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Work Life


Fathers want to be active in raising their children. Fathers are an integral part of their children's lives, both in providing for their children's economic needs and in ensuring a safe and nurturing environment. The Federal Government supports efforts to strengthen the role of fathers by encouraging them to take advantage of work/life programs, consult with work/life coordinators about options, and participate in parenting and child care seminars and support groups. Agency coordinators also support this effort by ensuring that work/life policies (leave entitlements and options) and programs (child care and support groups) are available and promoted to support fathers' involvement with their families.

Fatherhood initiatives have been implemented at the Department of State, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of Personnel Management. Opportunities for partnering between the public and private sectors on fatherhood issues could leverage resources and provide a network of information for implementing fatherhood programs.

Additional information on fatherhood programs is available from the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership and other resources found below.

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  • Fathers who provide economic support and a physical presence help their children's emotional and social development and lessen the incidence of behavior problems. (Children and Welfare Reform Issue Brief, No. 4, published by the National Center for Children in Poverty,

  • More children are growing up in fatherless homes (22 percent more between 1988 and 1998). More children are being raised by single fathers (a 76 percent increase in the last decade). Bernard, S.N., & Knitzer, J. (1999). Map and Track: State Initiatives to Encourage Responsible Fatherhood (Report). New York, NY: Columbia University, National Center for Children in Poverty.

  • While the amount of time employed mothers spend with their children (3.2 hours each workday) has remained constant over the last 20 years, the time employed fathers spend with their children (2.3 hours each workday) has increased significantly by one-half hour per workday. However, seventy percent of all parents still feel they do not spend enough time with their children, and that both fathers and mothers have less time for personal activities. Families and Work Institute. (1998, April 15). Executive summaries of this and other studies can be found at the following site:

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    Center for Fathers, Families and Workplace Development
    Baltimore City Healthy Start
    3002 Druid Park Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21215

The Center for Fathers, Families and Workforce Development is an independent nonprofit organization that focuses on grants for the development of Team Parenting pilot programs.

    Father Focus
    1010 Vermont Avenue, NW
    Suite 901
    Washington, DC 20005

Father Focus is a counseling program that supports, encourages, and helps fathers develop and maintain close relationships with their children and families. Father Focus also provides a community of men who can talk about the joys and experiences of fatherhood.

The Families and Work Institute is a non-profit research and planning organization that conducts research on business, government and community efforts to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities. The Fatherhood Project is a national research and education program that examines the future of fatherhood and develops ways to support men's involvement in child rearing.

The National Center for Fathering conducts research and develops practical resources for training men who want to be better fathers.

The National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership's mission is to improve the governance and administration of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations and strengthen community leadership through family and neighborhood empowerment.

The National Center on Fathers and Families works to improve the life chances of children and the efficacy of families and to support the conduct and dissemination of research that advances the understanding of father involvement.

The National Fatherhood Initiative was created to promote responsible fatherhood as a national priority, thereby improving the well being of children by increasing the number of children growing up with loving, committed, and responsible fathers.

The National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families, Inc. is a network established to foster communication, promote professionalism, and enhance collaboration among individuals working with fathers and fragile families.

The Urban Institute seeks to increase citizens' awareness of important public choices and to improve the formulation and implementation of Government decisions affecting fathers. This is done through examining policies and conducting research related to non-custodial fathers, child support, and parenting.

The White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) provides a wealth of information useful to parents. The resources are part of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

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Support Groups

Support groups bring together people who have similar concerns or difficulties and enable them to share personal stories and helpful information. Members often find it comforting to learn that their problems are not unique. A support group also provides a means of addressing many of these issues in a small group setting where personal information will remain confidential. The OPM publication, Establishing A Work-Site Parenting Support Groups, provides complete information for setting up a support group.

Work/Life Programs

Work/life programs can assist Federal employees who are fathers to be more involved in the lives of their children. These include family-friendly leave entitlements; child care resources; and workplace flexibilities including alternative work schedules and telework. The Employee Assistance Program can offer personal counseling. Employees should ask for information about Federal employee health benefits and child support enforcement procedures.

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Most of these books are readily available through major retail and on-line bookstores.

