Guide for Father Involvement in Systems of Care
Fathers are important to the development and well-being of their children. Coinciding with Father’s Day, the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health released an updated Guide for Father Involvement in Systems of Care* to share information about the positive influences of fathers on their children’s lives and potential negative consequences when they are not involved. The guide offers strategies for systems and families to help fathers become more involved.
Studies consistently show that children with involved, loving fathers are much more likely to do well in school; have healthy self-esteem; exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior; and avoid high-risk behaviors—such as drug use, truancy, and delinquent activity—than children who have uninvolved fathers (Horn & Sylvester, 2002). Financial support from fathers is important, but data show that outcomes improve through both their monetary contributions and high-quality interactions with their children.
New generations of fathers, including those from different ethnic/racial groups, are engaging in a “new fathering” paradigm that takes the best from what they were taught and combines it with what they strive to be as fathers. The guide specifically addresses strategies for working with Hispanic/Latino, African American, and Native American fathers. It provides tips about involving grandfathers; fathers who are young; gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning fathers; and those in families who are involved in the child welfare system. The guide also addresses challenges of working with dads who are incarcerated, and those who are involved in substance abuse.
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