A Seat at the Table: Piloting Continuous Learning to Engage Fathers and Parental Relatives in Child Welfare. Final Report.
OPRE Report ; 2021-62
Fung, Nickie. Bellamy, Jennifer. Abendroth, Eliza. Mittone, Diletta. Bess, Roseana. Stagner, Matthew.
Mathematica. Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare.
1 v. (various pagings)
Published: May 2021
Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., 7th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447
Sponsoring Organization: United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.
This final report discusses the findings of a federally funded pilot study designed to improve placement stability and permanency outcomes for children by engaging their fathers and paternal relatives. Six Improvement Teams representing five State or county child welfare agencies participated in the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC). Throughout this BSC, each team identified, implemented, and studied a unique group of strategies to engage fathers and paternal relatives. Teams developed processes to collect, organize, and report data to gauge whether the engagement strategies were producing improvements on specified metrics. This pilot study report describes insights into the implementation of a BSC and potential strategies for increasing father and paternal relative engagement in child welfare. The study found after engaging in the BSC, Improvement Team members considered themselves more knowledgeable and identified cultural shifts and changes in their own behavior and the behavior of others in engaging fathers and paternal relatives. These changes were fueled by dedicating protected time and effort toward the BSC and staying deeply committed to engaging fathers and paternal relatives. Improvement Team members reported that the BSC could be strengthened even more by increasing protected time away from the competing demands of daily work, getting stronger guidance from the BSC team on data collection and community partner engagement, and engaging staff other than those on the Improvement Team. All Improvement Teams planned to keep using elements of the BSC after it formally concluded. Information is provided on the methodology of the pilot study. Factors supporting continued system change are discussed and include drawing on the BSC experience, building successful engagement strategies identified through the process, relying on sustained leadership, and furthering the beginnings of a cultural shift. 16 references. (Author abstract modified)
FATHERS; PARENT ENGAGEMENT; FAMILY ENGAGEMENT; PLACEMENT STABILITY; PERMANENCY; OUTCOMES