July 2006, Region V staff worked to identify model fatherhood practices in the Child Welfare field. Staff completed the review of State Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention program applications for fatherhood. On January 30, 2006 staff welcomed speakers from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc., and the Cook County Public Defender's Office to a Region V Capacity Development workshop. The very well attended workshop was entitled, "Child Welfare and Fatherhood: Reintroduction of Absent Fathers as Placement Options in Child Welfare Cases."

Child Welfare staff took a very significant father-friendly step when they modified a widely used Father-Friendly Assessment Tool for potential use by Child Welfare and community partners. Staff sent the new Child Welfare Assessment Tool to the state child welfare agencies and also to Tribal contacts. Staff members surveyed the Children's Bureau funded National Resource Centers (NRCs) to gather information on training, technical assistance and resources available to the states on fatherhood and male involvement, and shared this information region-wide. For more information, please contact Constance H.F. Miller at constance.hf.miller@acf.hhs.gov.

Child Care: Region V staff sent father-focused materials to the state Region V Head Start State Collaboration Directors in preparation for the Head Start Technical (TA) Meeting in September 2006. Staff also sent letters to Region V State Child Care Agencies emphasizing the use of "Father Friendly" language in program applications and other materials and encouraged the State Child Care Administrators and State Child Care Resource and Referral Networks to promote inclusion of non-custodial fathers with providers. The goal was to assist state representatives in promoting positive Fatherhood role models in Early Education programs in each of the states. The Region V State Child Care administrators were provided with a copy of the "Father-Friendliness Organizational Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Early Childhood Education Programs" and the Region V Fatherhood Brochures, entitled "Focus on Fatherhood" in English and Spanish. Staff encourages the Head Start Collaboration offices in the six Region V states to take part in the ongoing Quarterly Collaboration Network Calls and to distribute the information to Child Care partners and the Child Care Resource and Referral Network about joining the Region V Fatherhood Listserv and acquiring Building Blocks materials. For more information regarding Child Care activities, please contact Harlan Smith: hasmith@acf.hhs.gov.

Head Start blocks.Head Start / Early Head Start: On April 20, 2007, Region V staff, representing the Fatherhood Workgroup, read fatherhood essays as part of community collaboration with the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative (IFI) in Chicago. In March 2007, staff took part in the Community and Economic Development Association, Inc., of Cook County (CEDA) Head Start Male Involvement Conference, entitled, "Responsible Fatherhood: Do it with PASSION." Staff gave opening remarks on behalf of Administrator Joyce A. Thomas and the Head Start Technical Assistance (TA) Network Program Governance Specialist conducted a workshop entitled, "Daddy, Read Me a Story."

Region V Head Start management took part in the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services Fatherhood / Healthy Relationships Conference November 2-3, 2006, giving remarks at the opening session of the conference and sponsoring a workshop at the conference. Staff encouraged grantees to consider how to "bridge the gap" from Fatherhood to Healthy Marriage. Chicago area grantees were invited to attend a Region V ACF-sponsored Chicago Area Healthy Marriage meeting, July 19, 2006 at ACF in Chicago. Chicago area Head Start grantees had the opportunity to update meeting participants on recent fatherhood activities and future plans. Head Start staff also participated in the Region V quarterly Collaboration Network Calls and in state association conferences. Region V also organized and presented fatherhood information at the Wisconsin Head Start Association conference in February 2006. Please contact Chandra Allgood-Foster for more information: callgood-foster@acf.hhs.gov.

Office of Community Services (OCS): Staff attended a Region V ACF collaboration meeting on January 30, 2007, to enhance father involvement and family strengthening with community partners from Ohio. Staff took part in a networking meeting facilitated by Region V Administrator Joyce A. Thomas with the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood on October 24, 2006, at which the Region's Fatherhood Strategic Plan was discussed as well as collaboration plans for the future. Staff have distributed the Father-Friendly Assessment Tool to all state Community Action Agency (CAA) organizations and requested that the organizations share the Assessment Tool with their members and partners. On May 2, 2006, Region V sponsored a Fatherhood Workshop at the Illinois Community Action Association Conference in Springfield, Illinois, and distributed information about the Fatherhood Strategic Plan and the Fatherhood Listserv.

Staff reached out to fatherhood and community-based organizations at an "Assets for Independence Funding Opportunity and Partnerships Information" meeting that it organized and presented on August 30, 2005. This effort helped organizations take an asset-based approach to fighting poverty. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Hailey-Smith: ehailey-smith@acf.hhs.gov.

Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY): Region V RHY focused on outreach to all the Region V Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees by sharing information about the Region's October 24, 2006, Collaboration Conference Call on "Staff training and development in relation to the Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Initiatives" through the RHY network. One of the speakers on the call was a Transitional Living Specialist from Project Oz in Bloomington, Illinois. Fatherhood information was distributed, including ACF Fatherhood and Child Support brochures, at the Region V RHY Conference on June 27-29, 2006. Staff promoted the Fatherhood Initiative at the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood and Congressman Danny Davis Conference and Resource Fair in Chicago, June 3, 2006. Due to on-going Region V RHY outreach many RHY grantees and contractors have joined the Fatherhood Listserv. RHY staff distributes fatherhood brochures and encourages fatherhood programming at site visits, community meetings and conferences on an ongoing basis. For more information, contact Jenny Weiser at jweiser@acf.hhs.gov.

Father and baby.Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Staff helped plan and facilitate a Region V Capacity Development workshop on March 14, 2007, entitled, "Opening Doors: The Department of Labor (DOL) and Employment and Training Administration Opportunities for Parenting Men, Women and Youth." The presentation included information about current DOL resources and interagency collaborations. Staff took part in several Region V sponsored Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Initiatives during July 18-19, 2006. Staff discussed Fatherhood and Parenting Counseling following a half-day presentation titled, "Maintaining and Building Strong Tribal Family Relationships" presented by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe during the Region V Tribal TANF Symposium held September 11-13, 2006. In July 2006, staff announced projects within Region V that received Department of Labor Awards which included:

Programs serve individuals who face significant hurdles to employment and include a focus on welfare recipients, high school dropouts, and ex-offenders. Grantees provide personalized care and supportive services, such as mentoring or life skills coaching, to enable individuals to fully use the employment services offered at local One-Stop Career Centers. Staff presented materials on Fatherhood and related programs to the Compassion Capital grantee and sub-grantees representing Faith and Community-Based Organizations in Wisconsin on May 21, 2006. Staff regularly shares information on the Fatherhood Listserv about new funding opportunities, states' TANF participation rates, information regarding the Healthy Marriage Initiative, faith-based partnerships, and new events. Some of these resources are also available on the Welfare Peer Technical Assistance (TA) website. The Welfare Peer TA Website information gives updates on working with the hard-to-serve population, job attainment, and transitional jobs. To access this information directly, go to http://peerta.acf.hhs.gov. For more information contact Thomas Schindler at thomas.schindler@acf.hhs.gov.

Tribal Programming: ACF staff shared information about the Fatherhood Initiative, including the Region V collaboration with the Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc., on September 19, 2006, at the Region V sponsored Indian Child Welfare Collaborative. Staff highlighted resources and collaboration opportunities available. Staff conducted a site visit and observed the relationship enhancement services enabling a better understanding of fatherhood and the male role at the Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin on July 31, 2006.

Recognizing the need to better understand Urban Native American and Fatherhood challenges, staff developed and facilitated a workshop on June 26, 2006, entitled, "Fathers of Tradition" for Region V staff. The Director of the American Indian Center (AIC) of Chicago discussed what the Center members are doing to engage fathers using the traditions of their people. Staff promoted the Fatherhood Initiative at the Minnesota Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Meeting on June 15-16, 2006. Staff organized and facilitated a fatherhood workshop, "Strengthening the Fatherhood Component in Your Child Care and Head Start Program" at the Region V "Celebrating American Indian Families" Tribal Conference in Minnesota, on May 18, 2005.

For more information on Fatherhood and Tribal programming, please contact Krista Thomas at kthomas@acf.hhs.gov. For more information on any of the Fatherhood Strategic Plan activities, please contact Dianna Durham McCloud at dianna.mcloud@acf.hhs.gov.

Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Focus at Conferences and Meetings

Ohio Head Start Association Social Work Conference
On March 7, 2007, Region V's, Family Life and Healthy Marriage Specialist, delivered a keynote at the Ohio Head Start Association conference, "Because the Kids Do Better." The presentation recounted the history of the Healthy Marriage Initiative, the justification for Head Start in supporting the Healthy Marriage Initiative and several low cost and no cost options for supporting the Healthy Marriage Initiative.

The Community and Economic Development Association, Inc., of Cook County (CEDA)
On March 9, 2007, Region V staff took part in the Community and Economic Development Association, Inc., of Cook County's (CEDA) annual Male Involvement Conference. Region V ACF staff presented remarks on behalf of Region V Administrator Joyce A. Thomas. Region V Head Start TA Network Program Governance Specialist presented a workshop entitled," Daddy, Read Me a Story."

The City of Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services Fatherhood / Healthy Relationships Conference
Region V took part in the Opening Session of the 2006 Fatherhood/Healthy Relationships Conference sponsored by the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services. The focus of the conference was on training, resources, development and strategies regarding responsible fatherhood/male involvement and successful relationships. This conference was seen as a priority for the Department and the Office of Head Start because it was focused on integrating fathers/males into the lives of young children through strengthening parental relationships. Region V also organized and presented a workshop entitled, "There are no Cookie Cutters Here: Translating Federal Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Priorities to Local Initiatives.

The Southwestern Fatherhood Conference 2006
Region V developed and presented a workshop entitled: "Most Likely to Succeed Fatherhood Best Practices: Legacies from the Field" at the Seventh Annual Southwestern Fatherhood and Families conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The workshop reinforced the conference theme, "Defining Legacies," and presented an opportunity for Region V to applaud the legacies of its many Head Start/Early Head Start father/male involvement coordinators and to share information from the dialogues conducted between Region V and these experienced staff members.

The Illinois Community Action Association Conference
Region V developed and presented a workshop at the Illinois Community Action Association Conference in Springfield, Illinois, on May 2, 2006. The workshop was entitled, "Community Action Agencies and Father Involvement: Best Practices and Lessons Learned." Workshop participants were interested in receiving Region V's Review and Analysis, "Programs that Promote Father Involvement and Children's Early Literacy and Language Development," (click here) as well as to become participants of Region V's Fatherhood Listserv.

The International Fatherhood Conferences
Region V ACF encourages active participation in the National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL) conferences. The upcoming 2007 conference, "Strengthening Fathers in Fragile Families through Employment, Education and Health, will be held June 13-15, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2006, Region V ACF organized and presented a workshop entitled, "The Good, The Bad and the Possible: Partnerships and Collaborations to Bridge Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage." at the Eighth Annual International Fatherhood Conference convened at Morehouse College. Approximately 80 people heard the workshop speakers discuss the WinShape Report, "Framing the Future" and give information from Illinois and Michigan Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage initiatives as well as from faith-based community initiatives in Illinois and Northwest Indiana that bridge Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage.

Region V staff attended, presented and moderated at the NPCL Seventh Annual International Fatherhood Conference in 2005 in Detroit, Michigan. Region V's Administrator, Joyce A. Thomas, served as the moderator of the Plenary Session entitled, "Fatherhood and Marriage: Do We Need Both?" Region V also organized and sponsored a workshop, which focused on "Translating Federal Priorities into Local Initiatives." The conference concluded with the presentation of a number of special awards. Ms. Thomas received the Judge David Gray Ross Award, given annually to a public official for outstanding contributions to the advancement of government efforts that promote responsible fatherhood and strong families.

For more information about NPCL, please view the website www.npcl.org or contact the office at (202) 822-6725 or toll free at 1-888 775-NPCL. Upcoming conference information can be found at www.npcl-ifc.org

Region V Youth Development Conference
The 2006 Region V Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Provider Conference occurred on June 27-29, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. During the conference, ACF Region V RHY staff distributed Fatherhood materials including information on the ACF Fatherhood Initiative as well as the Region V Fatherhood and Child Support brochures. Staff encouraged participants to join the Fatherhood Listserv, and representatives from the Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois (CHASI), the Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County, Indiana, and Stopover, Inc (Indiana) joined the listserv.

Region V RHY staff promoted the ACF Fatherhood Initiative at the Region V Youth Development Conference on June 28-30, 2005, discussing and circulating information about the Fatherhood Initiative and Fatherhood Resources with RHY grantees and other potential partners. Staff achieved their goal of bringing the important role of fathers to the attention of conference participants.

Region V Participation in Father-Focused Community Events

Fatherhood Workgroup members and other Region V staff regularly attend father-focused community events. They distribute information such as the Region V Fatherhood Brochures (in English and Spanish), the Review and Analysis of Fatherhood Programs, and the Fatherhood Child Support Brochures (in English and Spanish). On March 3, 2006, Region V staff shared the Spanish Fatherhood brochure at the National Head Start Hispanic Institute in Denver, Colorado. For more information about the Institute, view the website at http://www.hsnrc.org/hispanic2a/.

Each year, Region V ACF staff takes part in the reading and judging of Fatherhood Essays for the annual Illinois Fatherhood Initiative "What My Father Means to Me" Essay contest. On April 20, 2007, staff joined in the community final reading of the more than 25,000 essays that came from all parts of Illinois. Region V staff took part as essay finalist readers on April 16, 2006. Region V staff attended the February 21, 2006; "State of Fatherhood Meeting" at which Illinois schools, fathers, and students who participated in the Fatherhood Essay Initiative were honored.

On March 9, 2007, Region V staff took part in the Community and Economic Development Association, Inc., of Cook County (CEDA) annual Male Involvement Conference. The Region V Head Start TA Network Program Governance Specialist presented a workshop entitled, "Daddy, Read Me a Story." On March 10, 2006, in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a Region V staff person served as a speaker at the Male Involvement Conference of the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA), entitled, "Men of Destiny". Staff also presented the Federal perspective on the Fatherhood Initiative to confirm and direct attention to the fact that the Federal Fatherhood Initiative has been and continues to be one of ACF's key federal priorities: helping men become responsible, committed, and involved fathers.

On June 3, 2006, Region V personnel representing several Federal ACF program areas staffed a resource booth at the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood Conference in Chicago, entitled, "Paving a Pathway to Parenthood: Investing in Fathering." Staff distributed Federal fatherhood and family strengthening brochures, as well as the benefits of joining the Region V Fatherhood Listserv.

Region V Partnerships to Support Fathers and Families

Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc. (MCWFD)
Region V continues to encourage the efforts of the Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc (MCWFD). That organization sponsors an agenda that complements Region V's fatherhood effort. In 2007, Region V and the MCWFD reached out to potential partners in all six states in the region to launch a unique collaboration to encourage and strengthen the roles of fathers in the lives of their children. The collaboration has begun the development of plans for Fatherhood Policy Forums starting with the development of an Ohio Forum that will build upon the work that has been started in that state.

The collaboration between Region V, the MCWFD and partners will bring together state agencies and key community and faith-based stakeholders to develop a regional plan to promote father-friendly and family strengthening policies and practices in each of the six states of Region V. This effort will address the support needs of fathers and work to strengthen programs for children and families as a whole. The collaboration will analyze gaps and barriers in policies and service, learn about promising practices from family support practitioners, and develop recommendations to develop a cooperative effort across state lines. On-going information and discussion will be available through the Region V Fatherhood Listserv.

For more information about MCWFD, you may contact Jerry Hamilton, Executive Director, Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc, 6929 Mariner Dr., Suite C, Racine, WI 53406; (262) Phone: 886-9421; Fax: (262) 886-9431or e-mail him at jhamilton@mcwfd.org. You can also go to the Center's website at http://www.charityadvantage.com/mcwfd/Aboutus.asp.

Region V and Family Support America
Region V worked in collaboration with Family Support America (FSA) until that organization disbanded on July 31, 2006. In 2006, Region V and several partners worked to develop, sponsor, and serve as speakers at three workshops at the FSA Conference. Two workshops that were delivered on March 27, 2006, focused on fatherhood entitled:

For more information about these workshops, please contact Lois Rakov at rakov_lois@bah.com.

Head Start, Child Support, Child Care Collaboration

Collaboration Network Conference Calls
A unique Region V initiative in existence for more than four years is the Region's Collaboration Network Call, which brings together partners to network and share information. Discussion topics have included bridging fatherhood and healthy marriage programs, access and visitation, expungement issues, Head Start male involvement and fatherhood program challenges, teen fathers, collaboration development, evaluation of fatherhood programs and helping children whose parents are incarcerated.

The April 24, 2007, call featured speakers on the topic, "Bridging Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage and Domestic Violence." On January 23, 2007, presenters from Michigan and Iowa led a discussion on "Mandated Fatherhood programs." Participants on the calls include representatives from Head Start and Early Head Start programs, state and county child support programs, state child welfare programs, RHY programs and Region V ACF Head Start, Child Care, Child Support, Developmental Disabilities, Child Welfare, TANF, and RHY program staff.

For more information about the Collaboration Network Calls and for notes from the calls, please contact Mike Vicars at (312) 886-5339 or at mvicars@acf.hhs.gov.

"Child Support, Child Care, and Head Start Collaboration: Innovations and Ideas"
An excellent document on collaboration models is available from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). This final report describes six collaboration grants awarded by OCSE. Two of the six states nationwide that received collaboration grants were Minnesota and Illinois. The report, which highlights and compares approaches, experiences, and lessons learned from the six grant projects, remains a valuable source of ideas for continued partnerships. The report can be downloaded from: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pubs/2003/reports/headstart/.

Region V and the Healthy Marriage Initiative

Grant Awardees
Healthy Marriage Initiative grants were announced in October 2006. The awards allocated totaled $100 million a year nationally for the five years for healthy marriage programs as well as $50 million annually for responsible fatherhood programs. The measures were part of a bill that reauthorized welfare reform.

