Many fathers face barriers that limit their ability to provide for and nurture their families. As stakeholders invested in fathers, families, and communities, we must understand the circumstances and needs of all fathers and ensure that program services are inclusive and designed to meet their diverse needs. This is particularly important in serving low-income fathers and fathers returning to their community after a period of incarceration as their circumstances often present additional barriers and challenges that necessitate additional support.
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), a national resource funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Assistance (OFA), invites you to join a 2-day virtual event focused on promising practices that create equitable access for all fathers.
Workshops were organized around the topics of Diversity, Reentry, Inclusion, Vision, and Employment (DRIVE) to encourage attendees to Lead the DRIVE to fatherhood excellence. Presenters included researchers, practitioners, and fathers who will share their lived experiences.
During this event, we:
- Examined policies that negatively impact fathers and limit access.
- Highlighted policies and strategies that increase access to services for fathers.
- Discussed racial equity and inclusion in fatherhood program delivery.
- Reflected on the experience of previously incarcerated fathers as they return to their families and communities and learn about successful strategies to help them navigate their journeys.
- Learned how program leaders have shared their visions for success with program staff, funders, fathers, and policy makers.
- Shared and discussed qualitative and quantitative research findings about low-income fathers and disseminate best and promising practices that address their needs.
This page reflects the Program Book (PDF - 3.16 MB) of the 2-day Virtual Event and contains recordings (as available, with permission) for the program sessions.
12:15 - 1:00 PM | Fathers Panel – Strategies that Fatherhood Programs Can Implement to Ease the Reentry of Fathers Back into the Community
A panel of fathers will discuss their experiences upon returning to their families and communities after a period of incarceration. The session will focus on barriers to successful reentry and provide tips for how fatherhood programs and other community service providers can help ease the transition for fathers and their families.
1:15 - 2:00 PM | DIVERSITY – Best Practices for Ensuring that Services are Responsive to the Diverse Needs of Fathers
Fatherhood programs serve fathers from a wide variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. This session will examine ways to ensure that services are designed and delivered in a culturally competent manner that is respectful of and responsive to the needs of all fathers and their families.
2:30 - 3:15 PM | REENTRY – An Overview of Pre-Release Services and Ongoing Support to Help Returning Fathers Overcome Reentry Challenges
Fathers returning to their communities after a period of incarceration often face challenges related to issues such as economic stability, employment, housing, physical and mental health, and reconnecting with their families. Presenters will discuss the importance of providing pre-release services plus ongoing support with employment, housing, and other needs after release.
3:30 - 4:15 PM | INCLUSION – Methods for Ensuring That All Dads are Welcomed, Celebrated, and Included
What does inclusive service look like? How do successful programs ensure that all fathers are welcome, celebrated, and included in all aspects of program services? This session will look at ways to assess the father-friendliness of an organization and create inclusive program policies, procedures, and attitudes.
12:30 - 1:30 PM | Premiere of Dadication Documentary and Panel Discussion
During this session, the NRFC will premier the DADication documentary which features fathers from the individual #Dadication PSAs.
- Cosette Bowles, Founder, CEO, Anthem Strong Families
- Dzu Bui, Vice President, Campaign Development, Ad Council
- Sheldon Candis, Writer and Director
- Durrell Lyons, DADication Father
- Tina Naidoo, Executive Director, Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative
- Armon Perry, PhD, Professor and BSW Program Director, University of Louisville
- Joseph Stiltner, DADication Father
2:00 - 2:45 PM | VISION – Leadership Qualities that Lead to Engaging and Sustainable Fatherhood Initiatives
Careful planning and design are important for ensuring the success and sustainability of an effective fatherhood program. This requires the leadership and vision of organizational and program leaders. In this session, two fatherhood visionaries will share their approaches to establishing supportive fatherhood initiatives, ensuring buy-in of fathers and staff, and managing program sustainability.
3:00 - 3:45 PM | EMPLOYMENT – Innovative Approaches to Enhance the Economic Stability of Fathers and Their Families
Employment services are an essential component of any program that works with low-income fathers. In this session, we will hear from practitioners who have used innovative approaches to help fathers increase their educational qualifications, sharpen their job skills, connect with employers, and enhance the economic stability of themselves and their families.