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Reaching Out to Young Fathers


1986- Women's Opportunity and Resource Development (WORD) founded. ... Johann Schiller. Who We Serve. Futures Data for Enrolled Parents. July 2006-June 2007 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Reaching Out to Young Fathers

Reaching Out to Young Fathers
  • WORD / Futures Program
  • Center for Young Fathers
  • 2525 Palmer Suite 1
  • Missoula, Montana 59808
  • 406.543.3550
  • Presented by Ron Liszak
  • Project Coordinator

How it Started
  • 1986- Womens Opportunity and Resource
    Development (WORD) founded.
  • 1989- Futures program for teen parents begins.
  • 1999- Began pilot projects to serve young
  • 2000- Hired first male Teen Father Advocate.
  • 2006- Center for Young Fathers established
    through a 5 year federal Promoting Responsible
    Fatherhood grant.

Futures Program Changes
  • Hired a male case worker/advocate.
  • Increased outreach to fathers.
  • Trained staff to look for values, barriers,
    approaches for working w/ young men.
  • Created a father friendly atmosphere.
  • Examined what worked.
  • Made a commitment to continue funding and not cut
    the fatherhood part of the program.

Why Teen Fathers?
  • Research on the importance of fathers in the life
    of infants and children.
  • Young dads sometimes have a harder time
    connecting with their infants than young moms.
  • If the parents arent living together they each
    need support.
  • Approaches to working with young fathers may be

  • Infant scores on assessments of intellectual and
    motor development are higher with a fathers
    involvement the first six months of a childs
  • Babies are more socially responsive if a father
    is involved during the first months of life.
  • Infants cope better with strangers if a dad has
    been one of their primary caregivers.

Research (cont.)
  • Young children who receive basic care (meals
    prepared, baths, diaper changes, etc.) from their
    dad more than twice per week grow up to be the
    most compassionate adults.
  • Preschool boys contact with a loving father
    promotes intellectual development and self
  • Preschool girls do better in mathematics.

Research (cont.)
  • There is a decrease in the rage felt and
    expressed toward women by male children when they
    have a positive male role model.
  • Boys with an involved caring dad learn how to
    conduct themselves among men and how to treat
  • Girls with an involved caring dad learn how to
    relate to men and how to value themselves in the
    presence of men.

Research (cont.)
  • Regular father engagement reduces the frequency
    of behavioral problems in boys and psychological
    problems in young women.
  • Father engagement enhances cognitive development
    while decreasing criminality and economic

Research (cont.)
  • Fathers themselves benefit from nurturing
    interactions with their children. Child rearing
    has a civilizing effect on men encouraging them
    to develop cooperativeness, honesty, trust, self
    sacrifice, and other habits that can lead to
    success as an economic provider and a good

  • David Popenoe, Where's Papa, The Wilson
    Quarterly, Spring 1996
  • Kyle D. Pruett, Child Development, The Difference
    a Dad Makes,
  • FRC Report Vol.15, Number 1 Spring 1996
  • Sara Lipscomb, Fathers Matter, The Prevention
    Connection, Vol.III Issue 4 Winter 1999
  • Pamela M. Wilson MSW, Helping Young Dads Succeed,
    FLEducator, Spring 1997
  • Steve Duncan, Being a Great Dad, Family Matters,
    MSU Communications Services, August 2000
  • Charles A. Ballard, The Institute for Responsible
    Fatherhood and Family Revitalization, Fact Sheet,
  • A Call to Commitment Fathers' Involvement in
    Children's Learning, U.S. Dept. of Education,
    U.S. Dept. Health Human Services,
  • Multicultural Counseling With Teenage Fathers,
    Mark S. Kiselica
  • Father and Child Reunion, Warren Farrell

Barriers to contact with child
  • Young men who do not live with the mother of
    their child during pregnancy have a hard time
    accepting the reality of the child.
  • Moms and/or their parents / family dont want him
  • Young dads dont feel that they have anything to
  • Societal attitudes about teen parents.

