Three state home visiting initiatives — Healthy Families Florida, Florida Healthy Start and FL MIECHV — are partnering over the coming year to improve support of fathers and their role in raising healthy, safe and successful children. Led by Healthy Families Florida, the new initiative will provide opportunities for assessment of agency practices and policies, staff training and strategy development for intentionally addressing fathers and their needs in program interventions.
Representatives from the three organizations, including frontline staff, met recently for a two-day planning session in Tallahassee. The meeting was led by staff from The National Fatherhood Initiative which will provide technical assistance in the design and implementation of the initiative, as well as training and program materials.
The impact of fathers on a wide range of child outcomes— from social emotional development to health and school readiness —is well-documented. A recent study published in the Infant Mental Health Journal underscored the importance of father involvement in the early months of life and its positive effect on learning. For more information about the initiative, contact Katie Hood, FL MIECHV program manager.