Presenation - National Dropout Prevention Center

Fatherhood Engagement in Children's
Presentation by the
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
Fatherhood Engagement in Children's
National Dropout Prevention Network
Conference, Orlando, FL
October 16, 2012
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse Presenters:
Kenneth Braswell, Director
Nigel Vann, Expert Consultant
Our Goals Today
• Take a quick look at the research on outcomes
connected to fathers’ engagement in schools.
• Introduce you to the work of the National
Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.
• Hear about the work some of you are doing to
engage dads.
• Share practical ways for dads to be more involved
in schools and their children’s education.
• Provide resource ideas and recommendations.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
• Office of Family Assistance (OFA) funded national resource for fathers,
practitioners, researchers, policy makers, the public at-large, and all
who are serving or interested in supporting strong fathers and families.
• Visit the NRFC:
• Contact any of our staff: [email protected]
• Please encourage any fathers or fatherhood practitioners to contact
our national call center toll-free at 1 (877) 4DAD411
Facebook: Fatherhoodgov Twitter: @Fatherhoodgov
NRFC Director: Kenneth Braswell, Sr.
e-mail: [email protected]
NRFC Manager: Patrick J. Patterson
e-mail: [email protected]
National Call Center for Dads and
• The call center is a direct gateway between the
NRFC and the general public.
• We listen to and address questions and concerns
from fathers, professionals and other family
members and stakeholders.
• Contact us by toll free phone or e-mail:
– 1 (877) 4DAD411
– [email protected]
• Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9AM5PM EST.
National Responsible Fatherhood
Clearinghouse Overview
Resources are available for:
• Dads looking for tips, hints and activities for dads
and kids (see the DadTalk Blog and the "For Dads"
corner at
• Fatherhood programs looking to get started or
expand – (check out the "For Programs" section).
• Researchers and policy makers looking for the
latest on responsible fatherhood (search our
Twitter @Fatherhoodgov. Use #Fatherhoodgov
National Responsible Fatherhood
Clearinghouse Overview
Annual Media Campaign
Fatherhood Buzz Public Service Announcements
Twitter @Fatherhoodgov. Use #Fatherhoodgov
What Does the Research Tell Us?
When fathers are not involved in their children’s education, their children are:
• 2 times more likely to drop out of school.
• 2 times more likely to repeat a grade in school.
When fathers are involved in their children’s education, their children:
• Develop stronger language and social skills.
• Enjoy school more.
• Get higher grades.
• Participate in more extracurricular activities.
• Are less likely to repeat a grade or drop out.
“Bottom line: the closer the connection between father and child, the
better off they both are now and in the future” (Kyle Pruett, Fatherneed, 2000)
Research by John Gottman
Children with “emotionally available” dads:
• Do better in school
• Have better peer relationships
• Relate better with teachers
Children without emotionally available dads
are more likely to do poorly in school, fight
with friends and suffer poor health.
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, 1998
From National PTA Association
• Studies show students perform better when
mothers and fathers are both involved in the
education of their children.
• Men and women think differently and bring
different perspectives and skills to school and
PTA activities.
• School communities and PTAs thrive when
both men and women participate.
How can we better engage dads in
• What has worked for you?
• What obstacles/barriers have you had to deal
General Tips for Engaging Dads
• Begin by examining our own experiences and biases.
Assume dads do want to be involved.
• Utilize strategies, handouts, activities that:
Encourage reflection
Provide knowledge
Teach skills
NRFC Resources -- Webinars
• Fatherhood Buzz - Back to School Initiative: Effective
Strategies for Increasing Father Involvement in
Schools – a webinar presentation August 23,2012
– This webinar provided ideas and resources to help increase father
involvement in schools and their children’s education. Information was
provided on various initiatives that have helped engage fathers and father
figures, inspire children, reduce bullying, and generally improve the
educational environment in order that men may become more involved in the
lives of their children.
August 2012 Webinar Presenters and
Internet Resources
• Dennis Bega, Acting National Director of Regional Operations,
Office of Communications and Outreach, US Department of
• Betsy Landers, President, National Parent Teacher Association
• Philip Jackson, Founder and Executive Director, The Black Star
• J. Michael Hall, President and Founder, Strong Fathers Strong Families.
Six recent back-to-school tips
from US Dept of Education
Share with moms and dads (from
Visit the School.
Introduce Yourself.
Participate in Activities.
Make Homework a Priority.
Take Charge of TV.
Advice from National PTA
• Use specific messaging aimed at men – use
summary points and bulleted lists.
• Make it relevant to men.
• Create volunteer opportunities and special events
for men.
• Have clear agendas for meetings.
• Publicize and celebrate male involvement to
encourage others to participate.
• Just ask them.
Invite the Fathers in
Math Nights
Reading Nights
Science Nights
Make it relevant – and about the kids
Photos from – see activity ideas there and at
Reach out to all father figures
• Not all dads are in the home, but that doesn’t
mean they don’t want to be involved.
• Reach out to granddads, stepdads, uncles and
other male role models in a child’s life too.
• “Stick to your message of father involvement
and allow the children to choose to bring their
father figure, whoever he may be” (J. Michael
Reach the fathers through the kids
• Send homework assignments home that
require input from dad – e.g. ask kids to
interview their dad (or other father figure)
and report back; ask them to do something
together and report back.
• Use homework assignments to involve all
family members in the home – e.g. family
tree, photo album, family stories.
Start with the Moms
• Ask moms to invite dads in e.g. for activities or
events, to attend parent-teacher meetings, to
join PTA, to visit the class and read to kids.
• Listen to any concerns from mom, but be
ready to talk about the benefits of father
involvement as appropriate.
Help all staff be father friendly
• Use staff trainings, meetings, etc to talk about
the importance of father involvement and
discuss strategies to bring dads in.
• Make sure agency/school environment is
father friendly – posters, brochures, general
• Don’t just say “parent,” say mother and father.
NRFC Resources
Quick Tips for Dads – from
• Check your child’s homework, make sure to see what was assigned,
not just what was finished.
• Join a parent organization at your child's school, like the PTA, to
show your child that you care about how he or she does in school.
• Be a chaperone at your child’s next school function or field trip.
• Talk regularly with your child’s coaches, teachers, and club leaders.
• Volunteer with your child’s sports team. Bring water, or oranges to a
game, or help keep score.
• Get everyone in the family a library card, and start visiting! Not sure
where the nearest library is, try searching online, or ask your child’s
Reading With Your Child
sample activity from Parents as Teachers
Reading aloud to children:
• Helps them hear the sounds of speech so they are able to
speak them and later read them.
• Helps dads form attachments with kids.
• Introduces children to new ideas and concepts and exposes
them to proper sentence structure, which is not always used
in everyday language.
• Means they are more likely to enjoy reading themselves as
they grow up.
• Associates reading with love, comfort and pleasure if you
cuddle while you read.
*from Parents as Teachers curriculum “Focus on Fathering” (available for free download at
Video with Shared Reading Tips
See this interesting and informative video for
dads, produced by the University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences, on You Tube
Contact Us
[email protected] | 877-4DAD411
• Kenneth Braswell: [email protected]
• Nigel Vann: [email protected]
NRFC Team –
• Lisa Washington-Thomas, NRFC COTR: [email protected]
• Patrick Patterson, NRFC Manager: [email protected]
• Ed Lawson, Outreach Coordinator:
[email protected]
• Matt Crews, Outreach Specialist: [email protected]

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