Achievement Award Program

Child Welfare Father Engagement Services

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Child Welfare Father Engagement Services
Wake County, N.C.

About the Program

CATEGORY: Children and Youth
YEAR: 2022
The involvement of fathers and paternal family members are important to a child’s development and growth, but historically child welfare agencies have not been as effective in engaging fathers as they are with mothers in ensuring the permanency, safety, and well-being for the children they serve. The failure to engage fathers often increases the length of stay for children in foster care. In 2016, Wake County Health & Human Services Child Welfare Division developed the “Father Engagement Service” model to provide culturally relevant father-friendly services that increase: reunification rates between fathers and their children; self-sufficiency among fathers, and engagement of fathers in the lives of their children. Through this model fathers have access to 1:1 coaching, a support group, a referral line, and community education and training. To ensure sustainability and success, this work is guided by the “Wake County Father Engagement Steering Committee.” This group meets monthly to assess the needs of fathers in Wake County and to develop resources and supports to address barriers to services. Since the inception of the Father Engagement Service model, the Division has seen increases in reunification rates, fathers engaging in services, grant revenue for the county, and increased community partnerships. This work has also provided a platform to support the county’s racial justice efforts.
The involvement of fathers and paternal family members are important to a child’s development and growth, but historically child welfare agencies have not been as effective in engaging fathers as they are with mothers in ensuring the permanency, safety, and well-being for the children they serve. The failure to engage fathers often increases the length of stay for children in foster care. In 2016, Wake County Health & Human Services Child Welfare Division developed the “Father Engagement Service” model to provide culturally relevant father-friendly services that increase: reunification rates between fathers and their children; self-sufficiency among fathers, and engagement of fathers in the lives of their children. Through this model fathers have access to 1:1 coaching, a support group, a referral line, and community education and training. To ensure sustainability and success, this work is guided by the “Wake County Father Engagement Steering Committee.” This group meets monthly to assess the needs of fathers in Wake County and to develop resources and supports to address barriers to services. Since the inception of the Father Engagement Service model, the Division has seen increases in reunification rates, fathers engaging in services, grant revenue for the county, and increased community partnerships. This work has also provided a platform to support the county’s racial justice efforts. County Wake County, N.C. Featured Resources Announcing 2022 Achievement Award Winners Achievement Award Category Children and Youth

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