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Skills and Strategies for 
Working with Fathers 
1
2 
P 
a 
r 
t 
I 
Skills and Strategies for 
Working with Fathers
3 
Today’s Learning Objectives 
Explain the importance 
of father involvement 
and the impact of father 
absence 
Assess p...
4 
THE IMPORTANCE OF 
FATHERS
5 
Activity: 
Media Fathers 
What makes a 
“good” father? 
1. Think of a male from television, 
movies, books, or news tha...
6 
24 million (1 out of 3 
children) live absent their 
biological father
Importance of Father Involvement 
7 
 Healthy child development 
 Gender identity 
 Responsible sexuality 
 Emotional ...
8 
Negative Outcomes of Father 
Absence 
 Poverty 
 Child maltreatment 
 Delinquency 
 Emotional and behavioral proble...
9 
Critical Father Roles 
 Provider 
 Protector 
 Nurturer 
 Teacher
10 
Protector and Provider 
 The ability to provide and 
protect is still connected 
with the average man’s 
sense of sel...
11 
Nurturer and Teacher 
 May look different 
in mothers and 
fathers but father 
nurturing is just as 
important to a 
...
12 
Self-Awareness and Work 
with Men 
Our values in the context of 
relationships with men
Fathers in Different Situations 
Marriage 
Most often associated with 
positive outcomes for children 
13 
Maltreatment ma...
Fathers in Different Situations cont 
14 
Cohabitating parents 
A lot like marriage, but not exactly the 
same, especially...
Fathers in Different Situations cont 
Incarcerated fathers 
May never have learned to be a good father 
15 
Most incarcera...
Fathers in Different Situations cont 
Multiple Fathers 
Which man is “dad” in the eyes of the child? 
Each one can 
potent...
Fathers in Different Situations cont 
17 
Boyfriends 
May not have same 
emotional commitment as 
a biological father 
Pos...
Fathers in Different Situations cont 
18 
Stepfathers 
Research varies as to the risk 
they pose to children. 
Carefully a...
19 
Process for Working with Fathers 
IDENTIFY 
LOCATE 
and 
ENGAGE 
INVOLVE
20 
PATERNITY, 
LEGITIMATION, AND 
DILIGENT SEARCH
21 
Father Definitions 
 Biological Father: The man whose 
sperm caused the baby to be 
conceived. 
 Putative or alleged...
22 
Father Definitions cont 
 Legal Father: The man who: 
a) Has legally adopted the child; 
b) Was married to the biolog...
23 
Paternity vs. Legitimation 
 Paternity: establishes that a man is the 
biological father of a child, and 
therefore h...
24 
Paternity Establishment 
 Both parents sign Voluntary Paternity 
Acknowledgment form 
 Legal determination of patern...
25 
Legitimation 
To legitimate a child in Georgia, the 
biological father has two options: 
(1) Administrative legitimati...
26 
Process for Working with Fathers 
IDENTIFY 
LOCATE 
and 
ENGAGE 
INVOLVE
27 
IDENTIFYING AND 
ADDRESSING BARRIERS 
TO FATHER 
INVOLVEMENT
28 
Barriers Vs. 
Excuses 
Generate a “Top Five 
List” of the reasons 
fathers give for being 
absent, not being 
involved...
29 
Barriers to Father Involvement 
 Case manager and systemic bias 
 Overburdened case managers
30 
Barriers to Father Involvement 
 Personal circumstances of the father 
 Psychological pain
Barriers to Father Involvement 
31 
cont 
 Case manager’s reluctance to involve a 
male perpetrator 
 History of intimat...
Barriers to Father Involvement cont 
32 
 Not knowing he’s a dad 
 Father has a new family to think about 
 Remarriage ...
Barriers to Father Involvement 
33 
cont 
 Geographical distance 
 Lack of finances
Barriers to Father Involvement cont 
34 
 Lack of confidence in parenting skills 
 Lack of appropriate male role models
Barriers to Father Involvement 
35 
cont 
 Frustration in dealing with legal system 
and bureaucracies
……for your attendance and participation! 
36 
Thank you…… 
This session brought to you by…….
P 
a 
r 
t 
2 
37 
Skills and Strategies 
for Working with Fathers
38 
Today’s Learning Objectives 
Develop strategies for 
addressing barriers to 
father involvement 
Develop strategies fo...
39 
IDENTIFYING AND 
ADDRESSING BARRIERS 
TO FATHER 
INVOLVEMENT
40 
Values Voting 
Listen as each 
statement is read. 
Decide which option 
best represents your 
position on the 
stateme...
41
42 
Mothers Gatekeeping 
The father’s relationship with the mother 
(or maternal grandmother) may be the 
greatest determi...