The guys who fear becoming a father dont
understand that fathering is not something that
perfect men do, but something that perfects
men. -Frank S. Pittman M.D.
Non-Custodial Dads
  • Young fathers need individual support that
    parallels the support being given to the
    custodial mother of their child.
  • Most young men want to be good fathers but need
    help figuring out what that looks like.
  • Establishing a respectful relationship with the
    mother is the key to remaining involved with
    their child(ren).

Challenges for Young Dads
  • Age development
  • Risk taking behavior (alcohol, drugs, unprotected
    sex, legal concerns)
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Relationship issues
  • Access to child
  • Basic needs

Missoulas Native Population
  • Montana has 7 Indian Reservations representing 13
  • Missoula, with many social service agencies
    including the Missoula Indian Center, has a large
    urban American Indian population representing
    members of all of Montanas tribes as well as
    tribes from surrounding states.

Missoulas Native Population
  • Missoula has a population of 57,000, 92.6 are
    white 3.4 or 1,940 are American Indian and 1.9
    or 1,100 are multi racial.
  • Median income for American Indians is 18,454 and
    31,029 for whites.
  • Unemployment rate for American Indians is 14.6
    and 7.2 for whites.

Native American Dads
  • Develop cultural humility.
  • Acknowledge clients strengths with dignity and
  • Create an environment where people can tell their
  • Realize they are here because they have needs,
    help them to feel welcome and wanted.
  • Family Fun activities provide a good opportunity
    for them to check us out.
  • Welcome and accept all members of their extended
  • Every person who walks through our door has
    something to teach us.

The most important thing a father can do for his
children is to love their mother - David
O. Mckay
It is not flesh and blood but the Heart that
makes us fathers and sons. -Johann Schiller
Who We Serve
  • Futures Data for Enrolled Parents
  • July 2006-June 2007
  • 139 young parents were enrolled in the program.
    103 were mothers and 36 were fathers. 91
    children of these families also participated in
    Futures program activities. 96 of children were
    infants and toddlers aged three and under.

Who We Serve (06-07 cont.)
  • 100 of the young men we work with are low
  • 46 have experienced child abuse.
  • 53 are or have been homeless.
  • 78 are or have been involved in the criminal
    justice system.
  • 64 have drug / alcohol issues.
  • 89 have dropped out of high school.
  • 31 have received mental health counseling
  • 45 have been resource room students when they
    were in school.

Who We Serve (06-07 cont.)
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • 64 White, 33 Native American, 3 Hispanic
  • Trends
  • There was a 14 increase in the number of dads
    involved in the criminal justice system from the
    previous year.
  • Over 60 of dads had been in foster care at some
    time in their lives.
  • 89 of dads were high school dropouts at time of
  • 45 of dads reported receiving Resource Room
    services while in school.
  • 53 had been homeless.
  • Outcomes
  • 48 found or retained employment after enrolling
    in the program
  • 22 obtained a GED or high school diploma.
  • 53 gained parenting skills
  • 42 found or retained stable housing
  • 71 accessed support services

July 07-June 08 Data
  • 156 young parents were enrolled in the program
    this year 103 were mothers and 53 were fathers.
    86 parents were carried over from the previous
    year and 70 were newly enrolled. 137 children of
    these families also participated in Futures
    program activities. 96 of children were infants
    and toddlers aged three and under. 100 of young
    parents enrolled in Futures were low-income.

