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Non-Resident Fathers Project Selects Four National Sites for Funding to Increase Father Involvement and Improve Outcomes in Child Welfare
Date:2/26/2008

DENVER, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System (QIC-NRF) today announced the four projects that have been selected to receive funding from the Administration of Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2008 to 2011. The purpose of the sub-grants is the experimentation of a model intervention and evaluation of child outcomes as the selected sites and the QIC-NRF join efforts to research the engagement of non-resident fathers with their children who are involved in the child welfare system. Through this national effort, the QIC-NRF hopes to improve ultimate child-welfare outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070521/LAM095LOGO )

The newly awarded sites are:

-- Indiana Department of Child Services (Indianapolis), in collaboration with Indiana Fathers and Families Center and the Indiana University School of Social Work. The Indiana Department includes the Child Support Enforcement Agency. This closely links the work of the two organizations.

-- Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of the Department of Social and Health Services for the State of Washington: Region IV (King County), in collaboration with local fatherhood programs Divine Alternatives for Dads and Fresh Start Fatherhood Program; Catalyst for Kids; the Division of Child Support, King County Juvenile Court, and the Office of Public Defense; and program management as well as independent research through the Northwest Institute for Children and Families at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

-- El Paso County, Colorado (Colorado Springs) Department of Human Services in collaboration with The Center for Fathering, Policy Studies Inc., the Parenting Opportunity Program, Goodwill Industries, Community Partnership for Child Development, and the Center for Policy Research in Denver.

-- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (Tarrant County, Texas - Fort Worth) in collaboration with members of the Tarrant County Fatherhood Coalition, New Day Services for Children and Families, Tarrant County Workforce Development Board (Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County), Foundation Communities, Tarrant County Safety Net, and The Urban Institute of Washington, D.C.

The QIC-NRF is administered by the American Humane Association, based in Denver, and it includes partners, the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, and the National Fatherhood Initiative. It is funded by the Children's Bureau, which is part of the Administration for Children & Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The focus for the project came as a result of the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) and the What About the Dads? report. Both the CFSRs on state child-welfare systems and the What About the Dads? report indicate there is very little meaningful engagement occurring between the child-welfare system and fathers. Using this information as a foundation, the QIC-NRF was designed to promote additional knowledge development regarding the engagement of non-resident fathers and their children who are involved in the child welfare system, with the purpose improving child-welfare outcomes that include safety, permanence and well-being. Throughout the five years of the project, information gained will be disseminated broadly to child welfare agencies, private service providers, the courts and legal systems, and other stakeholders.

The project has completed Phase I, consisting of a needs assessment and gap analysis. The QIC-NRF explored father involvement from three perspectives: social work/child welfare, the courts, and private provider practice, with special attention to cross-system issues involving child welfare, child support enforcement, and judicial and other systems.

Each of the four newly selected QIC-NRF projects sites have father-oriented procedures in place for locating and contacting non-resident fathers of children in the foster care system, and all have established relationships with community organizations that offer support to fathers and which promote paternal responsibility.

About American Humane

Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link(R) between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane's regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the "No Animals Were Harmed"(R) end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane's office in Washington is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (http://www.give.org), has been awarded the Independent Charities of America "Best in America" Seal of Approval (http://www.independentcharities.org/info.asp?Title=The+ICA+Seal+of+Excelle nce&sBody=BIA) and has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm), America's leading charity evaluator. Visit http://www.americanhumane.org to learn more.

About the American Bar Association

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society. The ABA Center on Children and the Law, established in 1978, is engaged in training, technical assistance, development of materials and other work to help improve the lives of many of the nation's most vulnerable children through advances in law, justice, knowledge, practice and public policy.

Materials developed as a result of the grant should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association unless and until they have been approved by the ABA House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association.

About National Fatherhood Initiative

The premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) works in every sector and at every level of society to engage fathers in the lives of their children. NFI's national public service advertising campaign promoting fatherhood has generated television, radio, print, Internet and outdoor advertising valued at over $435 million. Through its National Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Resource Center, NFI offers a wide range of innovative resources to assist fathers and organizations interested in reaching and supporting fathers. Learn more at http://www.fatherhood.org.

Contact: Randy Blauvelt

(303) 925-9442

randyb@americanhumane.org


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SOURCE American Humane Association
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