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Fatherhood, Co-Parenting and Child Support information. Get a better of understanding of your rights as a parent before you go to court. We will also give you information on how to be a better father and co-parent with the mother. Our goal is to increase father's involvement in the family structure.

5 Ways to Be a Great Dad During Tough Times

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, March 02, 2017

5 Ways to Be a Great Dad During Tough Times

Posted by Christopher A. Brown from National Fatherhood Initiative


Whether dad is fighting drug addiction, joblessness, or with his spouse, men sometimes deal with tough times in unhealthy ways. Tough times often place great strain on families.

What can you do as a dad to maintain focus, strength and sanity during a tough season? You won't have all the answers and you can’t fix everything...but you can be there...and that's enough.

Here are five ways you can practice being a great dad today, even if you're going through tough times:

1) Look at your children and encourage them.
As a parent, you’re busy. But take time to look your child in the eye. Be your kid's biggest fan. Call out what they did right in their choices and actions. Call out what you like best about them. Tell them you love them today.

2) Love on your children.
Consider how you spend your time. We have said for years at NFI, “Children spell ‘love’: T-I-M-E.” If you always seem too busy for your children, they will feel neglected no matter how many times you say you love them.
In this movie, Kevin (dad) is an involved dad. He encourages his wife, often repeating the mantra, “It’s a good life…” to his wife in good times and in tough ones. He quietly cleans up the vomit when his daughter is sick in the middle of the night. No one asks him. No one needs to ask. He’s there for every trip to doctor. When his daughter is getting a feeding tube, he’s holding her head. He sells his motorcycle and works night and day to cover medical bills. He’s there.

3) Listen to your children.
Spend time listening to your children talk about their day. Ask them questions and listen to what they say and what they are not saying. Listening will only take a few minutes, but the impact will last a lifetime.
When Kevin misses his older daughters’ soccer game during all the busy time of his younger daughters’ sickness, she forgives her dad because she knows he’s more than his last mistake. He’s there, even when he’s not.

4) Leave memories with your children.
Create routines like reading to your child every night. We wrote 6 Tips on How to Show Your Child Reading is Awesome and it’s one of our most viewed post ever.
Maybe reading isn’t your thing. In the movie, dad gives his daughter a dog to help her feel better. No, this doesn’t heal her. But it takes her mind off of her for a time and creates an opportunity for memories.
Consider cooking together. Cooking can be an awesome time for life lessons, whether in conversation or in actually using the kitchen. It doesn’t happen every Saturday, but a long time ago, I learned to make pancakes from scratch (as in not from a box). Not only do the pancakes taste better than from any box, it’s a time my daughters love to “help” in the kitchen. We try to do this at least monthly and especially around holidays. I imagine us making pancakes 20 years from now; hopefully I can trust them more with the eggs.
The point? Look for ways you can create memories with your child today.

5) Laugh with your children.
After all is said and done, make sure you laugh with your children. Sure, you have to make them do their homework and chores. But, be sure you work in some laughter. Imagine having a dad who never laughed. If you take the time to love, look, listen, and laugh, you will connect with your kids. You'll be the dad they not only want, but the one they need.
Christy shares a quote from Einstein where he said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Let’s decide now to live as though everything is a miracle.


Read More:

4 Reasons to Promote Marriage to Dads

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

4 Reasons to Promote Marriage to Dads

Posted by Christopher A. Brown from National Fatherhood Initiative

Dads' self-interest.
Did you think I'd say because it's in the best interest of children? And besides, that's just one reason, isn't it?
There's no doubt that growing up with married parents provides benefits to children. That's a vital reason indeed to promote marriage to dads.
But let's face it. Humans are motivated by self-interest. So it's important to appeal to dads' self-interest when it comes to marriage.
Here's the good news in that regard. Marriage is great for men! A recent brief from the Institute for Family Studies highlights marriage's benefits for men and, consequently, dads. Specifically, compared to single men, married men realize the following four benefits. They:

  • Make more money--about $16,000 a year, to be exact. Marriage increases men's earning power.
  • Have better sex--quality sex, that is. While married men might not have sex as often as, say, cohabiting men, the quality of the sex is superior.
  • Have better physical and emotional health. Compared to singles, married couples do a better job dealing with sickness, monitoring health, and adopting healthier lifestyles.