Illinois
SGA Youth & Family Services Chicago; Meier Clinics, Wheaton.
Indiana
Community Marriage Builders, Inc., Evansville; Abstinence for Singles, Gary; Cornerstone of Hope Church, Inc., Indianapolis; Fathers and Family Resource/Research Center, Inc., Indianapolis; Madison County Community Health Centers, Inc., Indianapolis.
Michigan
Child and Family Resource Council, Grand Rapids; Trinity Health Michigan, Pontiac.
Ohio
Beech Acres Parenting Center, Cincinnati; Cuyahoga County Board of County Commissioners, Cleveland; Governor's Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, Columbus; Elizabeth's New Life Center, Inc., Dayton; Operation Keepsake, Inc., Mayfield; Marriage Savers of Clark County, Inc., Springfield.
Wisconsin
Foundation for a Great Marriage, DePepe; Center for Self-Sufficiency Inc., Milwaukee; Parents Plus, Inc., Neenah; Laugh Your Way America, LLC, Stevens Point.

Region V Encourages Healthy Marriage Initiatives

Region V provided outreach through the Region V Fatherhood Listserv for the Marriage, Abstinence, and Fatherhood Roundtable held January 24, 2007, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, organized by the Foundation for a Great Marriage. The agenda summarized the 2007 goals and action plans, and explored possibilities for collaboration and cross-promotion. For more information please view their website at http://www.foundationformarriage.org/.

Region V Administrator Joyce A. Thomas spoke at the 3rd Annual Indiana Healthy Marriage and Family Conference, April 25-28, 2007, in Indianapolis. The theme of the conference was "Strengthening Family Ties Through Networking." The mission of the Indiana Community Healthy Marriage & Family Coalition (IHMFC), the organizer, is "to identify and promote the value of healthy marriages and vibrant families." For more information, you may e-mail info@ihmfc.org or contact: IHMFC, 1669 Columbia Avenue, PO BOX 55036, Indianapolis, IN, 46220.

Region V staff attended the kick off event for the Chicago Alliance for Latino Marriages, CALMA, Family Bridges Program on February 1, 2007 in Chicago. At the event, which was conducted in Spanish and English, CALMA announced their educational programs for singles and couples and their many future plans. CALMA held a Clergy Day, April 25, 2007. For more information about CALMA and about the Family Bridges Program, you may call 1-877-41BRIDGE or send an email to rgiglio@meierclinics.com.

Region V Staff took part in an Ecumenical Church Leadership Development conference on August 7, 2006, at the Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The conference, entitled, "A Family Affair," emphasized family ministry from generation-to-generation, best practice models for relationship education, premarital and marriage counseling, family counseling services, and shared practical information about developing and maintaining healthy relationships. The conference was a collaboration of the Progressive National Baptist Women's Department, the National Council of Churches' Justice and Advocacy Commission and the Education and Leadership Ministries Commission.

On July 19, 2006, Region V convened a Chicago Area Healthy Marriage Initiative "Upfront and Center" meeting on July 19, 2006, at the Chicago ACF facility. The purpose of the meeting was to provide the opportunity for Chicago Area Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) grantees, plus Fatherhood Initiative Head Start grantees to assist each other and future grantees in enhancing and expanding the Healthy Marriage Initiative. Region V ACF Administrator Joyce A. Thomas welcomed participants to the "Upfront and Center: Best Practices" meeting and expressed appreciation for the interest and commitment of those present. Ms. Thomas spoke about how this networking opportunity can assist Chicago area Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) grantees, partners, future grantees, state and community agencies, Head Start, Early Head Start and faith-based agencies in enhancing and expanding the HMI. Ms. Thomas also discussed possible action items that could bridge Fatherhood and HMI activities, focusing attention on minority and underserved communities.

Participants discussed initial ideas for the formation of a Chicago Area Healthy Marriage Coalition. Participants wanted to share information and continue their connections to other individuals doing similar work. Participants represented the Family Ministries, Archdiocese of Chicago; Chicago Alliance for Latino Marriages (CALMA); Community Economic Development Association, Inc., (CEDA); Chicago Commons; Children and Youth Services; Community Action Partnership of Lake County; Illiana Coalition for Family and Community Restoration; Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement; Indiana Marriage and Family Coalition, Inc.; Jewish Child and Family Services, Refugee Family Strengthening Project; Martin Temple AME Zion; Parents as Peacemakers; Region V Head Start Technical Assistance (TA) Network; Rockford Meld; and Region V staff.

For more information on Chicago Area HMIs, please contact Dianna Durham-McLoud at dianna.durham-mcloud@acf.hhs.gov.

Among the 2005-2006 Chicago Area Healthy Marriage grantees:

Archdiocese of Chicago
Family Ministries Office
For more information go to www.chicagolandmarriage.org/
Juliet Beriou, Special Projects Director
(312) 751-835
jberiou@archchicago.org
CALMA, Chicago Alliance for Latino Marriages
news@chicagoalma.com or contact Alicia La Hoz
(630) 653-1717 x214
alahoz@sbcglobal.net
Families United through Understanding Relationships and Empowerment (FUTURE), Department of Health Care and Family Services
Karen Newton-Matza
(312) 793-8215
karen.newton-matza@illinois.gov
Illinois Refugee Family Strengthening Project
Tatyana Fertelmeyster
(847) 392-8820
tatyanafertelmeyster@jfcschicago.org
The Martin Temple Community Foundation
Teresa Prim
(773) 785-9605 or (773) 493-8624
sequane@sbcglobal.net
Rockford MELD
Marriage First Program
For more information please view www.rockfordmeld.org or contact Rodney Prunty
(815) 965-8336 (x 21)
dstanley@rockfordmeld.org

On April 24, 2007, Administrator Joyce Thomas welcomed participants to one of Region V's quarterly Collaboration Network Calls. This call focused on "Bridging Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage and Domestic Violence." Presenters were Andrew Lyke, the Arusi Network; Annette Santella, Family Communications (Safe Havens); Carol VanderWal, Healthy Marriages/Healthy Relationships; and Wanda DeCwikiel Avila, La Familia Unida.

A prior call, on July 18, 2006, focused on "Bridging Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage." The presenters on the call included: Joyce A. Thomas, Region V ACF Administrator; Sharon Pierce, President and CEO Villages of Indiana; Dianna Durham-McLoud, President and CEO for the Illiana Coalition for Family and Community Restoration; and Shelley Hawver and Bob Pletcher, the Early Head Start Manager and Head Start Male Involvement Educator for the Community Action Agency of Jackson Michigan. For more information about the Collaboration Network Calls and for notes from these calls, please contact Mike Vicars at (312) 886-5339 or at mvicars@acf.hhs.gov.

A couple dancing.At the Eighth Annual International Fatherhood Conference (NPCL) in Atlanta, Georgia, at Morehouse College, June 13-15, 2006, Region V ACF organized a workshop entitled, "The Good, The Bad and the Possible: Partnerships and Collaborations to Bridge Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage." Approximately 80 people heard the workshop speakers discuss the WinShape Report, "Framing the Future", provide information from Illinois and Michigan Fatherhood, Faith-based and Healthy Marriage initiatives.

A fatherhood and healthy marriage collaborative faith-based community event, "Strengthening Family Ties through Networking: Father Focus" was held on May 4, 2006, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Region V ACF Administrator Joyce A. Thomas served as a keynote speaker at the event. Workshops Included: "Fathers and the Justice System;" "Father Friendly Systems, Effective Parenting — In the Best Interest of the Child;" and an "Overview of the Healthy Marriage Initiative."

Region V organized a workshop for the National Council on Educating Black Children, held in Chicago on April 21, 2006, entitled, "Building Bridges for Fathers and Families to Help Children Succeed." Speakers presented information on the Healthy Marriage Initiative as well as on Head Start efforts to strengthen families and enhance involvement of fathers in their children's lives. The speakers from ACF Region V, Illinois Child Support Program, the Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc. (MCWFD), and the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) Head Start highlighted the impact of family and healthy marriage on the well being and educational success of children. For more information, please contact Geneva Bishop at gbishop@acf.hhs.gov.

On October 27, 2005, ACF Region V organized a Healthy Marriage Initiative Workshop and presented it at the 2005 Region V Head Start and MidAmerica Community Action Association's Conference in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to the moderator from Region V, other presenters included speakers from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Family Life Department at Ohio State University, and the Children's Services Administration at the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Region V Materials

The Region V Fatherhood brochures are available in English and Spanish.

Region V Child Support has developed and disseminated fatherhood brochures in English and Spanish entitled, "Child Support: From the Father's Side."

Region V has developed and shared a report entitled, "The Region V Review and Analysis, Region V Fatherhood Special Initiatives and Early Head Start Demonstration Grants, Programs that Promote Fatherhood Involvement and Children's Early Literacy and Language Development."

State Fatherhood Activities in Region V

Illinois

Map of Illinois.The Black Star Project Father's Club, Chicago, organized an international Men in Schools Volunteer Day on February 27, 2007, to effectively involve men in the lives of school children. The organization holds many father and child events and programs. The mission of the Father's Club is to educate Black children successfully, with the involvement, investment, support and advocacy of their fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers and other significant male caregivers. For more information about the Black Star Project, please view the website at www.blackstarproject.org.

The Child Abuse Council, in the Quad-Cities / Rock Island area, organized a "Boot Camp for New Dads" program. The program takes place five to six times a year at Trinity Medical Center in Moline and at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, Iowa. Volunteer "coaches," who are experienced fathers, teach ideas for ongoing and caring relationships between fathers and their children. The Child Abuse Council partners with the Medical Centers' Child Birth Education Programs in presenting this on-going program. For more information about the Council, please visit www.childabuseqc.org or contact Shonda Rummel at 309-764-7017, ext. 216 or at shondar@childabuseqc.org.

The City of Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services sponsored a "Fatherhood / Healthy Relationships" conference November 2-3, 2006, in Chicago. Workshops included: "The Role Fathers Play Today", "ABC's of Fatherhood," "Building Healthy Relationships through Co-Parenting," and "Federal Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Priorities." Several panels and group discussions took place with topics such as "What's the Problem with Boys?" and "Baby Mama Drama." The Fatherhood Conference Steering Committee defined their Mission Statement as, "To increase the role and visibility of males and father involvement in the lives of Chicago children and to encourage healthy relationships." For more information about the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services on-going Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage committee and plans, please contact, Paulette Mercurius at CY00330@cityofchicago.org or Victor Santiago at Victor.Santiago@cityofchicago.org.

The Community and Economic Development Association, Inc., of Cook County (CEDA) held its annual Male Involvement Conference, entitled, "Responsible Fatherhood: Do it with PASSION" on March 9, 2007. Region V Head Start TA Network Program Governance Specialist presented a workshop entitled,"Daddy, Read Me a Story." CEDA's 2006 annual fatherhood / male involvement conference was held in Oak Lawn with over 200 attendees. The theme was, "Men of Destiny: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." Some of the topical workshops included: "Fathers and Child Welfare — Enhancing Father Involvement," and "Strengthening Family Support." Child Development Specialist Gerald Hall was recognized with ten fellow Head Start parents as part of the National Head Start Program's 40th Anniversary Celebration. Mr. Hall represented CEDA's Blue Island / Calumet Park Center.

For more information on these CEDA events and activities, please contact Chris Frederick at cfredrick@cedaorg.net.

The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood sponsored a Fatherhood Symposium in Champaign on November 10, 2006, and future regional forums are planned. On June 3, 2006, along with U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis, the Council co-sponsored a free conference held at Malcolm X College, Chicago, on "Paving a Pathway to Parenthood: Investing in Fathering." The passing of Public Act 93-0437 provided Illinois with legislative authorization for the Fatherhood Initiative, which led to the formation of the Illinois Council. On June 30, 2006, the Governor of Illinois signed an executive order to continue the Council. For information on the mission, enabling legislation, and composition of the Council, please call (312) 296-8656, contact Jeffery Leving at mail@dadsrights.com, or visit the website at www.responsiblefatherhood.com.

The Illinois Head Start Association held its annual training conference February 28 - March 2, 2007 in Springfield. The theme was "Charting the Course." A Parent Leadership Conference was held on December 6-8, 2006, in Rock Falls. One of the workshops was "Co-Parenting: A Survival Guide" with interactive strategies to help both parents through the day-to-day parenting challenges.

For more information, please view the website at www.ilheadstart.org/conferences.html or contact the Illinois Head Start Association at: lfrichtl@ilheadstart.org or phone (217) 241-3511.

The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative (IFI) states that its mission is, "connecting children and fathers by promoting responsible fathering and helping equip men to become better fathers and father figures." To carry out this mission, one of IFI's major initiatives is the annual IFI / Chicago White Sox Illinois Fatherhood Essay Contest. The 2007 Fatherhood Essay contest readings were held March 20 to April 20 and the winners for 2007 will be announced June 16.

IFI announced the 2006 essay winners at their Fatherhood Celebration Dinner on June 5, 2006, as well as the recipients of the 2006 Father of the Year Award. The Fatherhood Essay Contest Finalists were selected for the categories of Father Figure of the Year, Grandfathers of the Year, Stepfather of the Year and Father of the Year. Approximately 30,000 children wrote essays to the theme, "What My Father Means to Me." The 2006 contest was held in partnership with the National Center for Fathering, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois State Board of Education, and the Office of Catholic Education. For more information on IFI activities, please call (312) 920-9590, visit www.4fathers.org or send an e-mail to info@4fathers.org.

Project Oz in Bloomington is addressing Fatherhood in their Transitional Living Program. Project Oz uses the Parenting and Paternity Awareness (PAPA) curriculum. There is a significant amount of information showing that mothers, as well as staff, believe that the activities and information are helpful for their youth. The PAPA Program is a public education project for youth sponsored by the Office of the Texas Attorney General and its goal is "to promote responsible parenthood and encourages the formation of strong, stable families." For more information e-mail lisat@projectoz.org.

Rockford MELD, in Rockford, encourages "independent families by providing access to resources, life skills, parenting information, program-based housing, and prevention education." The organization serves a population of expectant and parenting teens as well as "at-risk" youth and families. For example, the Career Corps Program provides pre-employment training and job placement services for fathers between the ages of 21 to 25 who are or were offenders and are on probation or parole. The program provides support groups, case management, and access to employment leads. Through its Employment Assistance and Workforce Development Programs, MELD partners with local employers by providing job opportunities for young fathers. "Marriage First" is a demonstration project for Rockford MELD's locally based Healthy Marriage Initiative with the United Way. The target population consists of unmarried families living together in the community, with a special emphasis placed on African American and Hispanic families. Low-income, married couples are also eligible for services. For more information, please contact Dawn Stanley, Program and Compliance Director at (815) 965-8336, extension 23 or e-mail her at: dstanley@rockfordmeld.org. You can also visit via the web site at www.rockfordmeld.org.

Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale Head Start has integrated its year round male involvement program as part of their regular Early Childhood program. The initiative is incorporated as another part of parent involvement. SIU Carbondale's program makes a special effort to gather information about fathers not living in the home with the child(ren). Its newsletter, "Family Connections," includes articles on activities such as "A Book in Every Home" campaign and recognition of parents and volunteers. The Male Advisory Panel (MAP) meets quarterly and provides valuable input and ideas for male involvement programming. Examples are MALE (Men Are Lasting Educators) Week and the MUSCLE program (Men Understanding Small Children's Learning Experiences). This program focuses on fathers / father figures reading or telling stories to children. During 2006, the agency held focus groups with parents about the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative and the program sponsored MALE Week and staff training in February 2006. Family Fun Fairs focus on promoting health and literacy education with the parents and the agency invites student athletes to the Carbondale center for activities with the children. For more information, please go to http://www.siu.edu/~headstart/.

Indiana

Map of Indiana.The Fathers and Families Resource / Research Center, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, is now doing business as "Fathers and Families Center." The Center served more than 400 fathers during 2006. The agency's mission is to "build a noble legacy of fatherhood — improving the life chances of children by assisting young fathers in achieving self-sufficiency and in strengthening parental involvement."

Fathers and Families Center held its second annual signature fundraising event, the "Faces of Fatherhood" Luncheon, on June 16, 2006. The annual luncheon recognizes involved fathers throughout the Indianapolis community by presenting winning candidates with the "Heart of a Father Award." Candidates are nominated by United Way sponsored agencies and include staff members, clients, or volunteers. The third annual luncheon will be held on the Friday before Father's Day, June 15, 2007. Fathers and Families Center provides services to Head start and Early Head start fathers through a special partnership with Family Development Services, the area's Head Start / Early Head Start provider. Through the partnership, a Center representative visits each Head Start every month to provide outreach and service information.

The Indiana Department of Child Services contracted with the Center to provide training to child welfare workers throughout the State during 2007. Center trainers stress the importance of "father friendliness" and father involvement in decisions that pertain to family stability and child placements. The Center will use the National Family Preservation Network's Fatherhood Curriculum. The Department of Child Services awarded the Center a one year grant through Indiana Fathers and Families to continue programming that includes parenting education, promotion of paternity and child support establishment, promotion of education and the development of work maturity skills.

Fathers and Families Center received five year Federal funding to start a new Healthy Marriage Initiative called, "It Takes Two." The project, launched in January 2007, is recruiting 250 low-income, unmarried, new and expectant parents who wish to strengthen their relationships and explore marriage possibilities.

Fathers and Families Center continues its partnership with the Indianapolis Private Industry Council via the Youth Employment Services (YES). YES offers creative and flexible ways for young people ages 14-25 to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from pursuing careers. Services include basic skills training, GED preparation / testing, job placement, post-secondary education assistance, job-readiness training, and supportive services. Through a grant from the Indiana Department of Education, the Center provides a high school class called "Adult Roles and Responsibilities" to the young, adjudicating men residing at the Indiana Juvenile Correctional Facility. Many of the young men served are fathers. For more information, contact Bob Ripperger, Director of Operations and Resource Development, Fathers and Families Center, at (317) 921-5951 or robert.ripperger@wishard.edu. The agency's Web site is www.fatherresource.org.

Since 2005, the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males has been working to decrease the problems that Black males face in the areas such as criminal justice, education, employment, health and social challenges by working in partnership with elected officials, community leaders, policy makers and the faith-based community. For more information please view the website at http://www.in.gov/fssa/family/icssbm/

Indiana held an Annual Child Support Training Conference on June 14, 2006, sponsored by the Indiana Child Support Alliance and the Indiana Bureau of Child Support, "Working with Incarcerated Parents." The workshop focused on "exploring issues involved in obtaining support from incarcerated fathers / ex-offenders." The discussion included examples of ways in which the timing and severity of Child Support Enforcement actions impact the ability of the ex-offender to get and keep a job. Speakers included the Indiana Corrections Commissioner, the President of the Indiana Head Start Association, the Grants and Community Outreach manager from the Indiana Child Support Bureau and a representative from Workforce, Inc, a community agency that helps ex-offenders to find employment.

