National Fatherhood Initiative® and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood Commemorate Multi-Decade Partnership in Support of Father Inclusion

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National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)®, the nation’s leading fatherhood organization, and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF), a statewide commission funding community-based programs that serve low-income fathers, are today recognizing the transformative impact of a multi-decade partnership. Since 2011, NFI has provided capacity-building training to hundreds of organizations and family practitioners to strengthen vulnerable fathers and families throughout Ohio.

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“Strong fathers build stronger, more resilient families. Our partnership with National Fatherhood Initiative® has provided numerous benefits for Ohio fathers, and we view NFI as a vital partner in our mission," said Kimberly Dent, Executive Director of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood.

National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)®, the nation’s leading fatherhood organization, and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF), a statewide commission funding community-based programs that serve low-income fathers, are today recognizing the transformative impact of a multi-decade partnership. Since 2011, NFI has provided capacity-building training to hundreds of organizations and family practitioners to strengthen vulnerable fathers and families throughout Ohio.

Established in 1999, OCF promotes responsible fatherhood and empowers families and communities through policy recommendations, training, grant funding, and public awareness initiatives. Uniquely, OCF comprises directors of six state agencies, the Governor of Ohio or designee, a member of the Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet, a representative appointed by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and five Governor-appointed representatives.

NFI comes alongside human services organizations and practitioners with a strengths-based approach to father engagement training, evidence-based and evidence-informed fatherhood programs, and other educational materials to help them be more father-inclusive. The organization has been a go-to partner for OCF in its work to break down systemic barriers and promote father engagement at all levels.

“Strong fathers build stronger, more resilient families,” said Kimberly Dent, Executive Director of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood. “Our partnership with NFI has provided numerous benefits for Ohio fathers. It has armed us with facts on father presence to mobilize county and state officials to act on this critical societal issue and provided hands-on training for practitioners to implement evidence-based fatherhood curricula. We view NFI as a vital partner in our mission.”

Highlights of the NFI / OCF partnership include:

Mobilizing Ohio Counties to be More Father-Inclusive
One component of OCF’s multifaceted effort to serve Ohio fathers is to elevate community awareness of the benefits of father involvement. In 2011, NFI began its partnership with OCF through the inaugural Ohio County Fatherhood Initiative. Eleven counties participated in a two-day Community Mobilization Workshop—led by NFI—where county leaders created a fatherhood needs and assets assessment.

Following the workshop, participants engaged in community conversations that were leveraged to develop countywide responsible fatherhood action plans. Each county received $10,000 to create or continue fatherhood programs. Throughout the process, NFI served as a coach for leaders as they examined opportunities to build awareness of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children and increase organizational capacity to serve fathers.

Fatherhood Programs & Training
OCF organizations rely on the evidence-based and evidence-informed programs developed by NFI to serve fathers wherever they are—in-person, virtually, or in correctional settings. The organizations receive free training to implement NFI programs through grant funding provided by OCF.

In 2020, NFI worked with OCF to establish 25 InsideOut Dad® programs. Inside Out Dad® is an evidence-based program that connects inmate fathers to their families, helping to improve behavior while still incarcerated and to break the cycle of recidivism by developing pro-fathering attitudes, knowledge, and skills, along with strategies to prepare fathers for release.

Earlier this year, NFI further expanded its partnership with OCF by establishing 25 24/7 Dad® programs and 50 Fathering in 15™ programs. 24/7 Dad®, NFI’s flagship evidence-based fatherhood program, is used by hundreds of U.S. organizations to train fathers to be involved, responsible, and committed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Fathering in 15™ is an interactive, subscription-based, online tool that helps organizations build the skills of dads anytime, anywhere.

“Healthy father involvement is associated with better outcomes on nearly every measure of child well-being,” said Christopher Brown, President of National Fatherhood Initiative®. “The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood champions fatherhood and child well-being through a holistic framework that removes obstacles and makes it easier for fathers to be involved in their children’s lives. NFI is proud to have helped lay the foundation for the Commission’s innovative approach to serving fathers, and we look forward to deepening our partnership in the coming years.”

For more information on NFI, visit http://www.fatherhood.org. More information on the OCF can be found at http://www.fatherhood.ohio.gov.

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