43 
Strategies for Enlisting 
Mothers’ Support 
Be aware of your approach 
and the way you 
communicate with mothers 
abou...
44 
Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ 
Support 
Explain: 
 The importance of father 
involvement 
 Father has a legal ri...
45 
Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ 
Support cont 
Listen: 
 To what the mother is saying 
about the father. 
 To what...
46 
Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ 
Support cont 
Address safety concerns 
of mother and child
47 
Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ 
Support cont 
Encourage mother to look beyond personal 
issues with the father 
 L...
48 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement 
Five categories for addressing the barriers to 
father involvement. 
Take ...
49 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement 
Prevent 
Prevent further child maltreatment and 
emotional harm to childre...
50 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement cont 
Prepare 
Prepare fathers by helping them attain 
the knowledge, skill...
51 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement cont 
Establish 
Help fathers firmly establish their 
relationship with the...
52 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement cont 
Involve 
Involve fathers in the child’s life. Most 
critically, invol...
53 
Addressing Barriers to Father 
Involvement cont 
Support 
Provide fathers with ongoing support 
that will help them su...
54 
FATHER INVOLVEMENT: 
ASSESSMENT, CASE 
PLANNING AND SERVICES
55 
Factors Associated with 
Fathers and Maltreatment 
 Poverty, underemployment, or 
unemployment 
 Substance abuse 
 ...
56 
Child Support Typology 
Able & Willing To 
Pay 
Willing But Unable 
To Pay 
Able But Unwilling 
To Pay 
Unwilling And ...
57 
Fathers and Decision Making 
Meetings 
Fathers should be 
engaged in the same 
manner as mothers in 
the planning and ...
Fathers and the Confidentiality 
58 
Issue 
Do not allow 
concerns about 
confidentiality to 
become and excuse 
for not e...
59 
Father Friendly Services 
 Value fathers and the role they play 
 Address fathers’ needs 
 Are supportive; not puni...
60 
Case Managers as a Resource 
For Fathers 
Purposeful visits with fathers: 
 Review of safety, permanency, and well-be...
61 
PURPOSEFUL 
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT 
FATHERS
62 
Empathy 
 Father’s perception: CPS is a threat to 
me and my family. I am a failure 
because I did not protect my chi...
63 
Respect 
 Father’s perception: I am being 
disrespected by the case manager, “the 
system.” 
 Case manager’s respons...
64 
Genuineness 
 Father’s perception: I don’t trust DFCS, 
I don’t trust this case manager. This is 
going to turn out b...
65 
Conversation vs. Interview
66 
Communication with Male 
Clients 
 Acknowledge that it can be difficult for a 
man to ask for and accept help 
 Demo...
67 
Communication with Male 
Clients 
 Understand that he may not know 
specifically what to do in a certain 
situation w...
……for your attendance and participation! 
68 
Thank you…… 
This session brought to you by…….
69 
“This project was supported in part by the Governor’s Office for 
Children and Families through the U.S. Department of...
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Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers 2014

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Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers 2014

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Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers 2014

  1. 1. Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers 1
  2. 2. 2 P a r t I Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers
  3. 3. 3 Today’s Learning Objectives Explain the importance of father involvement and the impact of father absence Assess personal values and how they influence work with fathers Explain how different life situations of fathers may impact their involvement Explain paternity establishment and legitimation processes in Georgia Identify strategies for identifying and locating non-residential fathers Recognize different barriers to father involvement 1 2 3 4 5 6
  4. 4. 4 THE IMPORTANCE OF FATHERS
  5. 5. 5 Activity: Media Fathers What makes a “good” father? 1. Think of a male from television, movies, books, or news that you would like to have as a father. Write the name on an index card. Under the name, write why you would like to have this person as your father. 2. Think of a male from television, movies, books, or news that they would not want as a father Write this name on the back of the card. Under the name, write why you would not want this person as their father. 3. Share your two names and reasons you would or would not want this male as a father.
  6. 6. 6 24 million (1 out of 3 children) live absent their biological father
  7. 7. Importance of Father Involvement 7  Healthy child development  Gender identity  Responsible sexuality  Emotional and social commitment  Financial security
  8. 8. 8 Negative Outcomes of Father Absence  Poverty  Child maltreatment  Delinquency  Emotional and behavioral problems  Rates of incarceration  Teenage pregnancy  Drug and alcohol abuse  Low educational achievement
  9. 9. 9 Critical Father Roles  Provider  Protector  Nurturer  Teacher
  10. 10. 10 Protector and Provider  The ability to provide and protect is still connected with the average man’s sense of self and sense of manhood.  Feelings of inadequacy in this role can influence father involvement.
  11. 11. 11 Nurturer and Teacher  May look different in mothers and fathers but father nurturing is just as important to a child’s well-being  Fathers serve as an important guide to the outside world.
