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Engaging Dads in Services for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: A Virtual Discussion

June 22 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A family-centered approach reflects an understanding and responsiveness to the fact that parents and children live within the context of a larger family system and services must respond to the needs of each family member and the family system to achieve the best outcomes. Children with actively involved fathers have better outcomes.[i] Engaging fathers in services for families affected by substance use and mental disorders, particularly in the perinatal period, remains challenging due to: 1) historical exclusion of men in services for families, 2) biases against fathers as caregivers, and 3) lack of understanding about the integral role of parenthood in the lives of men.[ii] Because of these challenges, unique approaches are needed to prevent child placements and to engage and retain fathers in programs aimed at improving outcomes for families affected by substance use and mental disorders. A plan of safe care is one tool that service providers can use to organize, support, and guide a father’s engagement in the earliest period of their child’s life, setting the stage for a lifetime of connection.

Join a conversation with National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) staff along with experts from the CREOKS Health Services in Oklahoma and Hushabye Nursery in Arizona on June 22. Panelists will present a virtual conversation on the importance of effective practices to engage fathers in services for families affected by substance use and mental disorders in the perinatal period and beyond. The discussion will focus on recognizing challenges to father engagement and exploring strategies to improve involvement of fathers to support optimal child and family well-being.