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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.

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Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, April 30, 2018

KENT COUNTY LEADERSHIP COALITION cordially invites you to our

FATHER & DAUGHTER DANCE


SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018

Outlook at the Duncan Center
500 W.Loockerman St., Dover, DE 19901

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT : Sade' Truiett 302-674-1355 ext. 214 (office)
302-278-5449 (cell) struiett@dffcdads.org
www.dffcdads.org | email: admin@dffcdads.org | phone: 1-855-733-3232

Daddy Don't Go -Movie Trailer

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, April 28, 2017

"Daddy Don't Go" [Movie Trailer]

Posted by Melissa Steward from National Fatherhood Initiative


Many of the nation’s top sociologists and policy makers consider fatherlessness to be the most pressing issue facing American families today. Further, disadvantaged fathers in particular face numerous obstacles in raising their children, and some fail to shoulder the responsibility. Those who stay are more important than ever and must be supported.

According to the U.S. Census, one in three children in America grow up without a father, placing them at a significantly higher risk to live in poverty, do poorly in school and run afoul of the criminal justice system. This is particularly true for New York City’s African-American and Latino children, of which 54% and 43% respectively grow up in fatherless households.

A 2014 study of over 40 million children and their parents by researchers at Harvard University found that family structure showed the strongest correlation with economic mobility — more so than other factors such as racial segregation, income inequality, school quality or social capital.



In fact, family structure is particularly important for fatherless boys who are more than twice as likely to become absent fathers themselves.

To highlight and address these challenges, “Daddy Don’t Go” is a timely and intimate journey that serves as a clear message on the importance of fathers in the lives of our nation's children. The film follows the story of four disadvantaged fathers in NYC fighting to beat the odds and defy the deadbeat dad stereotype.

"Daddy Don't Go" was conceived to inspire all parents — especially those that are disadvantaged.

“Daddy Don’t Go” will resonate deeply with urban audiences eager to see a film that challenges the “deadbeat dad” stereotype with positive and compassionate images of men persevering against the odds. Through the stories of the film's subjects, “Daddy Don’t Go” raises awareness around the obstacles that disadvantaged fathers face and can be used to inspire dads in crisis, the ones that are leaving their homes in tragically high numbers.

The film also poses urgent questions that expand the ongoing national dialogue concerning fatherhood. Can a man be a good dad in spite of not being a great provider? How does being a father shift a man’s identity?


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Fathers Matter for the Whole Family

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fathers Matter for the Whole Family

This fatherhood video shows a diverse group of dads answering questions such as:

  • Where do men learn to be fathers?
  • How does society view fathers?
  • What more can society do to support fathers?

How To Involve Dad During & After Mom's Pregnancy

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Monday, March 13, 2017

How To Involve Dad During & After Mom's Pregnancy

Posted by Melissa Steward

Children do much better physically and emotionally when dad is involved right from the start. In fact, dad's physical presence at the birth of his child increases the likelihood his child will be a healthy newborn. It also means mom is likely to be healthier. On the other hand, when dad is absent, baby and mom are less likely to be healthy.

But what about after the child’s birth? How involved is dad at the earliest stage of his child's life? These are two vital questions, because based on research, a child with an involved dad is more likely to grow up healthy physically, emotionally, and socially.

The children of absent dads are more likely to have a range of health complications and low birth weight. And moms are more likely to have had complications during pregnancy.

Research shows when a child grows up in a father-absent home, he or she is at two times greater risk of infant mortality, four times more likely to live in poverty, more likely to face abuse and neglect, and seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen. And unfortunately, there’s more to this list; view more father absence data at www.fatherhood.org/statistics.

Based on the above, it’s important that your organization and staff take this research to heart and do everything you can to involve fathers right from the start.

Here are a few ways you can leverage National Fatherhood Initiative resources to do just that:

Share the above information with dads and moms from the moment you learn they want to have children or a pregnancy is confirmed.
NFI’s Importance of an Involved Father Brochure is one of our newest resources to help you share this information in a simple and easy-to-understand way with mom and dad.
Another is our Tip Card for moms titled For Baby’s Health, which helps mom understand the importance and benefits of dad’s involvement for the health of their baby.

Before baby is born, provide dads with training on how to be a great dad. NFI's 24/7 Dad®programs and The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™ workshop are excellent tools to use.
You can also give dads 10 Tips for Expectant Dads to provide expectant fathers with tips to help dad bond with baby, while helping mom-to-be.

Before baby is born, provide moms with training on the importance of encouraging dad's involvement, and how to become a “gateway” to his involvement rather than a “gatekeeper”.

