Research has indicated a father's involvement in child welfare services can have a positive impact on their children's well-being. However, despite a deepening focus on parent engagement in child welfare, data from Child and Family Service Reviews reveal that fathers are not well engaged in services.
In August of 2019, the Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare (FCL) project sought to improve placement stability and permanency outcomes for children by engaging their fathers and paternal relatives. FCL implemented a methodology known as the breakthrough series collaborative (BSC). BSC is a continuous learning methodology developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that is used to test and spread promising practices to help organizations improve in a focused topic area.
Six improvement teams representing five State or county child welfare agencies participated in the BSC. Each team identified, implemented, and studied a unique group of strategies to create a culture in their child welfare system that prioritizes thinking about and engaging fathers and paternal relatives. Teams implemented "Plan-Do-Study-Act" cycles for strategies to identify beneficial practices and adapt them to real situations.
"Engaging Fathers – Putting Lessons Into Practice" is a three-part series to share strategies implemented from three of the five State or county agencies: Los Angeles County, California; Hartford, Connecticut; and Prowers County, Colorado. Part three focuses on the strategies developed within Prowers County.
The following individuals are featured in this episode:
- Laine Meyers-Mireles, director, Prowers County Department of Human Services
- Courtney Holt-Rogers, adult and family service manager, Prowers County Department of Human Services
- Amy Rosengrants-Smith, therapist, Prowers County Department of Human Services
Topics discussed include the following:
- The flexibility and innovation small child welfare agencies can have in comparison to larger, more bureaucratic agencies
- The collective accountability child welfare and partner human service agencies shared in Prowers County to engage and involve fathers and paternal families in their casework and prevention efforts
- The "must-haves" necessary to spark and sustain culture change