  • So if marriage is so great for men, why have we seen a decline in the rate of marriage? Massive culture change that's not in men's best interest (or their children's).


    I've seen this change play out in the reactions of some facilitators to the marriage content in National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) programs. (NFI's 24/7 Dad® and InsideOut Dad® programs cover the benefits of marriage for men and their children.) One facilitator of a NFI program I interviewed, for example, simply doesn't include that content in the delivery of the program. When I asked why, the facilitator pointed to four reasons:

  • Marriage isn't important to dads.
  • Dads are scared of it.
  • Marriage isn't common in their communities.
  • Fear that dads will stop participating in the program if the facilitator addressed marriage.
  • Read FULL STORY

    The Father Absence Crisis [Infographic]

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, February 16, 2017

    The Father Absence Crisis [Infographic]

    Research shows when a child grows up in a father-absent home, he or she is...

    Posted by Melissa Steward from the National Fatherhood Initiative


    The good news is, we can all help. How? By focusing on creating generations of responsible, involved fathers. Whether you are with an organization that serves fathers and families, or you are a father yourself, it's important to carry the message of the value of fathers to our nation.
    To help you share this message, we created a simple yet powerful infographic outlining the father absence crisis in America, and how it's affecting our children.
    Won't you take this to heart and help promote responsible fatherhood? The children of our future will thank you.

     (You can find even more data and statistics here in Father Facts 7.)

    Research shows when a child grows up in a father-absent home, he or she is...

    • 1) Four Times More Likely to Live in Poverty: Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. (U.S. Census Bureau)
    • 2) More Likely to Suffer Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Children of single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers. (Journal of Marriage and Family)
    • 3) Two Times Greater Risk of Infant Mortality: Infant mortality rates are nearly two times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers. (National Center for Health Statistics)
    • 4) More Likely to go to Prison: One in five prison inmates had a father in prison. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs)
    • 5) More Likely to Commit Crime: Study of juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency. (Journal of Youth and Adolescence)
    • 6) Seven Times More Likely to Become Pregnant as a Teen: Teens without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. (Child Development Journal)
    • 7) More Likely to Face Abuse and Neglect: Compared to children living with married biological parents, those whose single parent had a live-in partner had more than 8 times the rate of maltreatment overall, over 10 times the rate of abuse and more than 6 times the rate of neglect. (Child's Bureau)

    Read More

    Things I Wish He Knew - Our Letters of Truth: Fathers to Sons & Sons to Fathers

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, February 07, 2017

    Things I Wish He Knew

    Our Letters of Truth: Fathers to Sons & Sons to Fathers

    by J. Wright Middleton (Author), Daniel Middleton (Author), Keenon Mann (Contributor), Marquan Newman (Contributor), PerduInk . (Contributor), Herb Middleton (Contributor), Donte Skinner (Contributor), Josh Minor(Contributor), Gregory Jones (Contributor), Akin - (Contributor), Meqai Herder (Contributor), Marc Antoine (Contributor), Kelvin Lesene Jr (Contributor)


    The bond between a father and son is very important and for many reasons that bond or lack thereof can be the greatest thing in life or the most devastating. "Things I Wish He Knew" Our Letters of Truth From A Male Perspective is a compilation book of letters written from fathers to their sons & vice versa. The purpose of this book is to allow men a platform to step out from the shadows of hidden unspoken words and speak directly or indirectly to their father and/or son. It may be something they've never got the chance to say, are too afraid to say or don't know how to say. I wanted to provide an opportunity for all men to shed light and give voice of praise, appreciation, hurt, disappointment, wisdom or instruction.

    DFFC Kent County President Keenon Mann, academic advisor of the Georgetown campus, is a contributing author to "Things I Wish He Knew: Our Letters of Truth," a compilation of personal letters written from fathers to their sons and vice versa.


