By: Rush Bishop, Research Assistant

Rush Bishop is a Research Assistant at ICF where he provides outreach logistics and training and technical assistance for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and the National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families.

 


Since 2007, the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) has been funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To encourage involvement of parents (especially fathers) in their child(ren)’s life, OFA created the NRFC with two goals in mind: (1) to develop, promote, and distribute information and training to fathers, practitioners, Federal and State grantees, and the public at-large and (2) to assist states and local communities in efforts to support responsible fatherhood.

I want to share with you a few key features of the NRFC:

  • Resource Library. The NRFC has an excellent collection of FREE materials that you can access through our website. These materials range from how services providers can get the information they need to work effectively, to a father struggling (either with themselves or with their child), and even as far as a father trying to enter or re-enter their child’s life.
  • Conference Outreach. The NRFC presents and exhibits at 15 conferences a year, which has enabled our team to reach thousands of fathers and services providers from many cultures and backgrounds throughout the country. Recent conferences include: Fatherhood is Leadership (Native American) in Fort McDowell, AZ, New England Fathering Conference in Springfield, MA, and the National Head start conference in Anaheim, CA.
  • Fatherhood Webinars and Campaigns. Beyond our resource library and conference outreach, we also promote special webinar and campaigns- like “Dad Jokes Rule”- a campaign and webinar leading up to Father’s Day 2018. The purpose of this campaign was for fathers to share and tell “dad jokes” with their children. While dad jokes may be “corny,” this campaign is a great way to start a conversation and strengthen a bond between fathers and their children.

I have been a part of the “behind the scenes” NRFC team for the last year, and I have seen the impact of the NRFC through our outreach efforts to provide fathers and service providers with materials and services.  One profound NRFC moment was shared by my colleague, Patrick Patterson, our Senior Manager, who received a text from one of the fathers he was working with to “get back on track.” Through the materials provided by the NRFC team, the father felt like he finally had a relationship with his son. This was an emotional moment for our project team, including myself.

For today, I’ll leave you with a corny dad joke: Did you hear about the restaurant they’re building on the moon? The food is supposed to be great, but there is no atmosphere.

If you have any questions about the NRFC or Fatherhood in general, please reach out to Help@FatherhoodGov.Info, or subscribe to receive the NRFC free email update, which includes updates to topics and tools, news, and new publications available on our website.

 


Looking for More?

The Resource Center also hosts a content-rich website, with a multi-platform outreach and dissemination strategy that effectively engages stakeholders through social media, newsletters, webinars, conferences, training and technical assistance, and other presentations targeting organizations that serve high-risk youth, low-income or culturally diverse individuals, and couples and families. Through these efforts, the Resource Center fosters collaboration and integration that strengthens program services through the inclusion of healthy marriage and relationship education perspectives and strategies.