National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
Issue 19
June 2014

National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families

The Director's Corner


June marks the beginning of summer, a time filled with vacations and backyard barbeques! It's also a time to celebrate dads! Interestingly, in social services, we often hear about the dads who are not actively involved in the lives of their children. However, many dads are very involved!

As a matter of fact, the National Health Statistics Report from the CDC on Fathers' Involvement With Their Children (December 2013) states that 70% of African American fathers living with children under 5-years-old said they bathed, diapered, or dressed their kids every day, along with 60% of white fathers and 45% of Latino fathers. Additionally, nearly 35% of African American fathers who lived with their young children said they read to them daily, along with 30% of white dads and 22% of Latino dads.

Not only are many dads involved as parents, some are parenting solo. Did you know that according to the U.S. Census, there were 1.96 million single fathers in 2012? That's right--16% of all single parents are dads.

As we continue our collective work to strengthen families, don't forget the dads. Create a dad-friendly environment and invite them to attend social service appointments, parent-teacher conferences, and other activities related to their children. Sometimes it takes a little extra creativity to engage and support dads, especially dads who are not in the home, but the long-term benefits of father involvement for the children make it worth the extra effort.

Best Regards,

Robyn Cenizal, CFLE
Project Director

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In Getting Our Hearts Right: Three Keys to Better Relationships, authors Wallace (Wally) Goddard and James Marshall remind us, "We sometimes fall into unhealthy behavior patterns in our close relationships." That applies to intimate relationships and parent-child relationships. They highlight three keys to healthy close relationships: (1) humility, (2) compassion, and (3) positivity. Perhaps more importantly, they remind us that breaking patterns takes dedication and practice. When you see someone (including yourself) falling into a negative pattern with a loved one, encourage time for self-reflection, a commitment to practicing these keys, and forgiveness for improvements that are slow but steady.

Featured Resources

The Resource Center's Virtual Library has collected more than 700 materials in a variety of formats including fact sheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.

Select the links below to view our featured June resources:
  • Do Dads Really Make a Difference? (Library Resource)
    This brief emphasizes the importance of fathers in the development of children. The benefits of active fathering are considered and barriers to active fathering are explained, including: men often have less experience with children than women, men tend not to feel the same social pressure as women to learn how to care for their own, mothers can view fathers as less competent, and family arrangements and socioeconomic realities can make fathering challenge.
  • A Guide for Father Involvement in Systems of Care (Library Resource)
    This guide offers strategies for systems and families to help fathers become more involved. The guide specifically addresses strategies for working with Hispanic/Latino, African American, and Native American fathers. It provides tips about involving grandfathers; fathers who are young; gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning fathers; and those in families who are involved in the child welfare system. The guide also addresses challenges of working with dads who are incarcerated, and those who are involved in substance abuse.


The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming events include:

  • Work and Family Research Network (WFRN) 2014 Conference: Changing Work and Family Relationships in a Global Economy in New York City, NY, June 19-21, 2014
    Throughout the conference, the WFRN's goals are to stimulate interdisciplinary and cross-national sharing of innovative research and approaches to work and family; concentrate scientific, policy, and practical attention on work and family issues emerging from the changing work and family relationships in a global economy; break down the researcher-practitioner divide impeding the design, implementation, dissemination and translation of work and family research that beneficially impacts workers and employers; engage WFRN officers, committees, and members in solidifying the foundation and building the infrastructure needed to create a vibrant, strong and impactful organization; and foster opportunities for networking and interdisciplinary collaboration that promote professional development of both emerging and established researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. The Resource Center will be presenting at this conference.

  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) 77th Annual Conference: Surviving to Thriving in Chicago, IL, July 13-16, 2014
    The 77th Annual Conference will feature a wide range of juvenile and family law topics, including child abuse and neglect, trauma, custody and visitation, judicial leadership, juvenile justice, sex trafficking of minors, family violence, drug courts, psychotropic medications, children testifying in court, detention alternatives, substance abuse, and the adolescent brain. In addition, this year the NCJFCJ will be offering a pre-conference workshop, Special Consideration for Working with Adolescents with Substance Abuse Issues, designed for professionals working with juvenile justice involved youth who also have mental health, substance abuse, or trauma issues. Any juvenile court judges, juvenile drug court coordinators, attorneys, probation officers, case managers, and substance abuse treatment counselors are encouraged to attend. The Resource Center will be exhibiting at this conference.


Feedback and Technical Assistance:

If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to request Technical Assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.

To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports safety-net service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: [90FH0002]. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.