Responsible Fatherhood programs often have a strong focus on workforce development activities. The federal Office of Family Assistance requires their Responsible Fatherhood grantees to provide economic stability activities, such as job training, employment services, and career-advancing education, and other fatherhood programs typically recognize the importance of helping fathers improve their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children. Workforce development activities generally include training for specific job skills (such as welding, automotive mechanics, or commercial driver’s licensing); however, to be successful in the workplace, employees also need good social and communication skills. One of the best ways practitioners can help fathers prepare for workforce success is by providing training in non-technical skills (also called job readiness, life, or “soft” skills), which include social skills and work habits such as effective communication, dependability, teamwork, integrity, and self-control. This discussion brief details the importance of these valuable skills and offers tips for programs working with fathers. We draw on current research, as well as telephone and in-person conversations with Responsible Fatherhood programs conducted by National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse staff.
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