Power of Fathers
Power of Fathers (PoF) is a collaboration in which FFHC plays a leading role by offering practice and policy expertise on the topics of father involvement and family strengthening. The collaboration exists to assist low-income fathers, in particular men of color, as they become assets to their children, families, and communities – improving outcomes for fathers and their children. The collaboration includes four organizations: Children’s Home + Aid, FFHC, Family Focus, and Metropolitan Family Services.
PoF helps provide resources and teach personal skills to fathers in low-income and historically underserved neighborhoods on Chicago’s south and west sides. By providing an assortment of services in these communities, as well as engaging other service providers in conversations on lessons learned, PoF will help fathers navigate the multiple barriers to their self-sufficiency.
This initiative encourages fathers to participate fully in the care and development of their children. Furthermore, this venture will also increase each agency’s capacity to meet fathers’ needs, while sharing successful strategies and lessons learned with other community providers.
The PoF initiative is a multi-pronged approach that consists of an organizational embedding of father engagement and involvement practices in addition to system change efforts.
PoF activities include:
- Providing navigators to offer direct case management and support to fathers;
- Improving the organizational cultures of PoF partners with respect to their fatherhood engagement and involvement approaches;
- Embedding father-informed practice to improve programming at the organizational level and share best practices to improve programming at the community level;
- Supporting systemic change to improve field-wide program quality, coordination, and service approaches;
- Leading policy work that prioritizes early childhood engagement and then extends to other issue areas over time;
- Amplifying the voice of fathers and emphasizing their contributions to their children, families, and communities.
Black Men and Boys
The Black Men and Boys Community of Practice (BMB CoP), under development and led by FFHC, is a systems-focused initiative that will seek to engage a growing body of stakeholders, move them into collective action, and employ their commitment to being agents of social change. BMB CoP is in the process of developing a model that will sustainably shift the sociopolitical and programmatic environment around Black men and boys so they can succeed. By gathering a diverse cadre of stakeholders, with specific resources and experience tailored to and for Black men and boys, this initiative is poised to make effective and lasting shifts in systemic and institutional behaviors that have harmfully affected this population. Our objective is to design and implement an institution-wide, evidence-based, and community-informed model and strategic plan.
The measure of the health of any community is the extent to which every community member can reach his or her potential without undue constraints, barriers, or burdens. The BMB CoP seeks to unleash the potential in the three-quarters of a million African-American, Black men and boys living in the City of Chicago. Tapping into this potential has powerful implications for the African-American community and the city of Chicago at-large. Self-actualization within this community can increase economic stability, social resiliency, the strength of families, and improve their sense of security and safety both at community and city levels.
When economic, social, and political institutions realize the advantage that healthy, supported, and engaged African-American men and boys are and then align those emerging beliefs with their practices and policies, the lives of Black men and boys will be dramatically transformed. When well-informed stakeholders and constituency committed to this transformation can hold economic, political and social institutions accountable to improving opportunities for African-American men and boys, they erect a bridge between healing and sustained action. This transformative process can initiate a domino effect of tasks required to unravel the influences of 400 years of institutional racism, economic subordination, and social marginalization that has too often suppressed and overlooked the benefit that Black men and boys represent to their families, communities, and the nation.
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