The Department of Child Services held its Child Support Training Conference on June 15-17, 2005, in Merrillville. On June 16, ACF Region V Administrator, Joyce A. Thomas, served as the Luncheon Speaker and presented information about the Fatherhood Initiative as an ACF Priority. On the same day, Region V Child Support staff presented a Federal update in a workshop that referenced the importance of collaboration in an effective Fatherhood Initiative. The workshop, entitled "The Partnership Game: Head Start and Child Support — Solutions to Problems in Common," included speakers from Indiana Child Support Grants and Community Outreach, Indiana Head Start Association, Workforce, Inc., Public Action in Correctional Effort, Inc., and the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Region V. Five Hundred State and County Child Support workers attended the conference.

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) awarded Access and Visitation Child Support Enforcement grants for the State of Indiana for the State Fiscal Year of 2007. The programs that received grants:

Access and Visitation Funds were awarded through the Indiana Fathers and Families Program for July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006 to:

For more information, please contact Thelzeda Moore at (317) 232-4874 or e-mail her at thelzeda.moore@dcs.in.gov.

Kokomo Center Schools Head Start has a brochure for its fatherhood program, "A Father is a Terrible Thing to Waste." The goals of their Fatherhood Center are to promote "responsible fatherhood within our community and provide children with emotional, social, and educational strength to be successful in life." The Head Start Fatherhood Center is open to all men who are involved in the lives of children and/or families. Kokomo Center Schools Head Start has Dad's Night Out activities, parental mediation, classroom participation, and volunteer activities for fathers. In 2007, Kokomo Head Start held "Powerhouse Wednesdays" to bring male role models and fathers in to the Head Start Classroom, Doctor Dads First Aid Workshop, an "exploring effective discipline techniques" workshop, and a very successful Dad's Celebration Night. On April 17, 2006, Kokomo Head Start held an innovative night of storytelling and paper plane building at the public library to encourage Head Start children and fathers. The Center has a "Doctor Dad" program in which the school nurse provides First Aid and CPR training to the fathers. For more information, please contact Guy Lovell at glovell@kokomo.k12.in.us or call (765) 454-7082.

A fatherhood and healthy marriage collaborative faith — based community event, "Strengthening Family Ties through Networking: Father Focus" was held on May 4, 2006, at Martin University, Indianapolis, Indiana. ACF Region V Administrator Joyce Thomas was a keynote speaker at the event. Workshops Included:

For more information about this event, please e-mail ihmfc@sbcglobal.net.

The Indiana Head Start Annual Training Conference was held April 3-5, 2007 at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth. One workshop on Fatherhood was entitled, "Welcoming Males into Your Program." For more information about the Indiana Head Start Association, please view the website at http://www.ihsassoc.org/index.htm.

Michigan

Michigan.Bendle / Carman-Ainsworth's, the Learning Community Fenton Lawn Education Center, in Flint, holds monthly "Father and Child Evenings." The center also offers the "Men at WORK (Working on Relationships with Kids)" organization, which encourages men to improve communication skills that will create stronger bonds between fathers and children. Men at WORK meet monthly to plan events and programming to involve more fathers in their children's education. At the monthly meetings, the group invites a guest speaker to share information that will help men to be more supportive of their children and family. Professionals speak about employment, housing, men's health issues, legal services and child development. The partnerships of Men at WORK have not only provided an additional resource for the men but they have given these fathers the opportunity to have "ownership" of Men at WORK. Fathers involved with Men at WORK mature not only as fathers but also as active members in their community. In 2006, the agency held its 5th Annual Men at WORK Christmas tree project that provided fresh cut Christmas Trees for 30 families in need of holiday assistance. Men at WORK has a partnership with a local Christmas Tree Farm who offer the program's families a hay ride into the woods to select a tree and cut it down themselves, followed by a visit with Santa and his reindeer. Refreshments are also provided.

Men at WORK takes part in many other community partnerships. For example, the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD Head Start) has a partnership with Men at WORK. They hosted a "Legal Forum for Fathers" together in the spring of 2005. This forum gave fathers the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and a Family Court Judge to have their questions answered about child support, child custody, paternity, visitation and other legal issues regarding children, fathers and families. The agency offers a bi-monthly Dad's Night with a literacy component. For example, Dinosaur Night, Construction Night, Campfire Night and Kite Night are a few of the themes. Agendas throughout the year for "Dad's Night" feature fun, hands-on activities for fathers and children. There is a "Turn the Page" monthly class offered at two different convenient times to teach fathers how to read to their children. For more information, please contact Mike Kildee at mkildee@carman.k12.mi.us.

Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw (BHK) Child Development Board's fatherhood program uses the Internet as one of the ways to develop its fatherhood program and actively recruits and engages fathers in this rural, remote three-county area. Visitors to http://www.bhkresources.org/ are greeted with "Hey Dads" and asked to complete a survey about their interests and what they'd like in a Fatherhood program. BHK's fatherhood program includes opportunities for discussions about increasing involvement with children and family relationships. The program offers activities such as a Mobile Toy Library that travels monthly to remote areas and the BHK Father Groups. To learn more, view the above website. For more information please contact Jeremy Moore, Father to Dads Project Coordinator, BHK Child Development Board, 700 Park Avenue, Houghton, MI, 49931, email address jrmoore@bhkfirst.org or call: 906-487-6600.

EightCAP Community Action Agency, Inc. Head Start and Early Head Start has been offering a four week Nurturing Father's program to engage men in dealing with the pain from their relationship with their own fathers, as well as introducing a new event called the Family Safety Fair, in Montcalm and Ionia counties. Four fathers took part in the March 2007 Michigan Head Start Association Conference in Kalamazoo. EightCAP held the second annual "Men's Healing Retreat" on June 9 -10, 2006 at Higgins' Lake. One of the fathers gave a fly-tying demonstration. Men shared their experiences with their own fathers and how they are growing in their capacity to be good fathers to their children. In June 2005, the first retreat for fathers of Head Start children gave instruction regarding the importance of fathers providing leadership in their families, schools, and communities. Partners in this retreat were the Head Start Male Involvement Advisory Council, Dieology, Inc. and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. EightCAP also has a Fatherhood Advisory Council that recruits fathers from each site and has community members. The agency offers "Father's Night Out" events, and held a "Father's Nature Walk." In addition, the program has a Head Start male involvement brochure and a monthly newsletter, "The Fishing Dock". The name was suggested by a Head Start father, who thought this is a good place for fathers to share information and learn about being good dads. The newsletter gives tips and information on the importance of reading to a child as early as possible. In 2006, EightCAP held two "Dad's Day" two week periods, one in the fall and the second in the spring, when any man important in the life of a Head Start child was invited to come to spend a day with the child. Ninety men participated in the fall session and seventy men in the spring session. For more information, please contact Brian DeKraker at (616) 754-2660 Ext. 3370 or at briand@8cap.org.

The Learning Institute of Family Education (LIFE) sponsored a 2005 Father's Day Breakfast and "Best Dad Ever Essay" contest on June 18, 2005, at the Redford United Methodist Church, Detroit. The contest helped raise awareness about the importance of fathering, encouraged the writing skills of students, and stimulated children's thinking about their father, stepfather, grandfather, or father figure. A panel discussion focused on current issues such as marriage, divorce, single and step-parenting, long distance parenting, and other topics of interest. For more information about LIFE, visit www.lifefam.org.

The Michigan Family Support Council is making plans for the next training conference that will be held October 10 - 12, 2007, in Boyne Highlands. The Council held its 24th Annual Training Conference in Boyne Highlands, October 11-13, 2006 with over 45 workshops. The Michigan IV-D Child Support Director and other speakers addressed the group and the new Tribal IV-D Director conducted a workshop on Tribal issues and challenges of establishing a Tribal Child Support Program. Workshops included "Partnering with Fathers" and "Dads from Day One." For more information please view the Council's website www.mifsc.org or contact Ellen Durnan at durnane@michigan.gov or phone 517-241-8051.

The Michigan Fatherhood Coalition is a resource network for approximately 40 practitioners who work with fathers in Michigan. The mission of the Michigan Fatherhood Coalition is to:

On February 9, 2007, The Michigan Fatherhood Coalition partnered with the Michigan Head Start Association to hold the 5th Annual Fatherhood Conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Detroit. For more information, visit michiganfatherhood.org or e-mail at info@michiganfatherhood.org.

The Michigan Head Start Association's (MHSA) 2007 conference was held in Kalamazoo, March 14 -16, 2007. The conference offered educational workshops and opportunities to learn about the most current educational, legislative, and program trends in Head Start. The conference provided many educational and discussion sessions addressing the issues that fathers and fatherhood practitioners face. Mac Bledsoe, author and parent (of football player Drew Bledsoe) provided the opening keynote. Daniel Andrews provided another keynote about the impact of father absence. In 2006, the joint conference took place in Grand Rapids for both fathers and fatherhood practitioners, and was highlighted with the keynote by D. J. Eagle Bear Vanas. The sessions examined fatherhood curriculum, funding, best practices, full time fatherhood, legal rights, and behavioral management.

The Michigan Head Start Association has a new address: 530 W. Ioniz, Suite F, Lansing, 48933. You may also call MHSA at 517-374-6471 or view information on the web at mhsa.ws/aboutus.asp.

Child Development Services of Ottawa County is planning a Fatherhood Spring Event in 2007. Plans are in the works for fathers / male role models and their child(ren) who are enrolled in Child Development Services to visit Craig's Cruisers in Holland for a pizza buffet lunch and free three hour access to Craig's Cruisers activities on Saturday, May 5, 2007. Staff planned this celebration as a father and child picnic in partnership with the local eatery and entertainment center. For more information, please contact Melanie DeFeyter (mdefeyter@cdsoc.org) or at (616) 786-0736.

Minnesota

MinnesotaThe Minneapolis Council on Crime and Justice sponsors parenting classes for fathers at four state prisons. The program also offers classes for ex-offenders in Minneapolis. The Council provides holistic family support for incarcerated fathers and their families through their Family Strengthening Project. The program works with families from the time a father enters prison through the year after his release. The Council on Crime and Justice also does research and public policy advocacy related to families involved with the criminal justice system. For more information, please contact Michael Bischoff, Director of Projects, Council on Crime and Justice, at bischoffm@crimeandjustice.org or at (612) 596-7622.

Dads Make a Difference (DMAD) is a collaborative fathering and youth development program founded in 1993 by four Minnesota agencies. The mission of DMAD is to promote the positive involvement of fathers and to educate youth about responsible parenting. Dads Make a Difference became an independent 501c3 nonprofit in June 2006 after almost 14 years. DMAD affirms, strengthens, and celebrates the role of parents, especially fathers. The program simultaneously helps young people to become successful adults by teaching them critical thinking and life skills based on significant research findings regarding the consequences of too-early sexual activity and too-early parenting on teens, their children, and their families.

The original Dads Make a Difference program is a four-lesson, activity-based curriculum taught by trained male and female high school teens. The teens work with middle school-age youth in schools and other settings. The curriculum helps youth to examine risky behavior, explore the legal issues of fatherhood, discover how involved fathers make a difference in the well-being of children, and learn the importance of making responsible decisions about when to have a child. From October 1994 through December 2006, Dads Make a Difference trained 2,691 Minnesota teens from 162 schools / agencies. These teens have taught an estimated 53,000 middle school age youth. Over 200 teens from eight other states have also been trained. In 1998, a second curriculum was added, "The R Factor: Building Resiliency in Young Adults". The curriculum engages 16 to 20 year olds in discussions of relationships and life planning. Students investigate risk and protective factors, family case studies, father absence, and gender socialization, challenging them to plan for a healthy future as a partner and parent. Both curricula have been purchased for use in a variety of settings. Check the web at http://www.dadsmakeadifference.org/ for information about training dates or product purchase or contact Jan Hayne.

Dads Make a Difference
Jan Hayne, Executive Director
161 St. Anthony Ave. Suite 840
Saint Paul, MN 55103
651-222-1622 (phone)
jan@dadsmakeadifference.org
651-222-7532 (fax)

The Department of Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, is managing two Federal Access and Visitation Grants, administered by OCSE, effective April 2005. The grantees were selected through a competitive process. The two grantees are the Children's Safety Center, St. Paul, and Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS), Minneapolis. The Children's Safety Center is addressing the critical needs of children and non-custodial parents to maintain safe and positive access to one another during times of temporary or permanent separation. Central Minnesota Legal Services in collaboration with Goodwill and Easter Seals Minnesota and its Father Project, is supporting and facilitating non-custodial parents' access to visitation of their children. The primary objectives are to educate low-income non-custodial parents about how to increase the time they spend with their children, and to provide direct legal assistance, advice, and representation to non-custodial parents to overcome legal barriers. For more information, contact jill.c.roberts@state.mn.us or call her at (651) 431-4464.

The Minnesota Fathers and Families Network (MFFN) is a professional development and networking organization for human service practitioners and fatherhood advocates. The Network provides a "one-stop spot" for fatherhood information and resources. Plans are in the works for a MFFN Father's Rally to promote Healthy Fatherhood on June 9, 2007, with the theme, "Fatherhood for the Future: Building Bridges", which will seek to promote a positive public view of fathers as caring men and involved parents. The planning meeting for the 2007 Minnesota Festival for Fathers & Families will take place August 11, 2007.

The MFFN's 2007 4th Annual Winter Conference, the Minnesota Fatherhood and Family Services Summit, was held January 22-23, 2007, at the St. Cloud Civic Center. The conference featured the release of a new publication, "Do We Count Fathers in Minnesota?" which is a compendium of facts and figures about the well being of Minnesota fathers. The workshop sessions for the conference included the topics of Women Working with Fathers, Fathers and Early Childhood Development, Child Support and the New Laws, Helping Fathers with Special Needs Children, Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System, Fathers and Domestic Violence prevention and many others.

The MFFN's 2006 Annual Winter Conference took place in St. Cloud on January 23-24, 2006. Topics included: changes in Minnesota's child support guidelines; domestic violence issues; the psychology of men; methamphetamine use in families; teen fathers; ethics in fatherhood programs; protecting children from online hazards; a discussion with Latino fathers; the child protection system; faith and fatherhood; an American Indian perspective of fathering; the role of fathers in infant health and childbirth; transitions from corrections; and bullying in schools. The MFFN sponsors and facilitates informal group networking breakfast meetings with professionals who work with men every first Friday to discuss fatherhood and men's services topics. The meetings are open to the public and no reservations are necessary. For details, call the Fathers Program at (612) 752-8800.

The Minnesota Fathers and Families Network moved to St. Paul in 2006. The address and phone numbers is:

Minnesota Fathers & Families Network
161 Saint Anthony Avenue, Suite 845
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651-222-7432
Fax: 651-222-7532

To learn about Minnesota's statewide counseling hotline for men, online networking opportunities for fatherhood advocates, and recent research on fatherhood activities, please view www.mnfathers.org. For more information on Network activities, please e-mail Paul Masiarchin at pmasiarchin@mnfathers.org.

The 2007 Minnesota Head Start Association (MHSA) conference will be held October 25-27, 2007, at the Crowne Plaza, St. Paul. This is the Region V Training Institute and the theme is "Charting a Course: High Impact Strategies for Success." In October 2006, the MHSA annual Parent Training Conference included important workshops for fathers and parents such as, "What does the law say about child custody and parent involvement," "Working with fathers for the benefit of kids, dads, moms and community"; and "Financial Self-Sufficiency." MHSA also sponsored a training event for staff and parents on May 10, 2006, in St. Cloud at which Region V organized and presented a fatherhood workshop with the Minnesota Fathers and Families Network (MFFN) with the title, "Keep Our Eyes on the Child: Fatherhood Best Practices and Lessons Learned." You can find more information about MHSA by contacting hstart@mnheadstart.org or going to http://www.mnheadstart.org/training.html.

On May 24, 2005, the Minnesota Humanities Commission sponsored a Dads and Early Literacy Workshop that involved two new programs: Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) and "Dads and Kids Book Clubs." Participants gained information on research on fathers, their role in the literacy development of their children, resources for professionals working with fathers, and information about "The Reading with Dad Book List." For more information, please view the Commission's website at www.minnesotahumanities.org.

Ohio

OhioOhio Head Start Association (OHSAI) held the Ohio Head Start Association Social Work Conference in Columbus on March 7, 2007. The Region V Family Life and Healthy Marriage Specialist, Dianna Durham-McLoud was keynote speaker. Her presentation entitled, "Because the Kids Do Better," encouraged the integration of the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) into the Head Start program as a very natural step in helping parents who want this information move forward to a brighter future.

The Ohio Head Start Association, working with committee members from throughout the region, facilitated the 2005 Region V Head Start and MidAmerica Community Action Association Conference in Columbus on October 24-28, 2005. Fatherhood workshop topics included:

Joyce A. Thomas, ACF Region V Administrator, the keynote speaker at the October 26 luncheon, highlighted the importance of father involvement and the efforts of Region V to support this Federal priority in her remarks. For more information on OHSAI's training conferences, fatherhood and parent involvement activities, contact Julie Stone at (973) 435-1113 or by email at stone@ohsai.org. You may view the OHSAI website at www.ohsai.org/aboutus.html.

The Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families (OPNFF) released its Public Policy agenda in its fall 2006 Newsletter. The network also encouraged comments for the Governor's Transition report which was delivered to Governor Ted Strickland in January 2007 calling for the re-engagement of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, $20 million in TANF dollars to fund fatherhood programming and a series of fathers and family friendly policy forums. The Governor had appointed an Agency Review committee charged with reviewing the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood and providing recommendations for a fatherhood agenda in the new Governor's administration. For more information please contact info@OPNFF.net. To view the OPNFF link to the transition report view http://www.opnff.net/id28.htm. For more information, email Steve Killpack at communityendeavors@earthlink.net, call (216) 432-7200 (x322) or visit the Ohio Practitioners' Network for Fathers and Families (OPNFF) website, www.opnff.net for details.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network presented a conference on "Advocacy in Prevention: A Call to Men" on May 5, 2006. Speakers represented the National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence against Women and the University of Ontario, Criminology and Justice Studies. For more information, please see the network's website http://www.odvn.org/.

