Region 6 Home
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Administration for Children and Families
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, ACF-3
Dallas, TX 75202
Scott Harper, M.P.A.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
Office of Family Planning
Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
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
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.
Child Development, Inc. (CDI)
P.O. Box 2110
Russellville, AR 72811-2110
CDI believes fathers and positive male role models, such as stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, older brothers and other male family and/or community members are important to a child's healthy development emotionally, socially and educationally. Fathers are sought out and encouraged to participate in Head Start by serving on the local Parent Committee and Policy Council. CDI's Initiatives highlights some of the methods used to help men become responsible, committed, and involved fathers:
Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Inc.
P.O. Box 1285
Pine Bluff, AR 71613
Current Efforts in Father Involvement
Activities Planned for 2005
Support Enforcement Services (SES) Access and
SES Fatherhood Contact: Robbie Endris, SES Executive Director
Phone: 225.342.4780 and E-mail: robbie.endris @ dhs.state.gov
Louisiana has two providers funded through the Access & Visitation (A&V) grant provided through ACF's Office of Child Support Enforcement. The A&V project is a demonstration project in its second year with the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles, LA. This project gives non-custodial and custodial parents the skills and tools necessary to effectively co-parent their children, which in turn has proven to improve the parents' support of their children, both emotionally and financially. SES has contracted for a study of this project and to create a best practices document. The report and document will be utilized in educating other Louisiana Judicial Districts about this project. This document will be completed by June 30, 2005.
The second project, through Louisiana Family Council (LFC), is to positively impact children in the area of parental involvement, and to improve the quantity and quality of emotional, physical and financial participation of fathers in their children's lives. Services will include mediation referrals, co-parenting plans, visitation order assistance, legal service referrals and employment and educational referrals. LFC has partnered with several agencies providing these various services and access and visitation success resulting from the different services is monitored on a regular basis. This is the second contract year with LFC. The current service areas are Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, Caddo, Bossier, Ouachita, and St. Bernard parishes. Their coordinator reports that they had 139 active cases during 2003-04, and 186 thus far in FFY 2005.
Louisiana Family Council (LFC) Mentoring Children of
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.
Caddo Parish Commission Head Start
4055 St. Vincent Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71133-3446
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.
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) 266-6334
Telephone Toll Free: 1-800-265-1403
The New Mexico YFP is a non-profit collaborative committed to providing support to young fathers. This is done through helping them to improve their parenting skills, increase their educational levels, and expand employment capabilities. The project was created in recognition of the need for outreach to young fathers in New Mexico. The YFP also realizes the importance of acknowledging young fathers for taking on the responsibilities of providing a better life for themselves and their children. YFP sites are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces/Anthony Areas, Santa Fe, and Taos. Funders include the US DHHS/Office of Population Affairs/Office of Family Planning, New Mexico State Departments of Health, Income Security, and Children, Youth & Families, foundations and community based organizations and agencies. For more information contact:
YDI Head Start/Early Head Start
6301 Central NW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
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
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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:
Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED)
Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Child Support Division Director: Gary Dart
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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. The Summit will continue in the summer of 2005.
Delta Community Action Head Start
2800 NW 36th, Suite 221
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
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:
Little Dixie Community Action Agency Head Start
502 West Duke
Hugo, OK 74743
The fatherhood initiative program for the Little Dixie Community Action Agency Head Start goes by the title, M. I. A. (Men In Action) Fatherhood Initiative Program. The overall objective of the Little Dixie Head Start M.I.A. Fatherhood Initiative Program to help fathers who are "Missing In Action" become "Men In Action." Goals of the M.I.A. Fatherhood Initiative Program are: Create an awareness pertaining to the need for involved father figures; Increase father figure participation in the Head Start centers; Increase father figure involvement in the lives of their children; and Improve the needs and situations in the lives of their fathers. M.I.A. involves individual members of the communities and organizations on a local, state, and federal level, and includes collaborations with various local, religious and community organizations.
The M. I. A. Program Tools for Father Involvement
Child Support Enforcement Division
Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
CSE Fatherhood Contact: Michael Hayes
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78701
National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)
Southwest Region Office
11940 Jollyville Road, Suite 125-S
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 453-5056
Fax: (512) 453-5063
The Southwest Region of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) seeks to improve the health and well-being of children by reducing father absence and promoting responsible fatherhood. The NFI defines father absence as a lack of physical, emotional, or spiritual connection between fathers and their children. The primary message of the NFI is that fathers play a unique and irreplaceable role in children's development. NFI conducts the following activities: 1) coordinates a multi-media, public awareness and education campaign on the consequences of father absence and the need to promote responsible fatherhood; 2) organizes Community Fatherhood Forums across the region; and 3) operates the Texas Fatherhood Resource Center (TFRC), which provides individuals and community-based organizations with fatherhood-related resource materials.
This spiritually-based organization helps fathers understand and develop their role. They specialize in community events such as fatherhood seminars, essay contests and father-to-father small groups designed to encourage and support men in their role as dads.
Central Texas Fatherhood Initiative (CTFI)
Steven Durand, Executive Director
PO Box 23385
Waco, TX 76702
info @ 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 childrens lives. Through collaborative relationships with various sectors of the community, CTFI focuses upon five key areas: (1) educating the general public about the importance of positive father involvement in the lives of children; (2) increasing the knowledge levels of fathers regarding the negative outcomes of father absence and the positive benefits of father involvement; (3) mentoring and supporting at-risk adolescent males before they become fathers; (4) increasing the knowledge levels of fathers regarding the skill sets necessary for the development of healthy marriages; and (5) providing support for noncustodial fathers in order to help them remain emotionally connected to their children. While headquartered in Waco, Texas, CTFI provides services to organizations and families throughout Central Texas.
Center for Successful Fathering, Inc.
Eric Whitfield, Interim Executive Director
13740 Research Boulevard, Suite L-2
Austin, TX 78750
eric @ fathering.org
Founded on the belief that children need the balance of a mom and a dad. Its mission is to educate and equip both men and women for the essential role fathers play in raising their children.
Strong Fathers-Strong Families
J. Michael Hall, M.Ed.
P.O. Box 136188
Fort Worth, Texas 76136
mikehall @ 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)
Charles Scoma, Chair
Post Office Box 820010
Fort Worth, TX 76182
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.
Region 19 Educational Services Center Head Start/Early Head Start
6611 Boeing Drive
El Paso, TX 79925
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.
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."
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Last updated August 1, 2005