Building Block 3: Building a Foundation to Work With Fathers.

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United States Head Start Bureau.
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Third in a series of guides on encouraging father involvement in Head Start programs for young children, this guide discusses assessing program effectiveness in involving fathers and identifying what changes might need to be made to ensure that the program is as father-friendly as possible. It begins by explaining six stages of becoming a father-friendly program: understanding and appreciating fathers' vital contributions to healthy child development, creating an environment where fathers feel welcomed and valued, deciding what to do, recruiting fathers, operating the program, and sustaining the program. Recommended strategies are provided for implementing each stage. Characteristics of successful Father Involvement Head Start programs are then described, as well as questions programs should consider in assessing their father friendliness. Following sections discuss suggested funding sources for father involvement programs, identifying and training of key staff for fatherhood involvement programs, identifying and involving community partners, and assessing how staff relate to and interact with men. The guide closes with a Father-Friendly Environment Assessment that provides a framework for assessing the current environment of the Head Start center and identifies steps to take to improve father friendliness. This is followed by a simple Action Plan for Improvement. An appendix includes talking points for a slide presentation developed for educators and other professionals who are working to increase family involvement in education. 2 references.

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