In our outreach and communication with fatherhood programs and dads throughout the country, there are a number of questions that often come up. Two in particular are: “Why do you talk so much about low-income dads?” and “Why do you focus so much on programs in large, urban areas?” One response to those questions is that the need for support is generally greater for low-income dads and many of the programs designed to help them are located in larger, urban population areas. However, we do recognize that there is innovative work being done elsewhere to meet the diverse needs of fathers, particularly in smaller, rural areas.
Highlighting this important but often underrepresented work, we will be hosting a webinar on March 16 to talk about working with fathers in rural areas and small communities. The webinar will feature Mindy Scott, a Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends, who is a key member of our NRFC product development team; Derrick Dease, who has worked with fathers in rural Marlboro County, North Carolina through Man 2 Man since 2000; and Sean Brotherson, North Dakota State University and the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network (NERMEN), who has worked with rural fatherhood initiatives for almost 20 years.
Please plan to join us for the webinar irrespective of the size of your community! We will be sharing information that is relevant to work with fathers in all communities. We will consider differences and similarities between rural and urban communities, look at lessons learned from work in small communities, and discuss how these lessons may be applicable to fatherhood programming in other communities. Register Here
NRFC team members are gathering additional information on issues impacting fathers in rural communities and will be visiting a few rural programs over the next few months. If you are working with fathers in a small community, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with one of our team members so we can learn about the context of your work and community. Likewise, please reach out if you are working with fathers facing any other issues not yet addressed as part of our webinar series.
Nigel Vann, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse