Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Effective Strategies for Working with Fathers Returning from Prison

I was pleased to represent the Department of Justice’s Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships on a webinar hosted by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse.

I believe strongly that having a responsible father engaged in the life of his children can play a key role in the preventing many serious social issues in our communities. Cities and towns throughout the country are becoming more familiar with the alarming statistics which indicate that father absence can lead to a wide variety of deficiencies in a child’s life. It does not always occur, however research has indicated that father absence can lead to poor academic performance, and in some instances lead to delinquent behaviors.

It was my distinct pleasure and honor to co-present on this important topic along with:

  • Tassalie McKay of RTI International of Durham, North Carolina
  • Pastor Marvin Charles of D.A.D.S Program of Seattle, Washington

Each of the presenters discussed the startling statistics around father absence, including the fact that roughly 24 million children live without their biological fathers in their lives (this is more than 1 in 3 children). One in twenty eight children in this nation is living in a circumstance where one of their parents are incarcerated. Tassalie discussed lessons learned from the National Evaluation of the Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners (MFS-IP). Pastor Charles shared some very practical insights into what dads face when returning from prison and the supportive services that they provide at the D.A.D.S. program in Seattle.

Those of us working to improve this reality understand that there is a great need to develop serious and effective programs to ensure adequate services for these children, so that they do not follow in the path of an incarcerated parent. Additionally, it is clearly evident that there needs to be continued improvement in services delivered to returning parents to reduce recidivism rates in this segment of our population.

Click here to view/download the webinar slides: Effective Strategies for Working with Fathers Returning from Prison.

Eugene Schneeberg is the Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Justice.

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Department of Justice.

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