NFI's Understanding Dad™8-week program and Mom as Gateway™ FatherTopics Booster Session (run in 1-day or a few shorter sessions) are excellent tools to use. The Importance of an Involved Father Brochure is also excellent to give to moms In fact, it also contains a short list of ways mom can encourage dad’s involvement.


READ MORE INFO:

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.


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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. 


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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.
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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

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12 Tips for Live-Away Dads

Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition - Friday, December 18, 2015

 

12 Tips for Live-Away Dads

Learn more about healthy fathering at www.TheDadMan.com.

Whether through divorce, deployment or frequent travel, some dads (and some moms, too) live away from their children for long periods. But that does NOT prevent a vibrant, loving, lasting relationship. (Pronouns alternate between daughter and son.)

1. HANG IN THERE FOR THE LONG HAUL. Living away while raising a child is tough, but both his mom and I remain ‚Äčtremendous influences in his life. I meet my responsibilities, including child support, without resentment. I stay calm, committed, loving and loyal toward him -- and do what I can to help his mom do the same. If abuse or abandonment happen, my child needs me to protect him, but he also needs to make peace in his life with that relationship.

 

2. ENCOURAGE HER BOND WITH MOM. My child's relationship with her mom is different than her relationship with me. My child needs to participate fully in it, even when that's hard for me (or her). I encourage her communication with her mom, recognizing that I'm not responsible for their relationship.

 

3. DEVELOP HEALTHY SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORTS FOR MYSELF. It's normal to struggle with anger, loneliness and other difficult emotions. I meet my adult emotional and social needs maturely with healthy adults; I don't work them out through my child.

 

4. REMEMBER THAT MY CHILD LIVES IN TWO HOMES. The hours before he leaves my home and after he returns may be times of adjustment and sadness that he has to leave either parent "behind." I respect that he may or may not want to talk right away about his time with his mom; I let him take the lead. I don't pry for information or play down his feelings.

 

5. FATHER THE BEST I CAN WHEN MY CHILD IS WITH ME. I can't change how her other parent(s) raise her and I can't make up for what they do or don't do, so I focus on what I can control: my own actions. I don't judge their parenting because no one (including me) is a perfect parent. I trust that all of us are trying our best. I parent her calmly; have clear expectations; show affection, patience, love and trust -- without demanding perfection. I give her healthy attention when she's with me and when she's away (by phone, text, mail, etc.).

 

6. DON'T TRASH MOM. In word and gesture, I speak well about my child's mom even when I'm angry at her -- and even if she speaks poorly about me. If I have trouble speaking well, I wisely say little. Negative talk about my child's mom humiliates and wounds my child, causing him to think less of himself, his mom and me. I keep him out of the middle, even if others don't, and I'll resolve adult conflicts away from him so he can be the child.

 

7. CO-PARENT WITH MOM. If possible, I communicate openly with her mom. As our child grows up, other parents' perspectives are valuable -- and a real bonus for our child. We work with each other (and our partners) for our child's well-being. When I share my concerns and joys about our child with her mom (and vice versa), our child gets our best and most informed parenting.

 

8. MY CHILD AND HIS MOTHER ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I don't misdirect anger at my ex toward my child. When my child doesn't listen, does less than his best or makes mistakes (normal kid behaviors), I don't confuse his mistakes with his mom's actions. Instead, I remember that mistakes are great teachers, and do what I can do to help him learn from his mistakes -- and mine.

 

9. LISTEN TO MY CHILD. Lecturing and arguing get me nowhere. I can't help my child if I minimize her feelings or tell her everything will be okay when I can't guarantee that it will. Instead, I listen and am there for her. I accept my child for who she is; not who I want her to be, think she should be, or think she would be if she were raised only by me. I take the lead in communicating -- even when I feel unappreciated -- building the emotional connection that will help her listen to me when it really counts.

 

10. FOCUS ON MY CHILD'S POSITIVES. I don't father by always pointing out what my child did wrong, so he can fix it. That may work on the job, but not with my children. Focusing on negatives undermines his strength and confidence -- already stretched by living in two homes.

 

11. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS WISELY.My child has different rules and expectations in her mother's house. I am patient with her responses to those differences, while remaining clear about my expectations for our home. I try not to compensate for our family situation by giving in to demands that I spoil my child or lessen my expectations just because she is a child of divorce. I remember that an honest, solid and lifelong relationship with her is more important than what happens today.

 

12. BE THE FATHER, NOT THE MOTHER. I am a powerful and encouraging role model, and I tell him he has a special place in my heart. My masculine actions and loving words help him realize that he too can be adventurous, affectionate, playful and successful -- and should expect respect from other honorable men. My belief in him will help him blossom into a young adult who can make me and her mother proud.


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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