  12. 12. 12 Self-Awareness and Work with Men Our values in the context of relationships with men
  13. 13. Fathers in Different Situations Marriage Most often associated with positive outcomes for children 13 Maltreatment may be an indication of problems in the marital relationship
  14. 14. Fathers in Different Situations cont 14 Cohabitating parents A lot like marriage, but not exactly the same, especially when children are involved. May mean less commitment and stability
  15. 15. Fathers in Different Situations cont Incarcerated fathers May never have learned to be a good father 15 Most incarcerated men are fathers, but most have never been married and weren’t living with their children at the time of their arrest.
  16. 16. Fathers in Different Situations cont Multiple Fathers Which man is “dad” in the eyes of the child? Each one can potentially help to keep the child safe. The task is to determine which one will do it. 16
  17. 17. Fathers in Different Situations cont 17 Boyfriends May not have same emotional commitment as a biological father Poses a higher risk to children
  18. 18. Fathers in Different Situations cont 18 Stepfathers Research varies as to the risk they pose to children. Carefully assess the family dynamics and the role the stepfather plays in the family system.
  19. 19. 19 Process for Working with Fathers IDENTIFY LOCATE and ENGAGE INVOLVE
  20. 20. 20 PATERNITY, LEGITIMATION, AND DILIGENT SEARCH
  21. 21. 21 Father Definitions  Biological Father: The man whose sperm caused the baby to be conceived.  Putative or alleged father: A man who someone claims is the biological father of the baby.  Presumed Father: A man who was married to the baby’s mother at the time of the baby’s birth, or shortly thereafter.
  22. 22. 22 Father Definitions cont  Legal Father: The man who: a) Has legally adopted the child; b) Was married to the biological mother of that child at the time the child was conceived or was born, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order c) Married the legal mother of the child shortly after the child was born and recognized the child as his own d) Has legitimated the child by a final order
  23. 23. 23 Paternity vs. Legitimation  Paternity: establishes that a man is the biological father of a child, and therefore has a duty to support the child he has fathered.  Legitimation: establishes a biological father’s legal rights concerning a child who was “born out of wedlock.”
  24. 24. 24 Paternity Establishment  Both parents sign Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form  Legal determination of paternity  Paternity testing available through OCSS if father denies paternity  Names the biological father, obligates the biological father to pay child support, but does not entitle the biological father to visitation with the child.
  25. 25. 25 Legitimation To legitimate a child in Georgia, the biological father has two options: (1) Administrative legitimation through completion of the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment, including the Legitimation Section. (2) File a petition for legitimation with the court.
  26. 26. 26 Process for Working with Fathers IDENTIFY LOCATE and ENGAGE INVOLVE
  27. 27. 27 IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO FATHER INVOLVEMENT
  28. 28. 28 Barriers Vs. Excuses Generate a “Top Five List” of the reasons fathers give for being absent, not being involved, or not being more involved in their children’s lives. Record your list on a sheet of paper and then decide if the reason listed is a Barrier or Excuse Lack of involvement – are there barriers or are we just hearing excuses?
  29. 29. 29 Barriers to Father Involvement  Case manager and systemic bias  Overburdened case managers
  30. 30. 30 Barriers to Father Involvement  Personal circumstances of the father  Psychological pain
  31. 31. Barriers to Father Involvement 31 cont  Case manager’s reluctance to involve a male perpetrator  History of intimate partner violence
  32. 32. Barriers to Father Involvement cont 32  Not knowing he’s a dad  Father has a new family to think about  Remarriage of either parent
  33. 33. Barriers to Father Involvement 33 cont  Geographical distance  Lack of finances
  34. 34. Barriers to Father Involvement cont 34  Lack of confidence in parenting skills  Lack of appropriate male role models
  35. 35. Barriers to Father Involvement 35 cont  Frustration in dealing with legal system and bureaucracies
  36. 36. ……for your attendance and participation! 36 Thank you…… This session brought to you by…….
  37. 37. P a r t 2 37 Skills and Strategies for Working with Fathers
  38. 38. 38 Today’s Learning Objectives Develop strategies for addressing barriers to father involvement Develop strategies for engaging mothers around the issue of father involvement Decide how to identify, locate and engage fathers in different situations Identify opportunities for involving fathers in the assessment and case planning processes Identify formal and informal support services for fathers Engage in purposeful conversations with fathers 1 2 3 4 5 6
  39. 39. 39 IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO FATHER INVOLVEMENT
  40. 40. 40 Values Voting Listen as each statement is read. Decide which option best represents your position on the statement:  Strongly Agree  Agree  Disagree  Strongly Disagree Our values about mothers, fathers, co-parenting, and relationships
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42 Mothers Gatekeeping The father’s relationship with the mother (or maternal grandmother) may be the greatest determinant of successful father involvement.
