Family Engagement

Practice Scenario

Explore the scenario and reflect on opportunities to partner with fathers and other important men in children's lives.

Example: Tauren has been feeling the pressure of acting as a single parent while his partner, Shauna, has been experiencing health concerns. He arrives late one afternoon to pick up their 3-year-old daughter, Maddie, from Head Start. He finds a private moment to share an update with Maddie's teacher, Roberta.

three seated menTauren: I have been meaning to tell you, Maddie's mother Shauna is in the hospital again and won't be home until they figure out what is wrong. Maddie really misses her mother. And for me, it's been hard trying to juggle work and Maddie on my own these days.
Roberta: Oh, no, I didn't know. Thank you so much for sharing that. I hope she is okay.
Tauren: We hope she will be.
Roberta: You know, there are some other fathers who are parenting on their own. Some have partners who work long hours or are away temporarily like Shauna. Others are single fathers on a more permanent basis. Some fathers have partners who are deployed or incarcerated.
Tauren: Wow, I didn't realize there were other dads that are in my situation.
Roberta: Yes. We also have a father's group that gets together a few times during the month. We provide care for the children that come with their fathers and we order something different for dinner each time. I wonder if that is something that you would like to attend. The fathers share great ideas and their experience in being a father with young children.
Tauren: It might be helpful for me to attend. Maybe I can get some ideas from them. When do they meet?
Roberta: I can email you the dates and times. They are also posted here in the Families' Corner. (Roberta points to a small table with information about community agencies, program updates, and upcoming vision and hearing screening information). If the dates and times work for you, I think the other fathers would welcome you. Think of the group as an additional source of support!
Tauren: Okay, that would be great. Thanks.

Reflection

Reflect on fathers' groups in your program.

  • What can my program do to encourage fathers to participate? 
  • What might be a barrier to you in encouraging fathers to participate?
  • If my program does not currently hold groups for fathers, why not? What steps can we take to start a group for fathers?

Topic:Family Engagement

Keywords:Father engagement

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: November 19, 2018