Clermont County Child Focus, Inc., Early Childhood Division in Cincinnati has published "Men in the Kitchen: Our Cookbook" for several years, and Head Start "Cook Offs" have been held at each Head Start center of Child Focus for four years. The sale proceeds from the cookbook, with fathers' recipes and father/child photos, helps Child Focus fund other fatherhood activities. These activities include the annual "Fish-a-thon," which brings together over 350 participants, and "Career Exploration" days. Child Focus is very proud that a suggestion from a group of Early Head Start fathers to produce a cookbook is now a yearly event. For more information, contact Pat Pack at (513) 528-7224, or by e-mail at PPack@child-focus.org.

The Healthy Fathering Collaborative is a network of public and private agencies dedicated to serving fathers and families in Greater Cleveland. You may view their website and then click on diverse programs and services for fathers and families. Services include Boot Camp for New Dads, Case Management and Family Visitation and programs range from the Aids Taskforce to the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. Please view the website at the following address: www.neofathering.net/id36.htm

Wisconsin

WisconsinThe Milwaukee Fatherhood Collaborative helped facilitate the 2007 bi-annual State Fatherhood Conference held March 16-17, in Madison. The Collaborative sponsored a "Dad at the Park" event as their annual pre-Father's Day celebration, on June 11, 2006. In addition to food, games for youth, essay writing, and social service vendors, two special tug of war contests took place that involved police officers, fire fighters, county transit bus drivers and county sheriff departments. The Collaborative also co-sponsored the Wisconsin Fatherhood Conference, which took place March 10-12, 2005 in Milwaukee. Other sponsors were the Children's Hospital and Health System, Community Relations Development Commission and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Extension. The conference sessions included "Fathering Skills" and "Father and Families Focus."

For more information, please contact Al Holmes at aholmes285@aol.com, phone (414) 418-4788, or you can write to:

Al Holmes
Milwaukee Fatherhood Collaborative
P.O. Box 090973
Milwaukee, WI 53205

The Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, in partnership with the Office of the Mayor, hosted a countywide Fatherhood Summit in Milwaukee, October 13-14, 2006. The summit brought together more than 400 fathers, social service providers and community leaders in an all day, citywide event aimed at identifying ways to get men to proactively embrace their role as fathers. During the summit a variety of breakout sessions were held with topics ranging from mental health and depression, to reconnecting to families after incarceration, to the issues and resources related to non-custodial dads. For more information, please contact Terence Ray, Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, at 414-286-5653 or please send an e-mail to the following address: Terence.Ray@hacm.org.

The Rock Walworth Comprehensive Family Services, Inc. sponsors three special book distributions a year to heighten awareness of fathers and child literacy. The first distribution event topic is "Creating a Personal Library Family Night." The child and parents create a personal library that will hold the books they receive. The second distribution is entitled, "Everyday Heroes." Dads are invited to come to the classroom and read. The agency also invites policemen, firemen, dentists and others in the community. Mothers are also welcome. The third distribution takes place at the "Fatherhood Family Night." Fathers, grandfathers, and other males involved in the child's life are invited with the child to a family night meal and a father/child activity focused around the book distribution.

At the beginning of the program year, each classroom teacher is asked to submit a Fatherhood Plan for the year. Fathers then perform a building survey to assess the "male-friendliness" of the site. In addition, Rock Walworth has planned fatherhood activities from dance nights to making bookshelves. Rock Walworth has also held events such as "Donuts with Dad" when fathers attend breakfast with their children and then stay for the day. Each of the 10 centers does something special with fathers. For more information, please contact, Cheryl Hutchison, at chutchison@cfsheadstart.org.

Sheboygan County Head Start in 2007 planned a Men, Kids, and the YMCA event. During this time, YMCA instructors do tumbling activities with the dads and children. Sheboygan County Head Start recommends an activity that has proven very successful: "Men, Kids, and Bowling." On January 11, 2006, children and their dads (or grandfathers or uncles) went bowling and ate pizza. The children were also able to select a book about fathers and children. Each child received a framed picture of their dad and themselves at the bowling activity. The agency had a very successful Men, Kids, and Home Depot Night in 2006 with 25 fathers and children attending. A new series of events is Pancakes with Pop when the agency invites dads in to have breakfast/snack with their child. For more information, please contact Brenda Zastrow at bzastrow@hsshebco.org or phone (920) 458-1154.

The Wisconsin Head Start Association's (WHSA) 2008 Conference will be held February 11-13. The 2007 WHSA conference, "Believe in the Dream," had several workshops for fathers and father practitioners, including, "Fast and Fun Fatherhood Program Ideas", "Building a Successful Program for Latino Fathers", and "Building a Learning Community of Father Programs". At the 2006 Conference, themed "Shaping Outcomes — Building Futures," the conference offered a Father Involvement track of workshops including a Region V sponsored workshop entitled, "No Man Is an Island: Supporting Fathers through Collaboration and Partnerships." For more information, please send an e-mail to cousin@WHSAonline.org, or contact WHSA at (608) 442-6879 or visit their website at www.whsaonline.org.

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Region 6

Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

HHS Region VI Fatherhood Contacts:

Tomasia Pinter
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, ACF-3
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: 214-767-2972
Fax: 214-767-8890

Scott Harper, M.P.A.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: 214-767-6564
Fax: 214-767-0322

Evelyn Glass
Office of Family Planning
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: 214-767-3088
Fax: 214-767-3425

Margarita Figueroa-Gonzalez, M.D.
Health Resources and Services Administration
Dallas Field Office
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: 214-767-8068
Fax: 214-767-0404

Regional Activity

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Region VI promotes and supports Fatherhood projects and initiatives in Region VI with agencies within States, Tribal, and Local government in urban and rural jurisdictions with private and non-profit/faith-based/community organizations. This includes showcasing model programs and best practices, disseminating information and research on the benefits of fathering and male involvement, and facilitating collaboration and cooperation across various agencies that will strengthen the role of fathers for the well-being of children. The Region VI Office has worked to ensure the fatherhood component of the ACF Key Priorities is addressed: Healthy Marriage, Faith-Based/Community, Positive Youth Development, Next Phase of Welfare Reform, Enhancing the Literacy of Children, Rural Initiative, and Prevention.

The following section highlights some of the activities going on in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. For additional information, contact ACF Region VI Fatherhood Contact listed above or the specific project contact listed.

State Activity

Arkansas

Head Start.
Child Development, Inc. (CDI)
P.O. Box 2110
Russellville, AR 72811-2110
Phone: 479-968-6493

CDI’s commitment to father involvement has increased during the past year.  Using a grant slated to involve more fathers in the program, every center and home base program in the agency has targeted fathers in meetings designed specifically for them.  A father and community leader was asked to lead these meetings and address issues of importance to men.  After each training session, each dad completes a PACT (Parents and Children Together) activity with his children and then a snack or meal is served.  These meetings are a great success as fathers become involved in the activities of their children.  Some fathers chose to meet during the summer when the program was not open and continue their discussions and cement their new friendships.  Training materials and fatherhood curricula to encourage even more interest in the program are a priority as grant funds become available.  CDI continues to assist fathers in understanding the vital parts he plays in his child’s educational process.

“Father’s Day”:  one day set aside each week in which fathers or other male role models are encouraged to visit the center and read to their child and other children or do some type of activity with their child and other children in the center.

“Father Fest”:  a 3-day event in which teachers and volunteers encouraged fathers or other male role models to volunteer in the center for a day or a few hours.  More than a third of the enrolled children are represented at this event by a father, grandfather or male role model in their family.  Activities and games were played and each family made a project unique to its household situation.

 “Dad’s Day” Three sites are piloting a project similar to Watch Dog Dads. Dads will volunteer one day per year in the Head Start center and classrooms. Dads will be identified by a t-shirt or vest and their child will wear the same.  Photographs of the parent and child will be placed on the bulletin board. A formal name for the project is in development.

 “PACT” (Parents and Children Together) More than 1,800 PACT activities (Parents and Children Together) were documented between August and December 2005 with a 99.5% participation rate.

Staff members plan the PACT activities in coordination with the School Readiness Assessment and with the teacher/parent conferences, allowing parents to understand and emphasize their children’s school readiness skills.  Since August, 641 fathers/father figures have participated in CDI parent activities, an increase of 120 fathers or 23% more than last year.

“21st Century Parenting”:  classes at each Head Start center and home-based program to strengthen parental education and involvement and to promote healthy lifestyle decisions. Head Start centers and home-base programs have also begun making the environment more inviting for fathers by decorating with pictures of fathers and children and by asking them to lead training at parent meetings.

Head Start
Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Inc.
P.O. Box 1285
Pine Bluff, AR 71613
Phone: 870-553-2380

Current Efforts in Father Involvement

A partnership agreement with their local organization, Boule', which is a national organization of professional males dedicated to increase the awareness of the importance of male involvement in the lives of their children. The partnership agreement makes provision for a mentoring program held initially once per month as part of the Parent Committee Meeting.  The partnership agreement made with the Boule' organization was implemented as designed with mentoring fathers as part of the monthly Parent Committee Meeting.  However, fathers became apathetic after they (fathers) decided to hold the mentoring program at a separate meeting from the Parent Committee Meeting.

Special activities called "Dining with Fathers" where fathers have lunch with their children. This is a very successful activity enjoyed tremendously by fathers and has increased their participation in the classroom after the lunch is completed.

Activities Planned for 2005

Educating, equipping, and engaging Head Start staff, fathers, and families. This strategy begins with using the Father Friendly Check-up CD-ROM to assess their Head Start's father friendliness.

Creating a fatherhood resource center designed to bridge them into on-going groups and activities. The resource center will be a one-stop-shop for fathers that will include helpful brochures, CD-ROMS, posters, and information of activities and support within the community. The fatherhood resource center will provide the main recruitment vehicle to bring fathers into other Head Start groups and activities.

Delivering the 24/7 Dad A.M. and Doctor Dad programs. The 24/7 Dad A.M. program provides step-by-step innovative strategies to help dad develop the following fine characteristics of good fathering: self-awareness, caring for self, fathering, parenting, and relationships. Doctor Dad is a groundbreaking program designed to increase a father's parenting skills specifically in the area of health for infants and toddlers. This innovative approach provides home health and safety tips in which fathers learn strategies to improve childcare practices as well as form positive relationships. National Fatherhood Initiative staff will provide for a two-day intensive training on each of these programs to ensure effective implementation.

Louisiana

Support Enforcement Services (SES) — Access and Visitation
SES Fatherhood Contact: Robbie Endris, SES Executive Director
Phone: 225.342.4780 and E-mail:  rendris@dss.state.la.us

Louisiana has an Access and Visitation (A&V) grant provided through ACF’s Office of Child Support Enforcement.  The State has a contract with the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  The mission of this program is to give non-custodial and custodial parents the skills and tools necessary to effectively co-parent their children.  This, in turn, has proven to improve the parents’ support of their children, both emotionally and financially.  This is the third year that the agency has worked with the 14th Judicial District Court.  During 2005, the agency contracted with Dr. Janelle Disney of McNeese State University for a program evaluation.  Her report verified the success of the program.  She prepared a “best practices” document for the agency, which will be used as a model for future projects.

Louisiana Family Council (LFC) — Mentoring Children of Prisoners
LFC Fatherhood Contact: Dan Tate

Dan and Gail Tate, President and Executive Director of the Louisiana Family Council, conducted a meeting with local ministers and the president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. The focus of the meeting was mentoring children of prisoners. Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., provided information and training on the Amachi Program, a faith-based national mentoring model for children of incarcerated parents.

Head Start.
Caddo Parish Commission Head Start
4055 St. Vincent Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71133-3446
Phone: 318-868-6360

Caddo Head Start sponsors activities that involve Head Start families and the surrounding community to encourage male participation in the lives of children. Some of the activities involved the entire family while others were for fathers and children only. The overall goal of the "Father Initiative Project" is to assist and encourage custodial and non-custodial fathers to take share responsibilities with the other parent(s) (mother, step dad or others) in building strong and healthy families.

Father Initiative Council is made up of one male representative from each of the 13 Head Start centers and one from the partner the Arc of Caddo Bossier. The primary function of the "Father Initiative Council" is to meet with the coordinator to explore ideas and resources available to low-income families, and to plan the operations of the "Father Initiative Group". A conference is held in October specifically for fathers and includes training, activities and motivational speakers.

A Monthly Newsletter is provided to each family and covers subjects such as health, nutrition, education, safety, literacy, things of interest for young children in the community, and especially on successful parenting.

Monthly Training/Activity for Dads is provided at each Center with training on subjects of interest such as writing job resumes to participating in clean up efforts.

Hoops for Dads is a Christmas fundraiser that recognizes outstanding youth within the community. A $500.00 scholarship is given to honor a youth who was killed as an innocent bystander, when a gunfight erupted between two rival gangs. The Head Start fathers also play a game of basketball with a local group of radio and television celebrities.

Family Night Out, Fathers bring their entire family to a local Family Life Center for family activities, self-improvement, entertainment, and a meal.

New Mexico

Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED)
New Mexico Human Services Department
CSE Fatherhood Contact: Jacqueline M. Baca
Phone: 800-288-7207 - Toll Free in New Mexico
800-585-7631 - Toll Free Out-of-State

GRADS (Graduation, Reality and Duel-Role Skills) is a federally funded program at schools which enables teenage parents to complete their high school education while on-site day care is provided. In 1996, the CSED partnered with the 30 GRADS programs in the State, and continues to provide information and educational materials and to conduct presentations at each site.

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. This partnership is continuing.

In recent years, CSED has become more involved in promoting responsible fatherhood and addressing fatherhood concerns. Through fatherhood support groups, CSED provides information regarding a father's rights and responsibilities and services available. 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, and the Department of Corrections.

The CSED Voluntary Paternity Unit continues to render presentations to various groups, i.e., faith based organizations, county health offices, WIC, Native American tribal census offices, family service organizations, male involvement groups, and correctional facilities.

New Mexico Young Fathers Project (YFP)
Carl W. Dellinger, Project Director
PO Box 35997
Albuquerque NM 87176-5997
Telephone: (505) 254-8737
website:  youngfathers.org

The New Mexico Young Fathers Project (NMYFP) is a project of the New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition and is committed to providing support to young fathers age 26 and younger. This is done through helping them to improve their parenting skills, increase their educational levels, and expand their employment capabilities. Both one on one case management and weekly support groups are available.  The project was created in recognition of the need for outreach to young fathers in New Mexico. The NMYFP also realizes the importance of acknowledging young fathers for taking on the responsibilities of providing a better life for themselves and their children. NMYFP sites are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces/Anthony Areas, Santa Fe and Springer.  A peer mentor/educator portion of the project is powerful and operates by training young father clients to present to middle school students and community groups.  Funding sources include the State of New Mexico Department of Children, Youth & Families, Santa Fe Community Foundation, other foundations, community based organizations and agencies.

Head Start.
YDI Head Start/Early Head Start
6301 Central NW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
Phone: 505-831-6038

The YDI Fatherhood Initiative Program convenes fathers on a regular basis for presentations and discussions on relevant fatherhood issues, which stress the importance of the father in the life and development of children. The YDI Early/Head Start Male Valued Partnership (MVP) Program is designed to teach parenting skills to all males who help raise children. There is a special emphasis on attracting male participants and involving them in the learning process.

The skills learned at MVP strengthen the family and the home environment. The program focuses on teaching leadership, teamwork, parenting and role model skills. It provides opportunities to learn about many parenting challenges, such as the complications of being a single parent, positive discipline, communication, child-rearing and the roles and responsibilities of all fathers whether they live in the family home or not. The fatherhood initiative explores the numerous challenges fathers face in blended families as well as maintaining relationships with their children while separated or divorced. Men learn skills which make it easier for them to interact with their children in a nurturing manner and feel comfortable taking a greater responsibility in child rearing.

Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) Head Start/Early Head Start
1422 Paseo do Peralta
Building 3
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: 505-982-5565

Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) Head Start/Early Head Start is committed to involving fathers in a child's life. The program has made an effort in each of the four counties where they provide Head Start/Early Head Start services not only to engage the fathers but also other significant males in the child's life. The belief is that male involvement must not be restricted to the traditional idea that only a child's father can make an impact on their life. PMS has involved the Policy Council in the Fatherhood Initiative and about 30% of the policy council membership comes from fathers in the program. The last three years the Policy Council has been chaired by a father. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles, older male siblings and even neighbors in some cases have participated in some of the male involvement activities:

Oklahoma

Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED)
Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Child Support Division Director: Gary Dart
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(405) 522-2273

Fatherhood Partnership. The partnership between the CSED 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 years. 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.

Oklahoma Fatherhood and Marriage Initiatives Compliment Each Other. The Oklahoma State Head Start Collaboration Officer recently provided information on how the state's 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.

In July 2003, the first-ever Oklahoma Fatherhood Summit took place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma sponsored by COPE, Inc., the National Fatherhood Initiative and the Department of Human Services. Approximately 150 individuals attended. Leon R. McCowan, Regional Administrator, Administration for Children and Families, rendered the luncheon address focusing on the Federal Fatherhood Initiative, the importance of children and families, and the importance of marriage. The ACF Region VI office showcased a colorful display focusing on fathers and children.

Head Start.
Delta Community Action Head Start
2800 NW 36th, Suite 221
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Phone: 405-949-1495

Delta Head Start believes very strongly in the positive influences of male role models in the growth and development of preschool students. They are striving to increase positive male role model participation in their Head Start program by providing opportunities for fathers/significant males to interact with their children. In the two years preceding the current program year, the number of children whose father/significant-male-role-model participated in specific fatherhood activities increased 156%. During this same time, the number of fathers serving in leadership roles on parent committees and Policy Council also increased by 36%.

