The role of the father is extremely important in the family and in society. A father can be a great benefit to his child during pregnancy, infancy, and throughout the early childhood years. The research is very clear that a father and father figure can add value to the development of his child throughout the lifespan.
In our Head Start and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs, it is our goal to not only partner with mom, but also partner with dad. We have discovered that mothers and fathers are both experts on their children. We strive for fathers to be a part of our enrollment process, to attend home visits with our staff and his child, and to be a participant at our parent meetings and group connections. We want dads to be involved in their child’s early education. We know if fathers can create that habit now, early in their child’s school career, then it will carry on to the elementary years and beyond.
Children who grow up with involved fathers are:
39% more likely to earn mostly A’s in school
45% less likely to repeat a grade
60% less likely to be suspended or expelled from school
2X as likely to go to college and find stable employment after high school
75% less likely to have a teen birth
80% less likely to spend time in jail
Children with involved fathers in the first eighteen to twenty-four months of life are more secure, more likely to explore the world around them with increased enthusiasm and curiosity, and they are better able to remain in their seats and maintain interest in their own work once they enter school.
Father Engagement Coordinator
Engaging fathers and helping fathers feel welcome in their child’s education is the responsibility of all our program staff. We do have a dedicated position devoted to sharing with fathers their importance in the education process of their child.
The Father Engagement Coordinator helps in the following:
· Fatherhood Workshops
· Dedicated Dad Group Meetings
· Father and Child Activities and Events
· Available for one on one check-ins and visits
· Oversee Fathers in Hays County Facebook Group
· Speaker for fatherhood events throughout county
· Educates the community on the Father Friendly Check Up
· Chairperson for the Fatherhood Advisory Council of Hays County
· Serves on the National Fatherhood Initiative Board of Directors and other national panels
Creating a Father Friendly County and Community
In February 2020, our agency helped to create the Hays County Fatherhood Advisory Council. The council has been able to pull various sectors of our community together to rally around the importance of fathers. One of the goals of the Fatherhood Advisory Council is to help our counties become more Father-Friendly. More information on this work is included in the below video and links.