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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199986 Find in a Library
Title: Reconnecting, Rebuilding and Re-educating: Evaluating a Responsible Fatherhood Program for Incarcerated "Deadbeat" Dads
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:28  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:1-4,29,31
Author(s): Monica L. P. Robbers
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a study of a pilot program for incarcerated fathers who fail to pay child support.
Abstract: In 1992, Congress passed the Child Support Recovery Act that was designed to spur States to “get tough” with fathers who failed to pay child support. As a result, many States are considering how to salvage father-child relationships. In Fairfax County, VA, the Department of Community Corrections has introduced a pilot program known as the Fairfax County Responsible Fatherhood Program, which was launched in March 2002 for inmates who have failed to pay child support. This article presents an evaluation of this program gleaned from a study of the two cohorts who have completed the program. The goals of the program include the promotion of responsible fatherhood through positive communication and parenting skills and the provision of an understanding of child development. The first two cohorts to go through this 10-week program were a group of 9 men for the first cohort and 10 men for the second cohort. Data were gathered from a focus group conducted with each of the two cohorts. Focus groups met during the final session of the program. Questions posed during the focus group meeting included a discussion of how the program benefited the participants, what should be added to improve the program, and what other services would help incarcerated fathers. The results of the focus group discussions are presented in narrative form. Main benefits of the program were an increase in self-esteem and a determination to renew relationships with their children. Other benefits included more contact with their children as a result of the program and an improvement in the quality of their relationships. Participants advised that anger management classes and conflict resolution training would be good additions to the program. Although the sample size for this study was small, the author suggests that the participants provided important directives for improving the program. References
Main Term(s): Family intervention programs; Male offenders; Program evaluation
Index Term(s): Child development; Child protection laws; Children at risk; Children of incarcerated offenders; Inmate Programs
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