Future Planned Fatherhood Activities include:

Head Start
Little Dixie Community Action Agency Head Start
502 West Duke
Hugo, OK 74743
Phone: 508-326-2305

The Little Dixie Head Start M. I. A. (Men In Action) Fatherhood Initiative program enjoyed many successes during the 2004-2005 school year. The Ready to Read program is a literacy based initiative that involves father figures and positive men from the community to come into the centers and read to the children. Ready to Read began on November 1, 2004 and ran throughout the end of the school year in May, 2005. During this time period Ready to Read averaged 35 readers per month which totaled 245 in-center visits from male participants who read to our children. The second activity which we found to be a great success was the monthly Dad's Day. Dad's Day was held in each center the first Friday of every month and involved a learning activity in which the father figures could participate with the children. Dad's Day began the first Friday in January, 2005 and went through May, 2005. During this time period Dad's Day had an average participation of 106 men per month and an average total participation (which includes female participants) of 153 people per month. The month of April had the best turn out with 145 father figures and a total participation (which includes female participants) of 203 people!  The Ready to Read and Dad's Day activities will continue throughout the 2005-2006 school year with the addition of an introductory `Meat and Greet' activity that will welcome Head Start father figures into the M. I. A. Fatherhood Initiative program as well as a curriculum based peer support group for Head Start father figures.

Texas

Division for Children and Families — Office of Family Initiatives
Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
CSE Fatherhood Contact: Michael Hayes
Phone: 512-460-6218
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78701

Section 1115 Demonstration Grant — "Building Strong and Healthy Families in Texas"

The Texas OAG/CSD was approved for a Healthy Marriage Waiver Project under the Section 1115 waiver authority of the Social Security Act on March 14, 2005.  The project was not implemented until October 14, 1006.  The project will involve several stakeholders including private sector organizations and community based organizations.  The project is to operate in Houston/Harris County and in San Angelo/Tom Green County.  The project is approved for $998,184 in Federal funding with additional funding to come from the private sector.  The project is funded for a two year period.

Section 1115 Demonstration Grant — “Ensuring Access — Encouraging Support”

This is a 29-month demonstration and evaluation project to test strategies to increase child support collections from non-custodial parents when lack of child access and regular visitation is a key complaint and barrier to payment of support.  The project will be conducted in Harris County.  Non-custodial parents will be provided a wide range of visitation enforcement services and parent education services as part of this demonstration project.

FOCUS — Fathers Offering Children Unfailing Support

FOCUS is currently being offered in Tarrant County as part of the OAG’s Access and Visitation grant program in conjunction with the Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office (DRO) OAG Community Supervision Contract.  FOCUS is a 10-week educational, skills building class designed to help fathers improve the emotional connection they have with their children.  Payment rates for FOCUS participants are higher than those for NCPs in the regular community supervision program.  This project would replicate the FOCUS program model as a supplement to current OAG Community Supervision and Monitoring projects.  Implementing FOCUS as a supplement to current community supervision contracts provides a critical service that emphasizes the importance of being a father creating the foundation for long-term financial and emotional support from formerly non-compliant obligors.

Non-Custodial Parent “Choices” project

The Office of the Attorney General and the Texas Workforce Commission are implementing a five-site demonstration project linking IV-D courts, OAG child support, and local workforce development boards to implement a model employment project for unemployed non-custodial parents whose child is either currently receiving public assistance or has previously received public assistance.  TWC has dedicated TANF employment funds to provide dedicated services for NCPs identified by OAG staff for participation in this project. 

Shared Parenting Pilot Project

The Shared Parenting Pilot is a model access and visitation project designed to link co-parenting education and collaborative negotiation/mediation services for developing cooperative parenting plans with couples using the OAG Child Support Review Process to established new child support orders.  The pilot is being conducted in two local child support units in Harris and Dallas counties.  One of the goals of this project is to evaluate the impact these services have on non-custodial parent involvement and the reduction of conflict in the co-parenting relationship.

Section 1115 Demonstration Grant — Strong Start — Stable Families

This 36 month demonstration project (Strong Start—Stable Families (SSSF), involves providing a menu of family stabilization services and referrals to both expectant and newly delivering mothers and fathers in conjunction with regular prenatal and postpartum clinic visits and services. The interventions will include: education on paternity establishment, child support, and preparation for parenting; and services and referrals on healthy/stable relationships, marriage preparation and healthy marriage skills, child health and well-being, family economic security, team-parenting, and non-adversarial child support services. The pilot project is being conducted with Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics in Harris County.

Maps for New Dads

Maps for New Dads is a prenatal handbook for men that is full of helpful information for the “dad-to-be”.  It is designed for distribution through WIC, Early Head-Start, pre-natal clinics, hospitals, and other community and faith-based organizations and is printed in both English and Spanish.  The handbook is free and is available for order through the OAG’s website.

Incarcerated Parent Handbook and Video

The OAG has produced this specialized handbook and video for non-custodial parents in Texas prisons and jails.  Both of these educational items are designed to help offenders understand how to deal with child support and paternity issues that may be pending or arise while they are incarcerated. The brochure and video are free and are available for order though the OAG’s website.

Fatherhood Involvement posters

The OAG and the Texas Department of State Health Services collaborated in the design and development of three fatherhood posters that promote the value of involved, caring dads.  The posters feature an Anglo dad on one, and African American dad on one, and a Latino dad on one - all three are printed English on one side, Spanish on the other.  The posters are free and are available for order through the OAG’s website. Steven Durand, Executive Director
Central Texas Fatherhood Initiative
900 Austin Ave., Suite 304
Waco, TX  76701
Phone:  254.235.9666 or 866.260.DADS
Fax:  254.235.9667
Email:  steve@centraltexasfatherhood.org
Web:  www.centraltexasfatherhood.org

The Central Texas Fatherhood Initiative (CTFI) is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating, supporting, and training fathers to take a more active role in their children’s lives.  The organization conducts parenting classes, training workshops, and fatherhood support groups at local community centers, schools, healthcare facilities, and halfway houses; hosts numerous father-child events and activities; and provides technical assistance to agencies that work with fathers and families.

Center for Successful Fathering, Inc.
Ron L. Klinger, Ph.D., Founder/CEO
13740 Research Boulevard, Suite L-2
Austin, TX 78750
(512) 335.8106
800.537.0853
Email:  info@fathering.org
website:  www.fathering.org

The Center for Successful Fathering was founded in 1995 by Dr. Ron Klinger as a response to the growing number of children who were growing up without a father in their lives. Children need a balance of mothers and fathers in their lives. In 1960, over 80% of our nation’s children went to sleep in a home where both the biological mother and father were present. Today that number has dropped to less than 25%.

Strong Fathers-Strong Families
J. Michael Hall, M.Ed.
Executive Director
P.O. Box 136188
Fort Worth, Texas 76136
(817) 301-4086
mikehall @ strongfathers.com
www.strongfathers.com

Strong Fathers-Strong Families is a training, technical assistance, and facilitation organization that is focused on strengthening children by strengthening fathers and families. Through staff training, consultation, and event facilitation, Strong Fathers-Strong Families works with Head Starts, Public Schools, and Churches as well as other organizations. Our goal is to improve the educational environment in order that men may become more involved in the lives of their children. Strong Fathers-Strong Families plans and facilitates events at the campus, organizational, and community level to bring men together with their children in the presence of other men to discover their true strength as fathers. Strong Fathers-Strong Families facilitates events such as Bring Your Dad to Head Start Days, Bring Your Dad to School Day, Saturday Workshops for schools, churches, and communities, Dad & Kid Reading Night/Day, Head Start Father Forums, Head Start Dad and Kid Reading Days, staff awareness trainings, and Father Involvement Staff Training.

Tarrant County Fatherhood Coalition
(a.k.a. Tarrant County Fatherhood Initiative)
Mervil Johnson, Vice-Chair

Workforce Collaboration Manager
Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
2601 Scott Ave., Suite 400
Fort Worth, Texas  76103
Office: 817.413.4438

Mission Statement: A collaboration to strengthen the role of fathers, men and families in the lives of children in Tarrant County.

The Tarrant County Fatherhood Coalition holds meetings and special events focusing on young dads and all fathers. In the past year, their meetings have included training on the PAPA curriculum developed by the Office of the Attorney General's Child Support Division, and Male Involvement/Male Health issues, job training and job referrals. Annually, they hold a community-wide, collaborative effort to raise awareness about the importance of father's involvement in the lives of children. The event, "Celebrate Fatherhood," is held in June to celebrate responsible fatherhood in Tarrant County. Several committees work together for this event to take place.

Head Start
Region 19 Educational Services Center Head Start/Early Head Start
6611 Boeing Drive
El Paso, TX 79925
(915) 780-1919

Region 19 Educational Services Center administers Head Start and Early Head Start in 35 urban and rural communities along the portion of the Rio Grande that separates Texas from Chihuahua, Mexico. There are approximately 211,000 households in the counties served, and Spanish is spoken in 73% of them. More than 95% of the families participating are Hispanic or Latino, and more than half use Spanish as their primary language. Most employees-65%-are the parents of formerly enrolled children.

At four sites, staff develop activities for fathers and reach out to them in settings that are comfortable to them. Support groups cover manhood, values, communication, nutrition, self-exploration, and cultural forces affecting men's behavior and roles. The group format promotes sharing information and feelings. Materials and instructions for home projects, including literacy activities, are distributed monthly to encourage men's connections with their families at home. A monthly fathers' night out allows dads to become comfortable interacting with their children without their mothers present. A Male of the Month award is given at each of the four sites.

The Fatherhood Initiative has had many positive effects. It has enabled the largely female staff to gain experience working as partners with fathers. Fathers have become regular volunteers in classrooms and accompany children on field trips. Fathers who have participated in the initiative are taking leadership roles in the community as well as in the children's programs. The younger generation of men in the community have more positive attitudes toward children and fatherhood, which has changed the focus of the initiative over time.

Head Start
Neighborhood Centers Inc. Early Head Start/Head Start
Houston, TX 77277-1389
Phone: (713) 667-9400

Neighborhood Centers Inc. Early Head Start/Head Start first initiated a formal 'Fatherhood' program in February of 2004. Small group trainings utilizing resources and materials from the NCPL 'Fatherhood Development Curriculum' were offered at selected Head Start sites for fathers and other interested males. The group members created an action plan to improve the program for the next school year. Of the nine suggestions or strategies stated in the original action plan, four have already been successfully implemented or are in the process of implementation. Among the ideas originally put forward by the group were: create a section of the monthly newsletter specifically to focus on dads and the fatherhood program; organize at least one group activity per month; and implement the 'Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED), program-wide.

Building on the ideas and energy created by this core group of parents and staff members representing diverse areas of the program, education, family-community partnerships and operations came together to form a 'Father/Significant Male Involvement Committee'. The group sought community input in its efforts to re-name and re-energize the program with the result being the S.M.I.L.E. program — Significant Males Impacting Lives Everyday.

The S.M.I.L.E. Mission Statement

"To provide education and training to fathers and other male role models in order to enhance the relationships with their children and families. The program will support fathers as educators and advocates for their children through positive parenting to encourage parent-child bonding."

The S.M.I.L.E. Vision Statement

"Create awareness that fathers and other male role models make a unique and invaluable contribution to the well being of children and their interaction with their children promotes healthy physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual development."

[ Go to Map ]

Region 7

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Scott Weinberg
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
601 East 12th Street, Room 276
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816-426-2225
FAX: 816-426-2888
sweinberg@acf.hhs.gov

State Activities

The following lists each of Region VII’s State Fatherhood Project Websites & Basic Facts.

Iowa

Project Website of Interest

http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/fatherhood/

Facts

Iowa Department of Human Services — Iowa Fatherhood

In conjunction with the Attorney General's Office and the Polk County Fathers and Families Coalition, the Iowa Department of Human Services, Bureau of Collections, distributes a monthly E-Newsletter, "Did You Know," providing responsible fatherhood, healthy marriage and parenting information. The "Did You Know" E-Newsletter is a part of a statewide public awareness campaign. The following is a sample newsletter:

January 24, 2007

DID YOU KNOW?

Create a Great Homework Space
Having a quiet place for your children to do their homework will help them finish their assignments. It also creates a special place for you and your children to work together. Here are some tips to help you create the best homework spot.

Source: The Beehive <http://www.thebeehive.org/Templates/School/Level3Image.aspx?PageId=1.527.601.3509>

A message from the Polk County Fathers and Families Coalition and the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit
Connecting Child Support to the Community

Note: This information is being shared as a resource and for informational purposes. Sharing this information is not intended to imply nor support an endorsement or recommendation for any specific program.

Iowa - ACF Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Grants

Sioux City Indian Education Committee, Inc.
P.O. Box 1113
Sioux City, IA 51102
Phone 712-252-0811

Project Title: Healthy Marriage Education and Enrichment Program for Native American Families
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Executive Director: Connie Bear King
E-mail: CBearKing@aol.com

Iowa Family Policy Center
1100 North Hickory, Suite 107
Des Moines, IA 50327
Phone: 515-263-2495

Project Title: Iowa Healthy Marriage Education Initiative Demonstration Project
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Project Director: Mike Hartwig
E-mail: Mike@MikeHartwig.com

Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. (UDMO)
Robins Street
Box 519
Graettinger, IA 51342-0519
Phone: 712-859-3885
Website: http://www.udmo.com/

Project Title: Dad's TIME (Together Involved in Meaningful Experiences)
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Grant

Operations Director: Jean Drey
E-mail: jdrey@udmo.com
Project Coordinator: Veronica McFadden
E-mail: vmcfadden@udmo.com

Kansas

Project Websites of Interest

http://www.fathers.com/
The National Center for Fathering is located in Kansas

http://www.childcareassociation.org/fatherhood.html

Facts

Dodge City, Kansas, Father-Child Night

Picutre of Father and child.Picture of father and child.Picture of father and child.

5th Annual Kansas Fatherhood Summit

FATHERHOOD: NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT

Father feeding his baby.

April 12-13, 2007
Jack Reardon Center
520 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, Kansas

Outcomes

Conference Underwritten By

Fatherhood Summit Conference Planners and Supporters

Keynote Speakers

Picture of Adolph Brown, III.Dr. Adolph Brown, III has been involved in education since 1972 beginning with Project Head Start, an early education program for low-income children and families. He is a tenured university professor and administrator of the Hampton University Psychology and Psychology/Education Department. A gifted teacher, author, consultant, speaker and trainer, Adolph presents his research, observations, and life experiences in such a way that most if not all attendees have an "aha! Experience." Adolph considers his greatest blessing to be a happily married husband with seven wonderful children. Adolph will make you smile. He will make you laugh. He will make you think. Often he will move you. But he will definitely inspire you to… Do Whatever It Takes To Make You Great!

Picture of Coach Bill Snyder.Together, former Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder, chair of the Kansas Mentors Council and Leadership Council, and Governor Sebelius, have formed a statewide Kansas Mentors Leadership Council, composed of talented and caring leaders who work to make a difference in the lives of youth.

With 135 victories, Coach Snyder is K-State's all-time winning football coach. Coach Snyder's successes on the field are matched by his achievements off the field. He taught his players the value of sound work ethic, attention to detail, and respect that has helped them succeed during the game as well as in the classroom and in life.

Picture of George Williams.George R. Williams is a marriage and family therapist and the Executive Director of the National Center for Fathering's Urban Father-Child Partnership. George is actively involved in developing and delivering fathering education and programming in various settings. George also writes and performs powerful dramatizations that illustrate the challenges of urban fathers.

Kansas Fatherhood Achievement Award Recipient

Picture of Ken Canfield.Dr. Ken Canfield
Dr. Canfield is the founder of the National Center for Fathering and he served as president and CEO from 1990 through 2005. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers. Dr. Canfield has been a consultant to state and community officials on ways to engage and equip fathers in local programming.
Breakout Sessions

Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 2:40-3:55
Session 1:

  1. 1. Father's Role in the Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders by Joseph Kotsch, R.N., M.S.
    A basic overview of brain development and how the brain is affected by alcohol during pregnancy. The father's supportive role during pregnancy and ability to role model abstinence from alcohol for the family will be discussed and how this relates to preventing brain damage to the developing infant.
  2. The ICANs of Being A Dad by Bradford Douglas, B.S.
    Participants will be introduced to the ICAN framework and be given base definitions of each. Examples will be given on how the principles have been implanted as part of a comprehensive package along with Court ordered requirements in the 5th District. Examples will be given on Action Plans and how to implement them into practical supervision, case management or community outreaches.
  3. Criminal Street Gang Awareness — A Prevention Guide for Fathers (Part one) by Officer Jeffrey L. Brownlee
    This two-part session will include videos containing actual gang footage and will include personal experiences with gang related incidents. Participants will be asked to participate by reading and identifying graffiti and hand signs. This session will provide insight into who joins gangs and why.
  4. Fathering Beyond Bars: Why Agencies Should Support and Encourage the Parent-Child Relationship Between Incarcerated Fathers and Their Children by Michelle Montgomery, B.A., Toni Johnson, Ph.D. and Andrea Pfeiffer, KU masters student
    An overview of the effects of incarceration on the family, especially children, will be given. A review of nationally developed "best practices" used with these families will be followed by a facilitated discussion of interventions being used across the state of Kansas.
  5. Confidentiality by Phelica A. Livingston, L.M.S.W.
    This session will give a brief overview of the Confidentiality Statutes as identified by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board in the State of Kansas.
  6. The Mathematics of Fatherhood by Scott Macek, M.S. ed
    This is a hands-on session, participants will learn specific strategies they can use to assist their children's understanding and learning in math. They will become familiar with math concepts and learn how to apply them in practical situations. They will also receive numerous resources to help their children with math at home. This session is presented by a single-father of three young children.
  7. Why Is Lead Still Poisoning Our Children? By Mary Zahner, R.N.
    Lead-based paint is still the #1 source of childhood lead poisoning. The effects of lead poisoning may be permanent, and can range from learning and behavior problems to hearing loss, attention deficit, lowered IQ, and in higher levels may cause convulsions and even death.

