The Schuylkill County Fatherhood Initiative
Every day in Schuylkill County children struggle to grow into happy and productive adults when they lack the guidance, love and support of their father. It costs the children dearly and it costs our society dearly as well. We believe fathers should raise their own children. But right now, society bears the responsibility of being surrogate fathers to far too many children. According to a recent report on the federal cost of father absence, we are paying in federal tax dollars up to $55,866 for every one of the 129,200 fatherless families in Pennsylvania that are in poverty, every year. For each of the fathers presently incarcerated, we pay $30,000 per year more. Presently, in Pennsylvania, 465,000 children are growing up in poverty and another is born into poverty every 19 minutes. Unless we do something now, there is no end to how much we´ll spend or how long we´ll spend it raising other men´s children.
The Schuylkill County Fatherhood Initiative was begun to turn absent fathers into active fathers who raise their own children. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to create effective programs in our community that will give fathers the information and tools they need to be responsible to their children, thereby saving the public cost of supporting father-absent households and giving children every opportunity to succeed.
To give initial guidance to the process, the Schuylkill Fatherhood Task Force was created. This group assessed the needs of the community and the services available to improve fatherhood. Through partnerships and effective program development, the primary goal was to establish new or supplement existing programs aimed at helping fathers of all walks of life in Schuylkill County to become better parents to their children.
The Task Force acted as an initial guide to assure that the most important needs of fathers and children are met to produce outcomes that show the effectiveness of the outreach. Further, the Task Force worked to raise awareness of the critical importance of fatherhood to children and the community, in an effort to make absent fathers a positive part of their children´s lives and to make good fathers even better.
This fatherhood initiative was able to be launched because of funds available through the National Responsible Fatherhood Capacity Building Initiative (NRFCBI). Curricula for a variety of fathers are being implemented through existing agencies and organizations in the county. Those agencies that serve children and fathers most in need have partnered with Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc to provide fatherhood services in Schuylkill County.
The grant funding further provided technical assistance and organizational development to the Task Force and community leaders with the goal to better develop Fatherhood programs that are sustainable beyond the timeframe of the grant.
1. Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, 2001 Supplementary Survey, 2002 through 2007 American Community Survey.
2. November 2008 Children´s Defense Fund, Children-in-the-States-2008-Pennsylvania.
New Fatherhood Program Announced
Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of two new collaborative fatherhood programs in Schuylkill County.
24/7 Dad™ is a program from the National Fatherhood Initiative that is being facilitated by a group of dedicated county agencies that share the desire and understand the need to help area fathers become better dads to their children. 24/7 Dad™ is the most comprehensive fatherhood program available with innovative tools, strategies, and exercises for fathers of all races, religions, cultures, and backgrounds! Developed by fathering and parenting experts, it focuses on the characteristics men need to be good fathers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit our 24/7 Dad™ page by clicking on the link above for more information.
Doctor Dad™ is a program for dads that wish to increase their health literacy, providing men with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully take care of their young children. Used by organizations across the country, the Doctor Dad™ workshop has been proven to increase new fathers’ skills and confidence by teaching men basic child health and safety information and skills like child-proofing the home, taking a temperature, treating minor injuries, and more. In Schuylkill County, Doctor Dad™ is offered through Schuylkill Health. Visit our Doctor Dad™ page by clicking the link above for more information.
If you are a Social Service Provider and are interested in learning more about how you can benefit from the Fatherhood Programs, please click the link above to learn more!
Fatherhood in Local Media
Community Partners in Fatherhood
2011 Doctor Dad Presentations
- 2011 Programs1.07 Meg | 3/30/2011
10 Tips for Being a Better Dad
• Respect your children's mother
• Spend time with your children
• Earn the right to be heard by talking to them at times other than when they've done something wrong
• Discipline with love, in a calm and fair manner
• Be a role model
• Be a teacher
• Eat together as a family
• Read to your children
• Show affection
• Realize that a father's job doesn't stop when a child turns 18
Father Friendly Checkups
By clicking on the link above labeled For Business you can reach the National Fatherhood Initiative.
The staff of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) provides you with the Father Friendly Check-Up™ for Business. This on-line survey will help you assess the degree to which your business’ operations include helping fathers find a successful balance between the demands of their jobs and the commitments to their families. Did you know that 7 out of 10 fathers say they would take a pay cut if it meant they could have more time with their families? NFI believes this is an indication that fathers, like mothers, are looking for new ways to balance work and family. This survey is designed to help the dads in your company!
For Child Welfare Agencies
See below attachment. This assessment was designed to help child welfare agencies and organizations take an active, positive approach in creating an environment that involves fathers and fosters the healthy development of children. It will help the agency set goals and identify priorities that are unique to the organization’s way of serving children and families. Please consider completing the check-up as an individual or as part of a group staff assignment explore how you can improve the way you serve fathers. This Father Friendly Check-up is a very positive first step to improving how we serve fathers and help children in Schuylkill and surrounding counties.
- Father Friendly Checkup for Child Welfare Agencies320 K | 4/20/2010
Fatherless children in Pennsylvania are also paying a high price for father absence.
•Fatherless children are two times more likely to drop out of school as their classmates who live with two parents.
•Fatherless children are 11 times more likely than are children from intact families to exhibit violent behavior.
•Three of four teen suicides occur in single-parent families.
•Eighty percent of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
•Compared to girls raised in home where both parents are present, daughters of single parents are 164% more likely to become pregnant before marriage.
•The absence of a biological father also increases by 900% a daughter’s vulnerability to rape and sexual abuse (often by stepfathers or the boyfriends of custodial mothers).