07-08 Data (cont.)
  • 40 of dads identified themselves as other than
    Caucasian (33 Native American, 4 Hispanic, 6
  • At enrollment, 23 of young fathers had attended
    a parenting class.
  • 57 have experienced homelessness.
  • 85 had dropped out of high school before
    enrolling in Futures.
  • 86 reported having a supportive relationship
    with their family.
  • 51 attended Family Fun activities.
  • 36 attended group at least once.
  • 19 attended educational workshops.
  • Outcomes
  • 68 found or retained employment.
  • 68 of fathers found or retained stable housing.
  • 91 accessed support services.
  • 53 received housing counseling.
  • 62 of fathers received educational or career
  • 8 received their GED while enrolled in Futures

Sometimes the poorest man Leaves his children
the richest Inheritance. -Ruth Renkel
What We Do For Dads
  • Identify strengths and assess needs
  • Develop educational vocational plan that
    includes short long term goals
  • Make referrals or assist with applications as
  • Provide ongoing assistance
  • Meet quarterly to assess goals and action plans
  • Twice-monthly Support Group
  • Monthly Family Fun Activity

What We Do For Dads (cont.)
  • Relationship based advocacy
  • Advocate and educate around legal issues
  • Help develop parenting plans
  • Financial literacy workshops
  • Relationship parenting workshops
  • Individual or couples counseling through
    partnership with a local mental health service.
  • Housing counseling
  • Mentor support

Sample Goal Plan
  • Futures
  • Individual Program Plan
  • Name__________________________________________Dat
  • Goal Key PR Parenting/Relationship, E
    Education, C Career, P Personal
  • Goal 1___________________________________________
  • Timeline Plan
  • Step 1__________________________________________D
  • Step 2__________________________________________D
  • Step 3__________________________________________D
  • What might be challenges to keep you from
    achieving your goal?
  • Anxiety_____ Medical Issues_____
  • Child Care_____ Mental Health (Depression)
  • Family_____ Money_____
  • Housing Issues_____ Motivation_____
  • Learning Disabilities_____ Skill Level
    (academic, computer etc.) _____
  • Job_____ Transportation _____

Fatherhood Involvement Inventory
  • Futures Fatherhood Involvement Inventory
  • __________________________________________________
  • Fathers Name_____________________________________
  • Age of Child___________________
  • Date of Interview_______________

  • 1. How often are you involved with your baby?
    (Circle one response)
  • 6. Six days a week or every day
    3. Once a week
  • 5. Four or five times a week
    2. Two times a month
  • 4. Two or three times a week
    1. Once a month

  • 0. Never
  • If answer is Never to this
    question, survey is finished

Inventory (cont.)
  • 2. How often do you do the following activities
    with your baby? (Circle one number for each
  • Everyday More than
    Once a More than Once a
    Less than Never

  • once a week week once a month
    month once a month
  • Feeding 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • Playing 6
    5 4 3
    2 1
  • Changing 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • diapers
  • Give a bath 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • Holding when 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • not crying
  • Holding when 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • is crying

Inventory (cont.)
  • Everyday More than
    Once a More than Once a
    Less than Never

  • once a week week once a month
    month once a month
  • Taking care of 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • when sick
  • Taking to 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • doctor
  • Cleaning up 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • child made mess
  • Cleaning up 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • messy child
  • Providing money 6 5
    4 3
    2 1
  • Providing clothes 6 5
    4 3
    2 1

Sample Workshop Evaluation
  • Name

    Workshop Date
  • Futures Workshop Evaluation
  • Part I. Please rate your level of agreement with
    each statement by circling a response.
  • 1. The workshop increased my knowledge of
    parenting plans.
  • Strongly Agree AgreeDisagreeStrongly Disagree
  • 2. The workshop was of high quality.
  • Strongly Agree AgreeDisagreeStrongly Disagree
  • Part II. Please respond to the following
    statement and question.
  • 1. One new thing I had not considered before
    today is
  • 2. How can future workshops on this topic be
  • 3. Would you like to begin working toward
    developing a parenting plan? _________

It is much easier to become a father than to be
one -Kent Nerbom
What We Have Learned
  • Trust Respect
  • Activities
  • Food
  • Comfortable / Father Friendly
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Incentives
  • Advocacy
  • Meeting Needs

Fathers, like mothers are not born, men grow
into fathers and fathering is a very important
stage of their development. -David Gottesman
Needs Assessment
  • Top Quality of life issues
  • 1.) Unemployment
  • 2.) Lack of education/job skills
  • 3.) Stress
  • Health issues
  • Based on the actual perceived needs data,
    depression is the primary health issue facing
    young fathers in Missoula

