One of the goals of fatherhood programming is to improve the lives of children by enhancing fathers’ emotional and financial support and encouraging healthy family dynamics. Programs do this through a focus on child development and appropriate parenting skills, the value of fathers’ positive engagement with their children, and the provision of connections to social support systems for fathers. However, rural fatherhood programs may need to address these topics in unique and creative ways due to some of the practical challenges of providing services in rural areas.
Community partnerships can help fatherhood programs in many ways. They can increase the range of available services, enhance recruitment and retention efforts, and help fathers gain access to employment and training opportunities. Forming an effective partnership with the local child support agency can be particularly helpful for programs working with noncustodial fathers who are struggling to maintain regular child support payments. This case study describes the development of such a partnership in a rural area of central California (Merced County) and provides an overview of lessons…
Brief, NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
Roughly one in five people and more than one in 10 men between the ages of 18 and 44 in the United States live in rural communities. Although rural and urban fathers are similar in many ways, there are significant differences shaping their lives and opportunities that have implications for fatherhood programs. For instance, program staff working in rural communities often report that higher rates of unemployment, lower educational attainment, limited job opportunities, and lack of transportation translate to challenges that are difficult to address and unique to rural communities. This…
One of the defining features of the “American Dream” is the ability to succeed despite being born indisadvantaged circumstances. But upward mobility, in the sense of doing better than your parents,appears to be on the wane. There is however a great deal of variation across the nation in ratesof upward mobility, and some of the greatest variation lies in the nation’s rural heartland. Whilesome rural counties exhibit the nation’s lowest rates of upward mobility, others can still lay claimto being “lands of opportunity,” ensuring that young residents are prepared to take on adulthoodand work…
The purpose of this research brief is to highlight the unique challenges – and the strengths – of rural communities and provide suggestions for integrating culturally responsive healthy relationship education into existing safety-net services to strengthen rural families in poverty. (Author abstract)
While the 2016 election brought to light the bleak employment picture for men in rural America, an analysis of Census data reveals similar numbers of out-of-work men in many major cities.
This brief is based on data from 444 rural mothers across 13 states who had low incomes and young children. The data is from the USDA Hatch funded Multi-State Project, “Interactions of Individual, Family, Community, and Policy Contexts on the Mental and Physical Health of Diverse Rural Low Income Families”, known as NC1171 Rural Families Speak about Health. (Author abstract)
In an effort to support the Administration's Fatherhood Initiative, intended to strengthen the role of fathers in the American family, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) through its Office of Beneficiary Services, Medicaid Bureau, provided funding for an outreach effort that focused on Medicaid fathers in rural Tennessee. This project, consisting of three focus groups, was done in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health (DPH). The focus groups were facilitated by staff from the Tennessee Valley Authority, a contractor in the region. (Author abstract).
This resource profiles the experiences of efforts in nine states to provide mutual self-help parent support groups to fathers, grandparents raising grandchildren, icarcerated parents, parents raising children with special needs, parents in recovery, and rural parents. The document describes the contextual factors these groups face, and provides information on the different strategies states used to best meet the needs of families. Some strategies worked well in certain states and not as well in others. Geographic, demographic, and cultural variables impact service delivery. A range of…