Supporting Fathers.

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This brief on a comprehensive approach to encouraging engaged fatherhood begins by discussing the importance of fathers and reviewing the different types of father-focused programs: employment-focused, nurturing programs, and healthy marriage programs. The Seedco Fatherhood Initiative Pilot Program is then described. Launched in 2006, as part of a statewide pilot funded through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative, the program draws on earlier fatherhood programs and principles of behavioral economics to use an employment model that first addresses access to jobs and benefits. The program also works with community-based partners to provide intensive case management and counseling, parenting training, legal services, financial counseling, access to income-enhancing supports, and child support order payment incentives. During the pilot, legal assistance was among the most heavily utilized of the services provided and positively correlated with a participant's ability to find a job. The pilot met its goals of helping 56% of participants find employment, and led to the June 2010 launch of the Seedco Dads at Work Program that expanded services to include an on-site mental health component. The success of the Dads at Work Program in helping noncustodial parents enter the workforce, meet their financial obligations, and have a positive impact on the lives of their children is emphasized. 9 references.

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