    For more, check it out on Amazon at Congratulations, Keenon!

    How Dads View Co-Parenting

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, February 02, 2017

    How Dads View Co-Parenting

    Posted by Christopher A. Brown

    One of the best ways to help dads become more involved in the lives of their children is to ensure that the co-parenting relationship between dad and mom is a good one.

    That's because one of the primary barriers to many dads' involvement is restrictive gatekeeping behavior on the part of their children's mom. If you're not familiar with the term "restrictive maternal gatekeeping," it refers to actions that a mom takes to unnecessarily restrict a dad's access to their children. This behavior most often occurs when dad doesn't live with mom and his children, but it also occurs in homes where mom and dad are married or cohabit.

    So where do you start to ensure dad and mom have a good co-parenting relationship? Learn what the research says about co-parenting, including how dads and moms view co-parenting.

    • Cooperative (high levels of cooperation, low levels of conflict),
    • Conflicted (low levels of cooperation, high levels of conflict), or
    • Disengaged (low levels of cooperation, low levels of conflict).

    A new study from the federally-funded Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation sheds light on how dads view co-parenting. (This evaluation focuses on measuring the implementation and outcomes of four fatherhood programs funded by the federal government in 2011.) Researchers conducted two rounds of in-depth interviews with 87 resident and nonresident dads enrolled in these programs. Based on these interviews, the researchers classified each dad-mom relationship as:

    They found a fairly even distribution of these relationships in the sample. What makes this research most helpful for you, however, is the richness of the qualitative data on how dads in each type of relationship differ in their views on co-parenting and engage in parenting with mom. Those findings are too extensive to recount here, so please download the report to increase your knowledge in this vital area. But in addition to this rich data, the researchers made two recommendations that will help your organization to more effectively serve dads:

    • Offer services to help dads navigate and potentially improve relationships with moms.
    • Help nonresident dads obtain the legal agreements that can structure and support greater involvement with their children. 


    READ MORE

    4 New eBooks to Help You Serve Fathers

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    It doesn't matter what setting you're looking to serve fathers in, we can help you. Take a look at our new eBooks to help you not only get started but succeed at serving fathers. 

    comm-based-org-persona-ebook.jpg1) Community-Based Organizations > 
    The Benefits of Fatherhood Programs in Community-Based Organizations


    We understand there are many challenges faced by fathers in America. Thankfully, there are community-based organizations who care about fathers and are interested in connecting fathers to their families.

    Here's what you, the community-based leader, can expect from this helpful eBook: 

    • What Fathers Need from Community-Based Organizations
    • Parenting Interventions and Community-Based Organizations
    • 8 Issues Fatherhood Programs Help You Address
    • Community-Based Organizations Having Success with Fatherhood
    • 24/7 Dad® Wrap Around Services
    • Spotlight on one Community-Based Organization who's doing things right

    download ebook






    corrections-persona-ebook.jpg2) Corrections and Reentry > 
    The Power of Fatherhood Education in Corrections and Reentry

    There are 2.7 million children with a parent in prison or jail. Ninety-two percent (92%) of parents in prison are fathers. Incarceration makes a significant contribution to father absence. Indeed, it is a cause of father absence. 

    How can this eBook help you serve fathers in corrections and reentry settings?

    Here's what you'll find for working with incarcerated and/or formerly incarcerated fathers in this new eBook:

    • The Problem for America's Children
    • The Case for Fatherhood in Corrections and Reentry
    • How to Rehabilitate
       and Address Criminogenic Needs
    • How to Maintain Facility Safety and Order
    • Planning for Reentry
    • Reducing Recidivism
    • The Solution for America's Children
    • Evidence-Based Fatherhood Programming
    • Creating Sustainable Programs
    • Programs in Jails and Short-Term Stay Facilities
    • InsideOut Dad® Testimonials

    download ebook



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    5 Reasons Why Moms Establish Paternity, and 5 Reasons They Don't

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Thursday, January 19, 2017

    5 Reasons Why Moms Establish Paternity, and 5 Reasons They Don't

    Posted by Christopher A. Brown from National Fatherhood Initiaitive


    As vital as paternity establishment can be to increase the chance that an unmarried dad will be involved in his child's life, little research exists on the reasons why an unmarried mom chooses or not to name the dad as her child's father. 