Priority PER Factors
  • Inability to Find and Sustain Regular Employment
  • Lack of awareness to programs available
  • Lack of awareness of the financial/educational
    benefits that may be gained through training
  • Low belief in self to succeed in pursuing
    educational or vocational training

Priority PER Factors (cont.)
  • Lack of Participation in Social Support Services
  • Unaware of the benefits of networking with other
    young fathers and advocates.
  • Lack of motivation/persistence in initiating
    socialization with other fathers.

My father used to play with my brother and me in
the yard. My mother would come out and say,
Youre tearing up the grass. Were not raising
grass, dad would reply, were raising
sons. -Harmon Killebrew
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Evaluation Plan
  • Through a contract with the Northwest Regional
    Educational Laboratory the Futures Center for
    Young Fathers is being evaluated in the following
  • Qualitative Sample
  • Quantitative Evaluation

Qualitative Evaluation
  • Research Questions
  • What factors contribute to retention and drop out
    of fathers in the program?
  • What are the barriers and strategies for young
    low-income fathers to be positively engaged with
    their children?
  • How do fathers change to be more positively
    involved in their childrens lives?
  • What factors impact the relationship of the
    mother of their child?

Qualitative Evaluation
  • Sample Two cohorts of two fathers (four total)
    will be selected to voluntarily participate.
  • Method Observations, interviews and examination
    of records will be conducted over a four year
    period. Each father will be tracked for two
    years two in the first two years of the grant
    and two in the second two year period.
  • Reports The fifth year will involve full
    analysis and final reporting. Preliminary reports
    will be provided at the end of each of the first
    four years.

Quantitative Evaluation
  • Goal 1 Increase employability and
    self-sufficiency of young fathers.
  • Objectives
  • Assist young fathers to identify barriers to
    personal family stability, develop action plans
    and review progress.
  • Assist young fathers to establish short long
    term educational and/or vocational goals.
  • Assist young fathers to enroll in appropriate
    training programs, college, or obtain employment
    that will lead to economic self-sufficiency
  • Assist young fathers to remain enrolled in and
    complete training, educational apprenticeship
    programs job placements.

Quantitative Evaluation
  • Goal 2 Support young fathers positive and
    consistent involvement in the economic, emotional
    and physical well being of their children.
  • Objectives
  • Provide young fathers with information about
    custody issues in Montana and referral to
    resources to assist with custody issues.
  • Assist fathers to increase financial support of
  • Provide resources and activities that build
    skills for responsible fatherhood.
  • Provide opportunities for fathers to actively
    engage with their children.
  • Provide opportunities for fathers to develop peer
    support and to increase their support network.

Quantitative Evaluation
  • Process measures include gathering and
    reporting data on the number served and timing of
    activities to provide feedback on how well
    activities are meeting targets for providing
    services to the desired number of clients within
    a reasonable period of time. All reports will be
    based on aggregate data and will not include any
    individual or personal identifiers.

Staff Training
  • Wise Guys- male responsibility training
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention www.sportinsociety.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Intuitive Parenting
  • Duluth Emerge Trainings working with men who
  • White Bison- Fathers Sons of Tradition
  • Teen Parents The Law
  • Healthy Indian Families
  • The Adolescent Brain

  • Local and community pass through funding
  • State agency funds
  • Foundation grants
  • Local Support
  • Federal grant USDHHS Administration for Children
    Families Office of Family Assistance Promoting
    Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Project
  • Never give up on funding the work with dads, even
    when money gets tight.

It doesnt matter who my father was, it matters
who I remember he was. - Anne Sexton
Contact Us
  • WORD Futures Program
  • 2525 Palmer suite 1
  • Missoula, Montana 59808
  • Ron Liszak
  • Project Coordinator
  • 406.543.3550 ext 288