Thursday, April 12, 2007 - 4:15-5:30
Session 2:

  1. The Three R's of Father/Male Involvement by Michael Schiller, B.A.
    This session will explore innovative and unique methods for involving fathers and male role models in the Head Start and community settings. Participants will learn to recognize the situation, avoid or remove roadblocks and create a roadmap to involve fathers and male role models in the lives of children.
  2. Parenting Children with Disabilities by Jennifer Adhima, M.S.W.
    In this session participants will listen to a discussion between three fathers on the joys and challenges of raising a child with a disability. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the fathers on the panel.
  3. Criminal Street Gang Awareness - A Prevention Guide for Fathers (Part Two) by Officer Jeffrey L. Brownlee
    This two-part session will include videos containing actual gang footage and will include personal experiences with gang related incidents. Participants will be asked to participate by reading and identifying graffiti and hand signs. This session will provide insight into who joins gangs and why.
  4. Watch D.O.G.S. — Turning the Hearts of Fathers to Their Children and Children to Their Fathers by Randy Doerksen, M.S., Robert Davis, father, and Rick Amos, father
    Watch D.O.G.S. was started at Prairie Ridge in February 2006. In just over a year 200+ dads have spent a day "in the house" connecting with their children and making a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of other children. In this session participants will hear about some of the experiences at Prairie Ridge as well as discuss the process involved in implementing the program.
  5. Positive Behavior Support for Fathers by Annette Hahn, B.S.
    Children often use challenging behavior when they don't have the social or communication skills they need to engage in more appropriate interactions. Positive Behavior Support is a system of addressing challenging behavior. Multiple strategies work together to promote positive behavior of children. These strategies include building relationships, focusing on prevention, defining expectations, and teaching social and communication skills.
  6. Dads Safe — Kids Safe by Jeff Froman, B.S. and Norraine Wingfield
    This session will provide understanding of the current Safety Belt laws and Kansas and national statistics. Basic instruction will be given on proper restraint for children.
  7. The Evolution of the Fatherhood Project of Reno County by Randall Lind, B.S.
    Members of the Fatherhood Project of Reno County will provide information to participants of the steps that were taken that lead to the creation of the Project. Also provided will be information regarding the evolution on the Project as well as current services and future plans for the Project.

Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:10-11:25
Session 3:

  1. The Importance of Dads and Strong Male Role Models by Will Stovall, B.A.
    A look at the long range effect that fathers and/or strong male models have on children and how a father uniquely impacts a child. Practical examples will be given of men who can serve as a positive influence in a child's life if the father is not involved.
  2. Supporting Fathers in the Post Partum Period by Jen Stoll, B.A. and Meeka Centimano, L.M.S.W.
    Education will be provided on the use of post partum depression (PPD) screening tools and general recognition of post partum depression. Creation of support networks will be addressed. Key words will be provided to fathers for use when addressing PPD with their baby's mother, as well as phrases and actions to avoid.
  3. Searching for Real Men by Ben Keech, B.S.
    The participants will be motivated to challenge young men with realistic tools to actively engage them in the decisions they make. This session will also show the statistical impact that father's make in their child's life.
  4. Re-Entry: Incarcerated and Near Release Dads by Daniel Houlahan, M.S.M.
    The session will be presented from a federal perspective on how agencies can best prepare and partner with federal, state and local governments to provide services to support men in becoming better fathers.
  5. Fatherhood Programs: Addressing Poverty and Safety by Kim Pentico, B.S.
    Fatherhood service providers will be encouraged to think beyond "fatherhood involvement" to look at broader anti-poverty work, accountability and domestic violence. Providers will learn how assessment, screening and intervention can be carried out in their programs. Domestic violence advocates and fatherhood service providers will explore how to develop mutually respective relationships in order to encourage trust and cooperation.
  6. It's a Good IDEA — Involving Dads in the Process by Lesli Girard and Jamie Holley, father
    This session will cover the six main principles of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) including the components of an IEP (Individualized Education Program). Jamie will offer ideas and tips concerning how fathers can be an active participant in their child's education.
  7. Get Ready for Action!! Healthy Habits for Life!! By Linda Wilson, B.S. and Barbara Kanelakos
    Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the Sesame Street gang share lessons highlighting the importance of healthy eating, active play, dental care, and getting plenty of rest. This session engages parents to provide positive messages about exercise and good nutrition during the formative years.

Kansas — ACF Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Grants

Catholic Charities, Inc. of Wichita
437 North Topeka
Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: 316-263-6941

Project Title: Healthy Marriage Demonstration Project
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Clinical Director: Joyce Webb
E-mail: jwebb@wkscatholiccharities.org

Project Director: Michael Duxler
E-mail: duxlerm@newmanu.edu

University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
School of Social Welfare
1545 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-0252

Project Title: Strong and Stable Families
Funding Source: Children's Bureau, Promoting Safe and Stable Families, Post-Adoption Services

Project Director: Bethany Roberts
E-mail: bethanyr@ku.edu

Upcoming Retreats:

May 31 to June 2
Strong and Stable Families Adoptive Couples Retreat in Wichita, KS
Come join us for a fun-filled weekend focused on marriage education. All expenses paid and a stipend for child care.
Contact Beth Roberts at bethanyr@ku.edu or 785-864-0525.
July 19 to 21
Strong and Stable Families Adoptive Couples Retreat in Kansas City.
Come join us for a fun filled weekend focused on marriage education. All expenses paid and a stipend for child care.
Contact Beth Roberts at bethanyr@ku.edu

Missouri

Project Websites of Interest

http://www.fathers.com
The National Center for Fathering’s Urban Father/Child Project is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri

Facts

Missouri — ACF Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Grants

Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
2885 West Battlefield
Springfield, MO 65807
Phone: 417-823-3469
Website: http://www.forest.edu
Website: http://www.ozarksmarriagematters.org

Project Title: Operation US
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant
Website: http://www.operationus.org/

Project Director: Jennifer Baker
E-mail: jbaker@forest.edu
Project Coordinator: Derek Gwinn
E-Mail: dgwinn@forest.edu

Operation US Healthy Marriage/Healthy Relationships Classes
PREP
PREP for Engaged Couples
PREP for Married Couples
Love's Cradle
Within My Reach
PICK A Partner
Smart Steps for Stepfamilies

Operation Us Recent Facilitator Trainings
Keeping the Love Alive — Michelle Weiner-Davis
Smart Steps for Stepfamilies
Within My Reach
Love's Cradle

St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition
3322 Olive, Suite 002
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 314-977-6308
Website: http://stl-healthymarriage.org/

Project Title: Healthy Families St. Louis
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Project Director: Bridget Brennan
E-Mail: marriage@slu.edu

Healthy marriage and relationships classes
CO-CARE for Couples
Exploring Relationships
Family Wellness: Survival Skills for Healthy Families
Building Strong Families Missouri
CONNECTIONS

Facilitator trainings
Family Wellness
Exploring Relationships
CONNECTIONS

Fathers' Support Center
4411 Newstead
St. Louis, MO 63115
Phone: 314-333-4170
Website: http://www.fatherssupportcenter.org/

Project Title: Healthy Relationships Skills for Fragile Families
Funding Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, Special Improvement Project

Project Director: Halbert Sullivan
E-mail: fsc.fathers@birch.net
Project Coordinator: Bridget Brennan
E-mail: marriage@slu.edu

Upcoming Conference

Fathers' Support Center.

Fathers' Support Center, St. Louis
2007 Annual Fatherhood Conference

Thursday, June 14, 2007
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Friday, June 15, 2007
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

University of Missouri - St. Louis

JC Penney Conference Building
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121

Target Audience

Social Workers, Educators, Pastors, Faith-based Organization Staff, Community Support Workers, Program Developers, Funders and anyone interested in fathers and preserving families.

Cost (Before May 31, 2007)

$50.00

After May 31, 2007, the cost is $60.00

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Dinner Reception with Bill Coffin,
Special Assistant for Marriage Education,
Administration for Children and Families

Mr. Bill Coffin joined the Administration for Children and Families in January 2002 as the Special Assistant for Marriage Education. Working with the Assistant Secretary, he is helping to orchestrate an important culture change, where those who marry will have better Access to knowledge and skills to form and sustain a healthy marriage. In recognition of his work, he was awarded the 2006 Smart Marriage Impact Award this past June.

Mr. Coffin served as the Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdioceses of Washington and as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family Life. Mr. Coffin is a graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut and has two Masters Degrees — one in Human Relations and one in Counseling. Please join him for a dinner reception at Lombardo's Restaurant, 10488 Natural Bridge Rd., St. Louis, MO 63134.

Conference Categorical Tracks

Marriage Education Retreat (Healthy Couples…"The Strongest Link to Healthy Communities"
Friday, April 20 - Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Fathers Support Center (FSC), St. Louis hosted a Marriage Education Workshop at the Missouri History Museum in Forest park. The Retreat was a collaborative effort between FSC the St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition intended to give married couples, cohabitating couples, single parents and adults the tools necessary to have Healthy Relationships. Topics included:

Missouri Parents As Teachers National Center, Inc.
2228 Ball Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
Phone: 314-432-4330
Website: http://www.parentsasteachers.org/

Project Title: Born To Learn
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Grant

Director: Kerry Caverly
E-mail: kerry.caverly@parentsasteachers.org

Special Projects Manager: Kate McGully
E-mail: Kate.McGilly@parentsasteachers.org

The Curators of the University of Missouri
411 Gentry Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-4360
573-882-2645
Website: http://extension.missouri.edu/

Project Title: The Connecting for Baby Project
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Project Director: Marilyn Coleman
E-mail: colemanma@missouri.edu

Project Manager: Carol Mertensmeyer
E-mail: MertensmeyerC@missouri.edu

Better Family Life
6347 Plymouth Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63133
Phone: 314-746-0750
Website: http://www.betterfamilylife.org/

Project Title: St. Louis Healthy Families Initiative
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Project Director: Carolyn Seward
E-mail: cseward@metstl.com

Project Coordinator: Robin Ingram
E-mail: ringram@metstl.com

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Jewish Vocational Services
1608 Baltimore
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-471-2808

Project Title: Refugee Healthy Marriage Program
Funding Source: Office of Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Healthy Marriage Program

Project Coordinator: Martin Okpareke
E-mail: mokparek@jvskc.org

Provides Relationship Enhancement (RE) workshops for refugee populations in the Kansas City area.

Healthy Families Counseling and Support
3100 N.E. 83rd Street, Suite 2500
Kansas City, MO 64119-4460
Phone: 816-468-6336
816-679-8582
816-349-9319
Website: http://www.healthyfamcs.org/

Project Title: Tender Beginnings Plus
Funding Source: Office of Family Assistance, Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant

Project Director: Karen Daentl
E-mail: daentl@sbcglobal.net

Project Coordinator: Louis Goins
E-mail: louis.goins@gillis.org

Boatpeople SOS
St. Louis Branch
4010 Gravois Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63116
Phone: 314-772-0454

Project Title: Refugee Healthy Marriage Project
Funding Source: Office of Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Healthy Marriage Program

Project Coordinator: Mary Dang
E-mail: Thanh.Dang@bpsos.org

Nebraska

Project Website of Interest

http://www.nebraskachildren.org/about_us/programs/fatherhood/index.html

Facts

Nebraska — ACF Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage Grants

Nebraska Indian Healthy Marriage Project
1100 Military Road
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: 402-438-5231
Website: www.neici.org

Project Title: Nebraska Indian Healthy Marriage Project
Funding Source: Administration for Native Americans, Native American Healthy Marriage Initiative Grant

Project Director: Linda Robinson
E-mail: linrob49@yahoo.com

Project Trainer: Barbara Grant
E-mail: bgrant1100@yahoo.com

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
P.O. Box 687
Winnebago, NE 68071
Phone: 402-878-2134

Project Title: Hazohi Healthy Marriage Project
Funding Source: Administration for Native Americans, Native American Healthy Marriage Initiative Grant

Project Director: Regina Littlebeaver
E-mail: glbago@aol.com

Project Coordinator: LaDonna Holstein
E-mail: ladholstein@yahoo.com

Offering PREP workshops for Native American couples.

[ Go to Map ]

Region 8

Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

Thomas F. Sullivan
Regional Administrator
Byron G. Rogers Federal Office Building
1961 Stout Street, Suite 926
Denver, CO 80294
Phone: 303-844-1129
Fax: 303-844-2624

Regional Activity

Early Childhood Education/Male Involvement Programs

Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah have begun implementation of Statewide Head Start Fatherhood Workplans, all of which complement the Region 8 Strategic Fatherhood Plan.

In Montana, South Dakota, and Utah, statewide Fatherhood Coordinating Committees are working with their respective Head Start Associations to share and suggest actual activities for individual Head Start sites. The State Head Start Collaboration Offices fund and support this work.

In South Dakota, the Fatherhood Coordinating Committee attends, presents, and participates in Regional and State Head Start Association meetings. Region 8 HSA meetings tend to have a strong Responsible Fatherhood component.

They have also developed a Head Start Training video for Home Visit staff regarding working with and being inclusive of fathers.

Also in South Dakota, the Committee has translated its Fatherhood T/TA website into Spanish to broaden its appeal nationally. The site, www.ruralfathers.com, is designed for Head Start and Early Head Start staff, fathers, and families. While it is a subscription site, they offer a free newsletter.

In Wyoming, a grant was awarded by the state to tailor The Father Factor model for local fatherhood programs. The new program is being used in Gillette and Torrington, Wyoming.

Montrose Head Start is working collaboratively with the Montrose County Child Support Enforcement Office on Responsible Fatherhood initiatives.

ACF Region 8 convenes quarterly teleconferences with our six states regarding Head Start Fatherhood issues and programs.

State Activity

Colorado

The State of Colorado has devoted effort across programs to develop a collective resource/website for all the Colorado Fatherhood programs and contacts. The result can be found at: http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/coworks/PDFs/FatherhoodProgramContactsNew.pdf (PDF, 11 pages). This website is updated regularly.

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) was awarded a grant by the Office of Family Assistance in the summer of 2006 to promote responsible fatherhood. CDHS is currently requesting proposals from organizations that can assist the state in meeting the goal of promoting the responsible fatherhood community access program. Requests for proposals must be submitted by Jun 8, 2007. The grant period will run July 15, 2007 through September 30, 2008.

The Florence Crittenton School, Denver Public Schools, and other partners, offers a Young Father's Program. Participants are 14-21 year old fathers. The program offers several services, including: parenting skills training, baby supplies, job readiness training, case management, referrals for visitation and custody, and more. More information can be found at their website: http://florencecrittenton.dpsk12.org/YoungFathers

Montana

Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs

Action for Eastern Montana Head Start: A father-friendly environment assessment was given to families and staff in the fall and will be given again in the spring.  The program also offers a Dads and Donuts event.   

A.W.A.R.E., Inc. Early Head Start: The program developed a weekly male/dads group, made up of fathers from the program and the community that is a forum to discuss the challenges of fatherhood. These meetings are conducted in collaboration with the Health Department and A.W.A.R.E. Case Management. At each of these meetings, a literacy activity is sent home with the fathers to share with their children. The program has seen a great increase in the number of dads that participate in the classrooms as a result of their fatherhood efforts.

Central Montana Head Start, Inc.: Currently, Central Montana Head Start distributes a newsletter titled "Father Times" on the first and third Wednesday of every month.  They will be hosting a Male Involvement week during the week of March 27-30, where a male figure in the child's life will attend breakfast, lunch or snack in the classroom.  Favorite Male Day will be hosted on April 22 which will include bowling, pizza and door prizes.  Every Thursday in April the program will host a crock pot class that families can come for a meal, recipes and nutritional information.  There are several fathers signed up to take the classes.  After the final class, families will be sent home with a new crock pot and the ingredients to cook a meal.  Central Montana Head Start will also be co-hosting a Spring Conference with the Child Care Resource and Referral program on May 13 which will include a four hour Fatherhood Workshop.

Child Start, Inc.: Child Start, Inc. initiated the planning and implementation of their Fatherhood Initiative by conducting needs assessments, purchasing materials to make the program more father friendly, planning activities, recruiting volunteers, and providing fatherhood training for the Head Start staff.

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 child's 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 high school boys which are part of the key club to come and read with the children, perform plays, and other activities.

District IX Human Resource Development Council: The program’s Fatherhood Advisory Council for Engaging Dads (FACED) offers take-home totes with books and corresponding activities and materials.  The program has also developed a partnership with the local library and a community agency to promote literacy and provide trainings to males in the program. 

Families in Partnership, Inc.: A Father Involvement/Family Involvement Specialist facilitates a male involvement group that meets once a month for an activity night. Staff are provided with training and information on the importance of male involvement with children, including non-custodial fathers. Support for fatherhood involvement is also provided by a group of Head Start fathers called Dedicated As Dads (DADs). The group makes an effort to call each father involved in the program to inform them of upcoming fatherhood activities.

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 Mother's 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.

Kootenai Valley Head Start:  A part time Fatherhood Coordinator position was created to assist in the coordination of fatherhood activities. "Guys Night" is held once a month which offers various male focused activities. A local newsletter for men is distributed and a bulletin board with information related to fatherhood topics is displayed.

Missoula Early Head Start:  All of the fathers in the program participate in all activities provided, including a social work intern who started a father's 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.

Northern Montana Head Start:  The program has developed four main objectives to support the fatherhood initiative: Increase the amount of time that fathers positively interact with their children; Increase fathers' knowledge of early childhood literacy development; Increase fathers' recognition of their important role; and Help fathers develop a positive peer support system. The program is working towards these goals by hiring staff dedicated to these goals, purchasing books, and hosting a "21st Century Exploring Parenting" class.

Northwest Montana Head Start:  The program hosts Dinner for Dads, including a speaker on the important role father’s play in the lives of their children. 

Opportunities, Inc.:  The program has established the "DIG IN" project, an incentive program for fathers and males to earn "credit" for one-on-one time spent with children in the program or community.  There is a wall of fame at each school which recognizes each male that participates in the program.  The Male Involvement Advisory Committee includes staff, parents and community members and assists in guiding father involvement projects.  The Nurturing Fathers workshop was offered last year.

Ravalli County Head Start, Inc.:  The Wise Guys curriculum was used to provide 25 hours of fatherhood training to males in the program.  The Dad’s Inc. group was established and continues to meet regularly to discuss and participate in various aspects of the Head Start program.  A father’s retreat was offered to all males in the program to enhance their awareness of the relationship they have with their children

Rocky Mountain Development Council, Inc.:  The staff at Rocky Mountain Development Council was trained on the importance of involving fathers.  The program offered a father-child activity called Bookshelf Build.  Each father and child was given a nutritious meal, free books, and participated in building a take-home bookshelf. 

North Dakota

Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs

Community Action Agency VI:  Each parent committee plans one activity per year that is focused on father/child interaction in addition to fatherhood classroom activities that are planned twice a year. Information is mailed to the non-custodial father to ensure he is kept up to date on his child's progress in school. The "Father Times" newsletter is distributed to every father in the program while a special section focused on fatherhood related topics is included in each sites monthly newsletter.