    That's why the research conducted on 800 unmarried Texas moms by the Child and Family Research Partnership at the University of Texas at Austin continues to be so valuable in increasing the knowledge of direct-service providers about the factors that influence their ability to effectively engage fathers. This research reveals 11 motivators for an unmarried mom establishing paternity. The top 5 from highest to lowest proportion are:

    • Having dad's name on the birth certificate
    • Ensuring mom's child has a legal dad
    • Mom really wanted to establish paternity
    • Dad really wanted to establish paternity
    • Making sure dad is responsible for the child

    Clearly, many moms want dad's involvement. Indeed, 7 in 10 unmarried Texas parents--not just in this sample but based on hospital records--establish paternity. Nevertheless, that means 3 in 10 don't, certainly not an insignificant number. The top 5 motivators for an unmarried mom not establishing paternity from highest to lowest proportion are:

    • Dad wasn't present/involved leading up to the birth
    • Dad didn't want to establish paternity
    • Dad didn't think it important to establish paternity
    • Mom didn't think it important to establish paternity
    • Dad doubts he's the father

    How can you use this knowledge? 

    Use it to identify parents at risk of not establishing paternity and increase the chance they will establish paternity. Ask mom and dad, for example, how important it is for dad to have his name on the birth certificate. Ask them whether it's important that their child has a legal tie to dad. Ask them how important establishing paternity is to them. And to attack the most important motivator for a mom not establishing paternity, get dad involved before his child is born. See my two most recent posts for ways to do just that.

    Don't sit idly by and take it for granted that mom and dad want to establish paternity. Remember that establishing paternity leads to a number of benefits for the family that include:

    • The right to include dad's name on the birth certificate.
    • The child’s eligibility for public and private benefits through dad (e.g. health and life insurance, social security, veteran’s benefits, and inheritance).
    • Access to dad's genetic history.
    • The ability to file for child support or establish visitation.
    Read full article

    What You Need to Know - New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Saturday, January 07, 2017

    What You Need to Know

    New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments

    Posted by Christopher A. Brown

    Many of the noncustodial dads served by organizations and programs like yours struggle to pay child support.

    The ability of fathers to pay child support has been an issue in sore need of addressing at the federal and state levels for many years. After all, if a father can’t afford to pay the child support he owes, it has bad consequences for him, his child, and the mother or guardian of his child.

    What You Need to Know > New Rule to Increase Regular Child Support Payments.jpg

    That’s why a new rule issued by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)—the federal agency responsible for child support enforcement and partnering with state, tribal, and local child support agencies—has the potential to positively transform the collection of child support across the country. Although some important provisions didn't make it into the final rule that advocates, including National Fatherhood Initiative, say would have made the rule even more transformative, everyone with a stake in creating effective child support enforcement should be optimistic about its potential.

    Specifically, according to ACF, this new rule will make state child support enforcement programs more effective, flexible, and family-friendly. It requires state child support agencies to increase their case investigative efforts to ensure that child support orders—the amount noncustodial parents are required to pay each month—reflect the parent’s ability to pay.

    The goal of this new rule is to set realistic orders so that noncustodial parents pay regularly, rather than setting an unrealistically high order that results in higher rates of nonpayment. Mark Greenberg, HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, had this to say of the new rule:

    “We know from research that when child support orders are set unrealistically high, noncustodial parents are less likely to pay. In fact, several studies say compliance declines when parents are ordered to pay above 15 to 20 percent of their income.”

    and “By ensuring states set their orders based on actual circumstances in the family, we believe the rule will result in more reliable child support payments, and children will benefit.”


