In May 2009, the Pennsylvania State Roundtable identified the issue of father involvement in child dependency matters as a priority. Recognizing the value of fathers in the life of their children, State Roundtable members endorsed the creation of a Fatherhood Workgroup. The workgroup's task was to examine the current level of father involvement in child dependency matters, state/national best practices and recommend specific action steps aimed at enhancing father engagement.
Since that time, the Father Engagement Workgroup chaired by the Honorable Maria Musti Cook, York County Court of Common Pleas has been meeting. To guide it's efforts, the workgroup developed the following Mission and Vision statements:
FATHER ENGAGEMENT MISSION STATEMENT
KIDS NEED DADS: Pennsylvania endorses the positive involvement of fathers and paternal family to protect children, promote strong families, promote child well-being, and provide timely permanence for children.
FATHER ENGAGEMENT VISION STATEMENT
Positive connections between children and their fathers are achieved and nurtured by prompt identification, outreach, and engagement in services that recognize fathers' unique strengths and are tailored to meet each father's individual needs.
Additionally, to better understand specific practices and areas needing improvement, the workgroup conducted a comprehensive survey. The survey gathered information in the following four areas:
- Identifying & locating fathers
- Engaging fathers in case planning and services, including incarcerated fathers
- Visits for fathers, including incarcerated fathers
- Perceived barriers to non-resident fathers full engagement and participation
As a result of the survey and workgroup efforts, the following three key practice areas have been identified:
To view a copy of the "Kids Need their Dads" report, click here.
To view a copy of the brochure, click here.
To view a copy of a recent webinar power point sponsored by the Children's Bureau in conjunction with the National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System, click here.
Click here to view a copy of each State Roundtable Report.