Community Action Partnership (CAP):  The program provided training to parents and staff to increase their skills and knowledge of the important role fathers play in children's and family's lives. Father and father figures of the program were fully involved as parenting partners for all the program activities such as parent-teacher conferences, field trips, home-base socializations, parent committee meetings, and parent training. In addition, a Fatherhood Week was hosted for fathers to spend at least one hour in their child's classroom.

Partnerships of Understanding were developed with key community agencies. West Dakota Parent and Family Resource Center provides specific parenting training for families, some of which is geared specifically toward fatherhood involvement. The Dickenson Public Schools Early Childhood Speech and Language Pathologists developed a series of Borrowed Boxes containing a book, a list of suggested follow-up activities and instructions, and needed materials to complete the activities by parents. CAP also established partnerships with other community, state, and nationwide agencies to support early literacy development and fatherhood involvement.

The program hired a Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator who organized a Fatherhood Advisory Committee comprised of fathers and father figures. The committee organized fatherhood activities throughout the program year.

Grand Forks Public School District: S.A.F.E.  (Strong Active Fathers Educate) is an active program committed to involving fathers in every aspect of the Head Start program including promoting special events planned especially for fathers and mailing weekly newsletters to fathers who live out of town. Two Head Start parents that are involved in the S.A.F.E. program attended the Fatherhood Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Mayville State University (0-5):  The program encourages father involvement through monthly parent/child activity days, participation in Donuts for Dads, requesting assistance from fathers in helping out around the facilities, and providing fatherhood materials to families. University male sports team members volunteer in classrooms and males provide childcare for Policy Council and Parent Trainings and meetings.

Early Explorers Head Start (Newport School District #4):  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, 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 activities. Last year events focused on fatherhood included a game and fish program, bowling night, ice-fishing project, and a football game.

South Dakota

Faith Based and Community Organization Activities

A Purity Ball was held on March 11, 2005 in Sioux Falls, SD. Nearly 200 dads and daughters participated in this event, organized by the Abstinence Clearinghouse in conjunction with other abstinence organizations in South Dakota. The evening of dinner and dancing was designed to help young women make healthy choices for their future.

In April, 2004, the Sioux Falls, SD Fatherhood Initiative held "A Celebration of Fatherhood" in conjunction with a game played by the Sioux Falls SkyForce, a local Continental Basketball Association team, which donated 2,000 tickets for fathers and their children to attend the game for free. The theme of half-time activities was a celebration of Fatherhood. They have also obtained the cooperation of local Krispy Kreme franchisees, which have begun a 'Donuts for Dad' each month. On these days they give free donuts to each father and their children who come into their stores on these days.

Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs

Northeast South Dakota Head Start Inc.:  At the beginning of the program year, a Fatherhood Leader is selected/recruited from each site to help organize fatherhood activities in the area of literacy. Activities include father/child readings in the classrooms, father/child bowling, and Donuts with Dad. The program also provides training, fatherhood resources, and Making a Difference videos for parents and staff.

South Central Child Development:  The program has made efforts to train staff and to sustain a father-friendly environment for fathers and father figures. The program has provided ongoing staff and parent in-service trainings, a joint Dakota Fatherhood Conference, the Father Factor Training, and fatherhood materials and packets for both staff and fathers. In addition, a father-focused activity/event is held at least twice a year and in-service trainings are held on healthy marriage for staff to use in collaboration with fatherhood materials to better educate families.

Youth & Family Services:  Youth & Family Services (YFS) Prenatal to Five Head Start has worked hard to include fathers in all aspects of the program.  YFS has accomplished this by reviewing all policies, procedures, documents and overall agency philosophy to determine how they currently affect fathers and how they could be altered to better serve fathers and families.     

Staff have attended various formal fatherhood training sessions, and receive the RuralFathers.com newsletter to stay informed on current fatherhood programming information and issues.  YFS staff regularly distribute the newsletter along with Father Child Development Activities to fathers.  These father-friendly activities are hands-on, age-appropriate, interactive activities designed to promote a strong emotional bond between infants, children, and their fathers through play.  The age range for these activities is from prenatal first month through age 5.

YFS also administers monthly Father Child Group activities.  Infants and children learn through observation and interaction as they socialize with their peers. These hands-on, age-appropriate, masculine activities are intended for fathers, infants, and children to use as a way to learn together in a group setting that promotes social skills, child development, and strengthens the bond between a father and his child.          

In September 2005, YFS launched RuralFathers.com a one-of-a-kind program created to empower fathers and staff of fatherhood programs to fully understand the vital role males play in the proper development of children.  RuralFathers.com contains resources and materials developed by YFS to help service agencies and early childhood educators, including Head Start and Early Head Start, develop a new program or enhance an existing fatherhood program.  The site contains a free monthly newsletter, staff trainings, father child development activities, a question and answer bulletin board, father child group activities, father/male involvement meeting materials, multi-media resources, and links to other fatherhood sites.  See www.ruralfathers.com for more information.

Utah

Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs

Davis County Public Schools in Farmington, Utah:  A fatherhood specialist was hired and assisted in the development of a program called F.I.S.H. (Fathers Involved in Shaping Head Start children). Various tools are used to assist the men involved in the program in becoming successful fathers. Some of the tools include an educational video on father involvement, a fatherhood workshop that teaches the men "secrets" to effective parenting, monthly FISHin' trips, and a literacy project called "License to Read".

Mountainland Head Start, Inc:  Many efforts are being made to encourage and involve fathers and father figures. Several activities have been held to promote fatherhood involvement such as the Daddy Dodgeball activity. Staff are trained to make specific requests to get men involved in the classrooms. The program held a Dads and Donuts literacy program in classrooms offering the opportunity for men read to their child and finish with donuts. Trained Family Service Specialists provide a pamphlet titled "Be there, Be a Dad" to families on their second home visit during the year. A monthly newsletter is sent out, which includes a special page titled "Activities for Men and the Children they Love". 

Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership (CAP), Inc.:  Ogden-Weber CAP has been very successful in the implementation and continuation of father-focused activities. The Transportation Specialist oversees the fatherhood activities in the community. A Fatherhood Committee comprised of current Head Start parents provides input and support for father focused activities.

Funding for the fatherhood programs have been made possible through donations of goods and time by our community partners and very limited Head Start funds. Monthly Fatherhood Newsletters are sent home to all families advertising upcoming fatherhood activities, recruiting fathers for the Fatherhood Committee and providing useful information on how fathers can impact the lives of their children in a positive way. Ogden-Weber CAP strives to host a fatherhood involvement activity at least once a month. Past monthly events include the following:

Rural Utah Child Development:  Each center classroom and home-based unit has elected a Fatherhood Volunteer to assist in the coordination of male activities and the recruitment of fathers to participate in Head Start functions. The Fatherhood Volunteer is also in charge of the "Male Home Work" project which provides ideas and materials for activities fathers can do with their children at home. Many of the ideas come from the fathers themselves. In the past three years RUCD has seen a 60% increase in male involvement.

Wyoming

Early Childhood Education / Male Involvement Programs

Absaroka Inc.:  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 mother's permission) to fill out the survey. This survey is used to set up activities and to solicit 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. The program has hosted activities for dads such as:

Carbon County Child Development Program, Inc.:  The Carbon County Child Development (CCCDP) has successfully made their program a more father friendly place. They accomplished this through improving the environment, ensuring communication, increasing activities, and implementing trainings. CCCDP staff are diligent in ensuring that fathers receive all communications such as newsletters, and announcements for activities and trainings. The staff is especially conscientious in ensuring that fathers who are absent or have a joint custody arrangement receive these communications so that they can stay involved.

Children Development Services of Campbell Co. (Gillette, WY):  The strategies geared toward Male Involvement at CDS-CC/EHS this program year include; Family Fun Nights, information dissemination on the importance of male involvement and ways to be involved, scheduling home visits and socializations to fit the father's schedule, networking session at the Wyoming Head Start Association meeting, and additions to their library resources.  Some of the male-focused activities offered include Family Fishing Day, Dads and Doughnuts, and Dad’s Dino Dig.

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.  Father Factor, a 12-week program designed to provide fathers with a safe environment to discuss difficult issues, was provided in 2005.  Men who participate in the program provided staff with information on fatherhood related issues and also recruited new fathers to participate in program activities.

Laramie Child Development Corporation:  Laramie Head Start is now part of the University of Wyoming's Athletic Department-sponsored community program to donate home-game football tickets to children and their families. In addition, the University of Wyoming's men's basketball team is working with Laramie Head Start to plan activities and social events for children and their families. Some of the basketball players are volunteering weekly in the classrooms.

Lincoln-Unita Child Development Association:  The program has used funds from a previous grant to implement a literacy program emphasizing the involvement of fathers, including a Dining with Dad event. 

Wyoming Child & Family Development, Inc. EHS:  A Male Activities Committee comprised of fathers and father figures assists in planning and organizing two father and child activities each year.  Activities have included Big Truck Day, Tailgating Lunches, and Drive-In Movie Night to name just a few.  Intensive training during Pre-Service and In-Service have been provided to staff discussing the influence of fathers in children’s lives.  Efforts have been made to create more male friendly environments by hanging posters featuring men and children in the centers.  Trainings have been offered to fathers that provide information on developing and strengthening relationships, co-parenting techniques, and guidance and discipline strategies.

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Region 9

Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, Trust Territory of Pacific Islands, and American Samoa

Emily Hughes
Program Analyst
90 7th Street, 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415-437-8412
Fax: 415-437-8444

Rachel Freitas
Program Specialist
90 7th Street, 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415-437-8408
Fax: 415-437-8444

Regional Activity

Regional staff continue to share information with State CSE, TANF, Head Start, and Child Welfare agencies, and other interested parties (Fatherhood projects, Faith and Community based coalitions, etc…) about training conferences, competitive funding/grant announcements related to fatherhood, family formation, healthy marriage, mentoring children of incarcerated parents and positive youth development.

State Activity

Arizona

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. The program has also developed two videos for parents who are court-ordered to participate in the Parental Conflict Resolution class, a course designed specifically for parents in persistent high-conflict after separation or divorce or parents who are non-compliant with Court-ordered parenting time (visitation). The two videos are available for a nominal cost to cover expenses for reproduction, shipping and handling:

In addition, the program also developed a video specifically for judicial officers called Family Ties and Knots: Children of Divorce — A View for the Bench. The video will be used specifically to inform Family Court judges about mild, moderate, and severe forms of parental alienation. For further information regarding Arizona's Access and Visitation program, contact Pama Tucker at (602) 241-9613 ext 6305 or at pamatucker@azdes.gov.

Fatherhood:  The goal of the Arizona Division of Child Support Enforcement's (DCSE) Fatherhood Program is to assist low-income, non-custodial parents attain self-sufficiency and become financially and emotionally responsible parents.

DCSE began its partnership with the collaboration of agencies known as the Arizona Fatherhood Network (AFN) in July 1998. AFN is committed to providing a service delivery system that empowers men and strengthens families to ensure a transformational and sustainable quality of life. AFN's vision is accomplished through collaborations, mentorships, education, and employment.

The organizations that DCSE partners with are dedicated to improving the lives and futures of low-income, fragile families and their children. DCSE can be instrumental to each of the organizations by assisting non-custodial parents with paternity establishment, establishment of an order to pay child support and modification of existing child support orders.

For further information, contact Marjorie Cook, DCSE Community and Special Initiatives manager at (602) 274-1482 ext 4973 or at mcook@azdes.gov.

Parenting Academy:  The funding awarded by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE), for the Arizona Fatherhood Parenting Academy (Academy) has ended.  However, Child & Family Resources, one of the Academy partners, has continued many of the Academy concepts via their Choices Fatherhood Program.  The funding they receive for this program is administered via the DES Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program.  For further information, contact Marjorie Cook, DCSE Community & Special Initiatives Manager, at (602) 274-1482, ext 4973 or MCook@azdes.gov.

Choices Fatherhood Program:  Child and Family Resources, a private non-profit organization, provides the Choices Fatherhood Program with funding from Title IV-B subpart 2 Promoting Safe And Stable Families.  The program provides group seminars for fathers under the age of 35 in metropolitan Phoenix.  The seminars cover life skills and parenting education, substance abuse, anger management, family planning and paternity and child support.  Individualized case management is also offered.  For further information, contact Wendy Sabatini, Regional Director, at (602) 234-3941 or wsabatini@cfraz.org.

Adelante Responsible Parent Program: Catholic Community Services' Adelante Program currently assists fathers with child support modification and financial education workshops.  It also provides fathers with other assistance that is open to all of our clients, such as free income tax preparation, emergency assistance, and workforce development.  For further information, contact Liz Thomey, Program Director, at (520) 388-9153 ext 122.

California

Fathers Inside:  Several years ago, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) implemented a pilot project at San Quentin State Prison, California.  The pilot project (Incarcerated Parent Project) provided inmates with forms, an information package about available child support services and contact information.  The goal of the project was to reduce child support arrears, by stopping child support debt from accruing during periods when a parent had no ability to earn, and to increase the likelihood that incarcerated parents would be able to meet their child support obligations upon release from prison.

Based on the experience with the pilot project, it was found that in order to improve program effectiveness, there was a need to establish child support program credibility through regular visits and face-to-face interviews with inmates.  Further, the inability of many inmates to read and understand the letters and documents provided created a tremendous barrier to program participation.

Subsequently, Fathers Inside was established to conduct outreach directly to the inmate population.  The project has been a collaborative effort between the Solano County Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), Marin County DCSS, Marin County Family Law Facilitator, a non-profit, faith-based organization located at the prison, and several other Local Child Support Agencies (LCSAs). The California Department of Corrections supports the project by accommodating the program inside San Quentin.

The collaboration has included workshops with groups of inmates permanently housed at the prison.  The workshops include an overview of child support services and information about specific legal processes. Inmates are informed of their rights to request a modification of their current child support due to their change in circumstances, and given the opportunity to complete forms that are forwarded to the appropriate LCSA.

The Solano County DCSS is pursuing opportunities to enhance these services to include inmates being processed through a prison Reception Center.  This group of inmates is an important target as it would allow for the earliest opportunity to educate and inform inmates of their right to seek a modification of their child support order.  Efforts in this area would also focus on tracking the progression of their requests, measuring the outcome of this intervention, and produce a Best Practices Procedures Manual for use in Reception Centers throughout the California prison system.

Contact is Cheryl Stewart, California Department of Child Support Services Regional Administrator, at (916) 464-2522.

Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP):  The California Department of Child Support Services' (DCSS) Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP) was developed to manage child support arrears in California while assisting non-custodial parents (NCP) in meeting their child support obligation.  The goals of COAP are to increase support collected for families and the State General fund, and to reduce arrears owed to the State. COAP allows the acceptance of a NCP's offer to compromise a portion of their permanently assigned arrears in exchange for partial payment of a delinquent child support debt. Only arrears owed to the government are available for compromise; any areas owed to the custodial parties are addressed through negotiations with those parties.  After 18 months of piloting, COAP was implemented statewide in July 2005.  In the first seven months of State Fiscal Year 2005/06, COAP has helped resolve arrears for approximately 450 NCPs.

To qualify for COAP an NCP must meet certain criteria.  These criteria include owing at least $5,000 in debt to the government; being able to make the agreed upon repayment, while meeting any current child support obligation; as well as having all child support cases within a single county.

There are also criteria that will disqualify an NCP from the program.  An offer in compromise is disqualified if the NCP has stopped paying child support in preparation of making an offer in compromise; concealed or misrepresented his or her income and/or assets; recently been convicted, or had a contempt finding for failure to pay child support; recently had a compromise agreement denied or rescinded; or can pay all of the debt within three years.

The contact is Laura Choate, DCSS, COAP Unit Manager, at 916-464-5881.

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 La Botte at (415) 865-7565.

Guam

Memorandum of Understanding:  The Guam Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its sister Agency for Human Resources Development (HRD). The purpose of the MOU is to have the CSE Agency refer low-income non-custodial parents to the HRD for evaluation for assistance under the Workforce Investment Act for enhanced educational and vocational skills.

Access and Visitation:  The current provider is Inafa Maolek Conciliation. Inafa Maolek is a mediation center that provides families with conflict resolutions involving visitation and custody. Inafa Maolek provides these resolutions through mediated agreements with divorced or separated parents. The children benefit from this mediated visitation through continued relationship with their Fathers and Mothers and increased child support collections. Inafa Maolek monitors each case and makes monthly and quarterly reports for Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Enforcement Division. Contact is John B. Camacho at (671) 475-3360, ext 620.

Hawai`i

Access and Visitation:  The program provides supervised child visitation and exchange services on two sites, one of the island of Oahu and the other on the island of Hawaii. Services are designed to assist families with a history of domestic violence and other high conflict cases. Contact is Maureen Kiehm at the First Judicial Circuit Court at (808) 539-4406.

Fatherhood:  The Hawai`i Coalition for Dads (HCD), launched in 1998 under the umbrella of Parents And Children Together (PACT), is a group of individuals and organizations (including ALU LIKE, Good Beginnings Alliance, Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies, Kamehameha Schools' Extension Education Division, PARENTS, and Pearl Harbor Fleet and Family Support Center) that shares information about services to fathers and promotes involved, nurturing, responsible fatherhood.

Grants from the Hawai`i Children's Trust Fund for 2003, 2004, and 2005 have enabled HCD to employ a Fatherhood Network Coordinator to help implement a pilot Nurturing Fathers/Play and Learn project for father-inmates (three, 13-week series have been carried out at the Waiawa Correctional Facility by The Institute For Family Enrichment with Play+Learn groups by the Good Beginnings Alliance), a media and special events campaign, collaborations with Aloha United Way's 211 and The Parent Line referral lines, consultations with agencies to implement more father-inclusive policies and programs, and the expansion of the Hawai`i Coalition for Dads throughout Hawai`i.

In the past seven years, Hawai`i Coalition for Dads activities have included: sponsoring community education events like Dads' Day at the Capitol (April) and CELEBRATE FATHERS Day at Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center (June); having the Governor and Mayor proclaim June as Fathers' Month; participating in the New Baby Expo (May) and Children and Youth Day (October); and sponsoring the Champions for Children and Youth Inspirational Clinic at the University of Hawai`i's Stan Sheriff Center and Appreciating Fathers Conference at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus.

