Monday, August 30, 2010

Responsible Fatherhood

Actively involved fathers have a positive impact on the lives of their children and have a positive effect on the community as a whole. The issue of responsible fatherhood is an established priority for the Administration, and has been addressed in legislation in Congress and across the states. Engaging non-custodial fathers in child welfare cases is another way to support children through responsible fatherhood efforts. Two new resources were recently released by the National Quality Improvement Center on Nonresident Fathers and the Child Welfare System to support judges and attorneys in reaching out to non-custodial fathers whose children are placed in the child welfare system.

For policymakers, the Department of Health and Human Services has a Why Focus on Fathers?
Fact Sheet about what policymakers should know and what they can do to engage fathers. The fact sheet includes the research establishing the importance of engaging all parents and the ways in which policymakers can effectively support that engagement. The fact sheet recommendations include:
  • Review policies within the child support and welfare agencies, judicial and educational systems to determine whether laws, regulations and policies deter or prevent father involvement.
  • Develop flexible service delivery options within welfare and child support agencies that address the needs of different types of families referral to services, traditional enforcement or diversion.
  • Provide access to mediation and parenting plan development to never-married families similar to the way these services are made available to divorcing parents.

For more information on responsible fatherhood visit the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.

For more policies to support
building strong and stable families.