    The new rule updates the child support program by amending existing policy. Here are a few highlights of the new rule:

    • ensure child support obligations are based upon accurate information and the noncustodial parents’ ability to pay
    • increase consistent timely payments to families as well as the number of noncustodial parents supporting their children
    • strengthen procedural fairness
    • improve child support collection rates
    • reduce the accumulation of unpaid and uncollectible child support arrearages
    • incorporate evidence-based standards tested by states that support good customer service
    • increase program efficiency and simplify operational requirements, including standardizing and streamlining payment processing so employers are not unduly burdened
    • incorporate technological advances that support cost-effective management practices and streamlined intergovernmental enforcement
    • prohibit states from excluding incarceration from consideration as a substantial change in circumstances, require states to notify parents of their right to request a review and adjustment of their order if they will be incarcerated for more than six months, and ensure that child support orders for those who are incarcerated reflect the individuals’ circumstances while continuing to allow states significant flexibility in setting orders for incarcerated parents
    • require state child support agencies to make payments directly to a resident parent, legal guardian, or individual designated by the court in order to reign in aggressive and often inappropriate practices of third-party child support collection agencies

    Read the rest of article

    Strengthening Families and The 5 Protective Factors Series: Concrete Support

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, December 30, 2016

    Strengthening Families and The 5 Protective Factors Series:

    Concrete Support

    Posted by Christopher A. Brown


    Concrete Support in Times of Need

    About concrete support CSSP emphasizes, “Meeting basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care is essential for families to thrive.”

    Father-specific programs and resources are necessary to adequately address this factor because fathers, and men in general, are reluctant to seek help for their basic needs, much less to admit they have them. As noted in an earlier post in this series, Doctor Dad® helps fathers meet the basic health care needs necessary for their children to thrive and through teaching techniques that are particularly effective with men (e.g. hands-on learning and demonstration supported by visual aids).

    CSSP points out that family poverty is the factor most strongly correlated with child abuse and neglect. Families need concrete support to prevent them from or lift them out of poverty. Research shows that father absence places children and families at greater risk of poverty. Therefore, any effort addresses this factor when that effort connects fathers with their children to prevent and intervene on father absence.

    NFI recognizes, however, that meeting the basic needs of families (especially those at risk for or living in poverty) is beyond the scope of father-specific programs and resources. Therefore, NFI provides technical assistance and training to help organizations understand the basic needs faced by specific populations of fathers and the importance of integrating father-involvement efforts into the services organizations provide that help families meet their basic economic needs.

    Incarcerated fathers are one of the specific populations of fathers NFI helps organizations to serve, primarily through the InsideOut Dad® program. These fathers often struggle with meeting their own and their families’ basic economic needs before and after incarceration.

    In 2010, NFI completed The Connections Project, an 18-month federally-funded initiative that involved training on InsideOut Dad® and produced several resources that build the capacity of state and local corrections systems and direct-service providers to better understand the basic needs of formerly-incarcerated fathers for successful reentry into society.....

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    Family Tips

    Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

    Family Tips

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - BY LAURA H. LIPPMAN & W. BRADFORD WILCOX

    The family is the core institution for child-rearing worldwide, and decades of research have shown that strong families promote positive child outcomes. For this reason the World Family Map Project monitors family well-being and investigates how family characteristics affect children’s healthy development around the globe. Families do not operate in a vacuum: their ability to provide for their children and supervise their development depends not only on parenting behaviors and attitudes but also on the social, economic, and policy environments that surround them. Yet efforts to strengthen families are often considered off-limits or of low priority for policy and programmatic interventions, especially in times of financial strain. With the indicators and analyses presented here, this project points individuals, families, communities, NGOs, and governments to some key factors affecting child and family well-being that policies and programs can shape in order to foster strong families and positive outcomes for children.‚Äč

     

    Learn More: https://worldfamilymap.org


    About DFFC

    The Delaware Fatherhood & Family Coalition is an extension of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program and the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative created specifically to give a voice to fathers and the importance of their involvement for the well-being of their children.


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