Bradshaw. J., Stimson, C., Skinner, C., & Williams, J. (1999).Absent Fathers? A discussion of the social implications of non-resident fathers for student of social policy and professionals. Routledge. ISBN: 0415215935

Brott, A. A. (1997). The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year. Abbeville Press, Inc.  A handbook on all aspects of fatherhood during the first 12 months. Covers the physical, intellectual, verbal, and emotional changes a child experiences in the first year and the emotional and psychological developments the father may experience. ISBN: 0789202751

Brott, A. A. (1998). The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the Toddler Years. Abbeville Press, Inc. A handbook on all aspects of fatherhood in the second and third years of life. ISBN: 0789204800

Brott, A. A. (1999). The New Father: A Dad's Guide to Parenting Without a Partner. Abbeville Press, Inc. A resource for any father who is not living with the mother of his child, with personal experiences of solo dads and advice from psychologists, lawyers, and other experts. ISBN: 0789205203

Bryan, M. A. (1998). Prodigal Father: Reuniting Fathers and Their Children. A description of a step-by-step program to help fathers assume a role in their children's lives. Three Rivers Press. ISBN: 0609802038

Canfield, K. R. (1995). The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers. Tyndale House Publishing. Guidelines for fathers to strengthen relationships with their children. ISBN: 0842359184

Epstein, L. (1996). Coaching for Fatherhood: Teaching Men New Life Roles. Step-by-step approach to coaching men to be better fathers. New Horizon Press. ISBN: 088282144X

Glennon, W. (1995). Fathering: Strengthening Connection With Your Children No Matter Where You Are. Conari Press. Collection of stories that shares lessons and practical ideas for fathers struggling to maintain meaningful bonds with their children. ISBN: 1573240028

Goldman, M. J. (2000). The Joy of Fatherhood: The First Twelve Months. Prima Publishing. Information for new fathers on topics from financial planning to detecting infant illness, organized in a user-friendly manner. ISBN: 0761504524X

Hutchinson, E. O. (1995). Black Fatherhood: The Guide to Male Parenting. Impact Publishing. Basic principles of good parenting that stress the importance of a father's involvement with his children, written specifically for black fathers. ISBN: 1881032094

Levine, J. S. (1998). Working Fathers: New Strategies for Balancing Work & Family. Harcourt Brace & Company. A practical guide to resolving work/family conflicts for fathers with practical strategies for parents and businesses, profiles of father-friendly companies, and tips for working mothers and fathers. ISBN: 0156006030

Levine, J. S. New Expectations: Community Strategies for Responsible Fatherhood. Research and review of community-based strategies with a guide to more than 300 programs nationwide and the 100 most useful publications.

Levine, J. S. Getting Men Involved: Strategies for Early Childhood Programs. Guide for people in early childhood programs who want to involve fathers and other significant males in children's lives with profiles of 14 programs throughout the United States and a resource section.

Pruett, K. D. (2000). Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is As Essential As Mother Care for Your Child. Free Press. Explanation of how the father/child bond differs from the mother/child bond and guide for successful, engaged fathering. ISBN: 0684857758

Sears, W., & Froelich, P.(1998). Becoming a Father: How to Nurture and Enjoy Your Family. La Leche League International. Advice for new fathers based on a philosophy of nurturing a child. ISBN: 0912500212

Sullivan, S. A., & Sullivan, A. (1992). The Father's Almanac. Doubleday. Advice, ideas, and suggestions for fathers of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. ISBN: 0385426259

Wolgemuth, R. D. & Blanchard. K. (1999). Daddy Work: Loving Your Family, Loving Your Job, Being Your Best in Both Worlds. Zondervan Publishing House. Describes how a man can transfer skills learned at work to home and vice versa. ISBN: 0310228131

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These websites offer a wealth of information for Work/Life Coordinators and Federal employees who are fathers.

Center for Successful Fathering, Inc. Research on successful fathers and father friendly workplaces
Department of Health and Human Services Fatherhood Initiative
Fathers Network Support for fathers and families raising a child with special needs
Forum on Child and Family Statistics Federal and state statistics and reports on children and their families

NOTE: Under Federal Law, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is prohibited from ranking, endorsing, or promoting agencies or organizations listed on its website.


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