  43. 43. 43 Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ Support Be aware of your approach and the way you communicate with mothers about father involvement  Alleviate fears  Demonstrate respect  Be culturally sensitive  Tailor the approach to fit the family’s situation
  44. 44. 44 Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ Support Explain:  The importance of father involvement  Father has a legal right to see his children (legal father)  Children have a right to know their father
  45. 45. 45 Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ Support cont Listen:  To what the mother is saying about the father.  To what the father is saying about the mother  For values/beliefs impacting the mother’s willingness to involve the father
  46. 46. 46 Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ Support cont Address safety concerns of mother and child
  47. 47. 47 Strategies for Enlisting Mothers’ Support cont Encourage mother to look beyond personal issues with the father  Lifetime benefits to the child  Extra support for her during rough times
  48. 48. 48 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement Five categories for addressing the barriers to father involvement. Take actions that:  Prevent  Prepare  Establish  Involve  Support
  49. 49. 49 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement Prevent Prevent further child maltreatment and emotional harm to children by emphasizing to men their responsibility as fathers.
  50. 50. 50 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement cont Prepare Prepare fathers by helping them attain the knowledge, skills, and financial resources to adequately care for their children.
  51. 51. 51 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement cont Establish Help fathers firmly establish their relationship with their children. This includes the legal relationship and the parenting relationship
  52. 52. 52 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement cont Involve Involve fathers in the child’s life. Most critically, involve the father in the case process.
  53. 53. 53 Addressing Barriers to Father Involvement cont Support Provide fathers with ongoing support that will help them sustain beyond the life of the DFCS case
  54. 54. 54 FATHER INVOLVEMENT: ASSESSMENT, CASE PLANNING AND SERVICES
  55. 55. 55 Factors Associated with Fathers and Maltreatment  Poverty, underemployment, or unemployment  Substance abuse  Childhood history of abuse  Low sense of self-worth
  56. 56. 56 Child Support Typology Able & Willing To Pay Willing But Unable To Pay Able But Unwilling To Pay Unwilling And Unable To Pay
  57. 57. 57 Fathers and Decision Making Meetings Fathers should be engaged in the same manner as mothers in the planning and decision making process related to their children. This includes non-custodial, alleged or putative fathers.
  58. 58. Fathers and the Confidentiality 58 Issue Do not allow concerns about confidentiality to become and excuse for not engaging fathers!
  59. 59. 59 Father Friendly Services  Value fathers and the role they play  Address fathers’ needs  Are supportive; not punitive  Are respectful of gender differences in parenting  Where possible, provide positive male role models  Provide services at times and locations that are accessible to fathers  Provide an environment that is inviting to fathers
  60. 60. 60 Case Managers as a Resource For Fathers Purposeful visits with fathers:  Review of safety, permanency, and well-being issues and case plan goals/activities  Provide relevant resources  Follow up – ask if he has accessed the resources, what he thought about them, additional ideas/resources he came up with, changes made  Share “messages fathers need to hear”
  61. 61. 61 PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FATHERS
  62. 62. 62 Empathy  Father’s perception: CPS is a threat to me and my family. I am a failure because I did not protect my children.  Case Manager’s response: Demonstrate empathy (the ability to perceive and communicate with sensitivity the feelings and experiences of another person)
  63. 63. 63 Respect  Father’s perception: I am being disrespected by the case manager, “the system.”  Case manager’s response: Don’t provide a reason (by your actions, words, nonverbal communication, “attitude”) for father to accurately conclude that he is being disrespected.
  64. 64. 64 Genuineness  Father’s perception: I don’t trust DFCS, I don’t trust this case manager. This is going to turn out badly for me.  Case manager’s response: Be honest and authentic. Be consistent with what you say and do. Don’t give fathers a reason to accurately conclude that you are setting him up or “running a game” on him.
  65. 65. 65 Conversation vs. Interview
  66. 66. 66 Communication with Male Clients  Acknowledge that it can be difficult for a man to ask for and accept help  Demonstrate expertise ---show that you know something about men and have a toolbox for working with them  Send signals that you actually like men  Don’t assume he’s good at talking about his problems or that he knows what to expect from conversations with you
  67. 67. 67 Communication with Male Clients  Understand that he may not know specifically what to do in a certain situation with his child or his child’s mother  Don’t assume he’s a stereotypical guy  Don’t expect him to use feeling words  Acknowledge that he is a father
  68. 68. ……for your attendance and participation! 68 Thank you…… This session brought to you by…….
  69. 69. 69 “This project was supported in part by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590). Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590)."

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