Hawai`i Coalition for Dads successful public policy initiatives include establishing a State Commission on Fatherhood in the Lt. Governor's office (Act 156-2003), requiring State employers to provide at least four hours per year paid leave for employees for parent-teacher conferences (Act 108-2003), establishing a Hawai`i Legislature awards program to recognize businesses with parent-friendly policies (SCR 130-2003), and State legislation that prohibits the preference of one parent above another in the State's programs, services, and contracts (Act 301-2001 and Act 162-2002). These laws are designed to insure that fathers are included, not forgotten, in public and private services that government provides to children and families.

For more Hawai`i Coalition for Dads information, contact Greg Farstrup, Coordinator, at (808) 841-2245 and at HawaiiDads@pacthawaii.org

Nevada

Employment and Training:  The Employment and Training programs are operating in both Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno). Low income non-custodial parents (NCPs) are referred by the Courts to work enhancement programs to assist the NCPs in improving their employment skills, with the goal of enhancing/increasing their ability to pay child support. Contact is Leslee Arnold at (775) 684-0690.

Access and Visitation:  The $100,000 Access and Visitation Grant, funded by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, is divided by two vendors. The Second Judicial District Court, Family Mediation Program serves the Reno area and the Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Mediation Center serves the Las Vegas area. Most referrals are made from child support hearing masters during court hearings for child support and paternity issues. Typically, both parents voluntarily agree to explore family mediation services. The program appears to be successful to those parents who choose to participate. Survey results suggest that parent communication is enhanced through the mediation process. Additionally, most parents believe that the parenting plans and agreements developed have been adhered to over time by the other parent. A majority of the custodial parents indicate that child support payments were paid regularly after mediation. Contact is Rose Ramos at (775) 684-0695.

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Region 10

Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

Karen Matsuda
Regional Health Administrator, OPHS
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 20
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-615-2469
Fax: 206-615-2481

Vince Herberholt
Associate Regional Administrator
Administration for Children and Families
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-615-3662
Fax: 206-615-2574

Levi Fisher
Administration for Children and Families
2201 6th Avenue, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-615-2565
Email: lsfisher @ acf.dhhs.gov

State Activities

Alaska

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: Jason Pretzel. Director jpretzel@ruralcap.org

Chugachmiut's Fatherhood and Family Program. The goal of the Chugachmiut's fatherhood and family program is to help fathers, mothers and families become the best they can be, through education, coaching and supportive resources. We hope that families and individuals will make informed choices through the information presented, also by reflecting on traditional Native values. We aspire to cultivate local, community based leadership from interested individuals, tribes and family service provider organizations, including Head Start. Our educational and technical assistance topic capabilities include parenting, character development, healthy relationships, communication, financial skills and critical thinking/ decision making. The program also values collaborating with other community organizations to maximize resources for the benefit of families. In addition to empowering strong fathers and mothers, the program serves in helping couples develop the skills to strengthen their relationships, achieving a healthy marriage if that is the path they choose. Contact: Matthew R Sena, Fatherhood Program Manager, Alaska Native Fathers Matter, 907-562-4155, matthew @ chugachmiut.org

Idaho

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 Kandee Yearsley (208) 334-0620, yearsley @ idhw.state.id.us

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 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: Marc Swinney, Executive Director mswinney@focaf.org

Lewis-Clark Early Childhood. Lewis-Clark Early Childhood is a single-purpose organization serving the rural communities of Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, and Nez Perce counties in Idaho. They are planning on hosting daylong parent conference, developing literacy kits for fathers, and updating the agency's promotional and programmatic materials to encourage father involvement. Also addressed is an outreach program for alternative and high school parents.

The objectives in the proposal build upon existing collaboration with local school district literacy and responsible parenting programs. The program's current Parent Involvement Coordinator and Children and Family Services Coordinator would coordinate activities and partnerships. Contact: Beth Zenner, Fatherhood Involvement Coordinator. bzenner@Icecp.org

Friends of Children and Families, Inc. Friends of Children and Families is a single purpose Head Start and Early Head Start agency in suburban Boise, Idaho. The original goal of the initial fatherhood grant in 2002 was to encourage fathers to read to their children.  This has developed over the four years the program has been in existence into encouraging Fathers and or the significant male role models in children’s lives to be very involved with the development of their children and families.

Friends of Children and Families have monthly fatherhood events in which families are encouraged to participate.  There is a fatherhood committee with a parent chair that plans out all the activities.  Some events that fatherhood program has done are attended an all-day Steelheads Minor League Hockey practice and game.  The Steelheads management even donated a luxury box seating for four Head Start families.  The group has also been fishing, visited the Discovery Science Museum, played and made games, visited the library, went bowling, and even has a “tool” day where they took apart and tried to repair household items with their children.  The events really build up a sense of community and give fathers a forum where they are honored and get to know other fathers and families within the program.

This past year, the fatherhood program got off to a wonderful start with “t-shirt” day.  Fathers and their children made T-shirts for a day at the start of the Head Start school year.  These T-shirts have been worn throughout the year on monthly “Father” days within the center.  “Father” days are days in which dads or the significant male role models in children’s lives are encouraged to volunteer in the centers and classrooms to read to the children, play on the playground, eat breakfast or lunch.  They have been wonderfully positive days in a program that has a thriving presence of fathers!

Contact: Diane Cox, Family Services Manager

Oregon

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 child's 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 child's 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 couldn't fit in the meeting room.

Contact: Melinda Gomez, Parent Involvement Content Area Expert; Rhonda Keown, Director rkeown@kths4kids.org

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 children's 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 photo's from a father's 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 father's 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: 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 2003, 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. In 2003, 17 men participated in the Policy Council and in 2004, there were 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. In 2003, there were a total of 252 male volunteers. In 2004 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. Each center planned and provided activities once during the program year. Eleven activities were planned. There was a "Read Me a Story" project, which was a literacy based male involvement project. The "Read Me a Story" tub 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 sent 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 a six-week support group that included teaching units on child development.

Contact: Felicity Elworthy, Family and Community Partnerships Manager felicity.elworthy@socfc.org

Umatilla Morrow Head Start Umatilla Morrow County Head Start

Father Family Fair

The father family fair took place in April of 2005.  The fair served several purposes, first it allowed Head Start men and staff members the opportunity to volunteer their time and expertise in a trade, hobby or job skill.  The Fair also allowed UMCHS to promote other Male Involvement activities such parenting classes, soccer, Male Involvement Team. Overall it provided men and children a chance to interact together in a positive environment.  In Hermiston we had close to 200 families show for the event and 22 volunteers that participated. In Pendleton we had 53 families that came to the event and 13 volunteers. At both fairs more than 70% of our volunteers were men!!!

Men’s Parenting Class

In Dec 2004 we developed a parenting class for men in the Hermiston area. We collaborated with the local Methodist church and School District to host the classes. Our goal was to combine discussion with open basketball gym night.  We averaged 8 men during the weeks we ran it.  We also provided free child care for fathers that needed it.

We used two parenting curriculums called “Incredible Years” and “Fathering for Life.” The “Incredible Years” curriculum is a parenting class specifically designed for parents with children from 3 to 8 years of age. It focuses on parenting techniques such as praise, rewards and play. The “Father for Life” curriculum explored various of topics, including male and female parenting, bonding through play and creating a vision for ones’ child.

We had great success with this group in Hermiston that we plan to expand the class to other local communities in 2006.  Also in the fall of 2006 we plan to focus on a teen fathering  class to go along with our already existing teen mother class.

Social Support Group

In Sept 2005 we implemented our first social support groups.  Social support groups are an opportunity for families to develop new skills and develop relationships with others that may share the same healthy interest.  This year some of the groups topics included auto repair, home repair and photography. Thus far, parents of enjoyed attending these groups and they have suggested other topics for next year included gardening and fishing.

(We are no longer doing the English as a Second Language class due to funding )

Contact:  Jesus Rome, Family Advocate/Youth & Male Involvement Coordinator jrome@umchs.org

Washington

Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (www.aboutdads.org) supports fathers in connecting or reconnecting with their children after periods of father absence.  Typically one of the driving issues is child support arrearages.  D.A.D.S. collaborates with the Washington State Division of Child Support to determine what earnings have been attributed to the absent dad and how he can develop a realistic payment plan to meet his responsibilities.  D.A.D.S. was founded in 1999 by Marvin and Jeanett Charles, and incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit the following year.  In each of the last two years, D.A.D.S. has served more than 300 fathers through face-to-face services and approximately four times as many through telephone calls.  These are fathers who are often considered “difficult to serve,” by virtue of their histories of imprisonment, unemployment, drug and alcohol dependence, and unmarried status.  D.A.D.S. gives fathers hope as it walks with them to new levels of accountability and healthier relationships.  As fathers become active in their children’s lives, families heal, and communities grow stronger.

Each year at the annual D.A.D.S. Banquet, we honor men who have demonstrated the power to change and grow through strengthening their bonds with their children.  Most men of color fail to recognize their importance to their children, because they get caught up in the false belief that without a regular paycheck, they have nothing to offer.  Men who have grown up without fathers in their lives have to invent themselves in order to change the multi-generational cycle of loss and despair.

Please join us on June 17, 2006 at South Seattle Community College for a celebration of fathers and their children.  Lives are being changed each day through the combined efforts of D.A.D.S. and its community partners.  Come and hear their personal stories and you will leave renewed.

Contact Marvin Charles (206) 722-3137 or marvinpastor@msn.com.

The Conscious Fathering Program (http://www.consciousfathering.org) is designed to provide infant care skills while stressing the benefits of responsible fatherhood. A hospital based program that empowers new fathers to build a partnership in caring for and nurturing their children from the very first day. With currently over 3500 attendees, the Program has now grown to be the largest of its kind in the State of Washington, available in 9 major hospitals throughout the Puget Sound area. Over 35,000 of Bernie Dorsey's "Conscious Fathering Guide for Expectant Fathers" have been distributed throughout Washington, in partnership with Children's Hospital, in English and Spanish.

Bernie Dorsey, the Program founder, has also worked with agencies and organizations within Region X to develop parental balance in their own efforts toward greater levels of male involvement and continues to be the volunteer coordinator for the Washington State Fathering Coalition.  Contact Bernie Dorsey, 206-824-8388, bernie@consciousfathering.org

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: Chris Morris, Program 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 program's 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:

  1. Acknowledgement: The men introduce themselves, get to know each other, and begin to form relationships with other group members and the facilitators.

  2. My Family, My Heart: The fathers re-introduce their families and discuss their place in their family. Besides the breadwinner, the fathers often don't know what their place is in the family or their place in their child's education. They speak about their roles and the role of their spouse, and discuss how communication works depending on these roles.

  3. Character Development: The values of respect, trust, dignity and love are discussed as the foundation of a strong family.

  4. Gifts and Baggage: Fathers discuss the positive and negative traits they bring as parents to their families and are discussed in the context of societal, individual, cultural and family traits.

  5. Values with Value: Fathers share their roles and how they revolve around the four values of respect, trust, dignity and love. The also discuss unspoken roles that children can perceive.

  6. Growth and Learning: Fathers learn how children develop and grow to have a clear understanding and reasonable expectations of their children.

  7. Parent and Teacher: Fathers learn how to guide their children and learn that parents are the primary teachers.

  8. Tradition and Ceremony: Fathers learn how to emphasize tradition and ceremony to keep a balance in the family.

  9. Getting to Know My Family Again: The men re-connect in a richer way and reflect on what they have learned.

  10. Roots of Understanding: The group discusses alcohol, drug abuse and violence and how this impacts the children.

  11. Dancing to Different Rhythms: Fathers learn how to improve their communication.

  12. Celebrating the Families: Fathers reflect back over the entire process.

  13. Contact: Manuel Villafan, Fatherhood Coordinator manuelv@epicnet.org

First A.M.E. Child and Family Center. First A.M.E. Child and Family Center (FAME).  FAME is a faith-based Head Start program serving the urban community of Seattle, Washington. FAME Fatherhood Services is a component of our Head Start program. We provide high quality services designed to empower Fathers and their families. FAME Fatherhood Services accomplishes this through the teamwork of our dedicated staff, our program families, and our community partners.

FAME Fatherhood Services offers a support group and special training to men who want to strengthen their connections with their children. FAME Fatherhood Services provides resources and avenues for men seeking improved lifestyles, child support modification, and establishing paternity. FAME Fatherhood Services also provides on-going training to staff, parents, and community members on the importance of Male Involvement. FAME Fatherhood Services is very instrumental in providing opportunities for Fathers to be involved in their child’s experience, education, and development at First A.M.E. Child and Family Center.

FAME Fatherhood Services in partnership with Casey Family Programs presents three (3) free nine (9) week workshops throughout the year to Fathers and their families. Workshop curriculums are Financial Literacy, Family Advocacy, and Community & Family Leadership under the banner of Powerful Families. For more information please visit powerfulfamilies.org.

FAME Fatherhood Services through The Greater Seattle Fatherhood Coalition (GSFC) presented The First Annual Community Fatherhood Forum and Resource Fair. This event was held in May of 2005. The next Fatherhood Forum is scheduled for April 8, 2006.

Contact: Sean Benning, Fatherhood Advocate

              First A.M.E. Child and Family Center Fatherhood Services

              sean.benning@seafame.com

The Greater Seattle Fatherhood Coalition (GSFC). The GSFC is a collaboration of greater Seattle area Head Start Grantees and community partners committed to supporting, promoting, and educating about the importance of Responsible Fatherhood. The GSFC provides leadership, strategic planning, and combines talents and resources of neighboring Head Start Grantees and community organizations. The GSFC uses a comprehensive approach to increase awareness about the importance of male involvement and stimulate fundamental changes in Community Based Organizations service delivery to be inclusive, quality, and father-friendly.

The GSFC’s collaborating partners provide services to over 10,000 low income families in the greater Seattle area. Partners include:

The GSFC is presenting its Second Annual Community Fatherhood Forum and Resource Fair on Saturday, April 8, 2006. The Forum is to include guest speakers, entertainment, panel discussion, and father friendly community resources. The theme of this event is “Celebrating the Cultural Diversity of Fatherhood.”

The GSFC provides Fatherhood Initiative support and Technical Assistance Services. Slogan: “Bridging the Gap Between Fathers and Community Family Services”

Contact: Sean Benning, GSFC Chairman

             Sean.benning@seafame.com

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. Mdougherty@kcr.org

Neighborhood House. Neighborhood House is a single-purpose organization that serves the urban community of Seattle, Washington. Almost 90% of the families served by Neighborhood House are recent refugees and immigrants. Many of this program's families come from cultures where fathers have not historically been engaged in teaching and rearing their children. This program proposes a series of father-child and father-only activities held in collaboration with local organizations to introduce fathers to their role in their child's development and provide a supportive environment for learning.

The program plans to identify several partnerships with existing community resources to facilitate meetings and activities in a culturally sensitive and relevant manner, including music and storytelling. The program also identifies partnerships for translation and mentoring services. The activities will be held at the Grantee's sites in the community, and the program's existing systems and space will support the proposed activities. Contact: Jonathan Green, Family Services Coordinator jonathang@nhwa.org

Skagit Valley College. Skagit Valley College is a community college-based program serving rural and suburban communities in Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties in Northwest Washington state. The Program plans to use the Motheread/Fatheread parenting and literacy program to increase male participation and literacy outcomes. Creation of a part-time Fatherhood Involvement Coordinator position is proposed to develop systems, train staff, and monitor and measure outcomes. There objectives are to: Increase staff awareness and skills in increasing father involvement in the program, and increase father involvement in family partnership, parenting and literacy activities. The program would utilize existing collaborations with community literacy programs and early childhood education to implement the program, and collaborate with service clubs and local businesses to purchase books. This proposal fills gaps in services of the specific community it serves, but its focus on staff development and the scalable and customizable Motheread/Fatheread program suggests replication in other communities. Contact: Terri Dickson, Program Manager. Dickerson@skagit.ctc.edu

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 child's 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.

Developing Advocacy for Dads (DADS) The DADS group in Spokane is a collaboration of 30 or so private and public agencies whose main goal is to educate the agencies about the need to be more father friendly. A secondary goal is to educated fathers about their need to be a positive influence in the lives of their children. The goal is for every father to support their children both financially and emotionally and to raise a generation of children with the benefit of both parents in their lives.

We provide several opportunities for parenting skills training thru the Engaging Fathers Program and provide a Law School intern to provide a limited amount of legal advice. Several of the members of DADS have parenting and fathers programs available and all work with DCS on support issues.

We are also working on re-writing the guide used by the Court when deciding Family Law issues around visitation and custody, to more reflect the value of Fathers in the lives of all children. We believe this effort will strengthen the lives of children, adults and ultimately the community.  Contact:  Dan Petruso dpetruso@dshs.wa.gov (509) 363-4986

Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center (SPARC). SPARC's goal is to ensure that children of divorce continue to have meaningful relationships with both parents, regardless of marital status. The Center advocates on behalf all non-custodial parents (especially fathers) to ensure they get equitable treatment in court and continued access to their children. In addition, the Center works to promote gender equality in Divorce and Custody issues.

SPARC recognizes the value of fatherhood and supports the concept of true joint custody, where parents work together for the best interests of their children. The Center support parents who have the best interests of their children in mind, and who understand the importance of participation by both parents in their children's lives.

SPARC has a number of tools and resources for parents, including:

http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/ Contact Walter Boelter: walter @ deltabravo.net

Washington State Fathering Coalition. The mission of the WSFC is to improve the lives of children by promoting healthy father-child relationships and increasing positive male involvement. On July 15, 2002 a group of twenty-four statewide representatives from both the public and private sector met. Representatives of the Washington Council for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (WCPCAN), Governor's Head Start — State Collaboration Project, Divine Alternatives for Dads, and Conscious Fathering worked together to coordinate this event in recognition of the increasing number of individuals and organizations currently advocating and promoting the crucial role of father's and male involvement in the healthy development of our children.

Ideals

Legitimize Fathering

Strategies

Vision: The Washington State Fathering Coalition is undertaken with the needs of children as paramount to our efforts and will be based upon principles and guidelines that reflect our values of equal respect for the role of mothers and women in the lives of children.  http://www.fatheringthefuture.org  Contact: Bernie Dorsey, (206) 824-8388 or bernie @ consciousfathering.org

[ Go to Map ]


Past Activities

“Around the Regions” from 2005.

“Around the Regions” from 2004.

“Around the Regions” from 2003.

“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.

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Last Revised:  April 23, 2010
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