Supporting Father Involvement and Co-parenting Webinar Series


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Research shows that when fathers become more involved in raising their children, and specifically when mothers and fathers work as co-parenting partners, all benefit. Yet many family-facing providers—home visitors, early childhood education and care providers, pediatric providers, infant mental health specialists, and others—work primarily with mothers and do not know how to actively engage fathers.

This free webinar series explored how early childhood programs, home visitors, health and mental health providers, and community agencies can increase their effectiveness in supporting father engagement and co-parenting. It discussed and shared strategies, tools, and outcomes from the Supporting Father Involvement (SFI) Program, an evidence-based research and intervention program designed for families that are culturally and economically diverse. Participants learned:

  • Why fathering and co-parenting is important for children’s development, learning, and wellbeing
  • How to expand the power of fathering and co-parenting alongside mothering
  • Strategies programs and providers can use to encourage fathers’ engagement in their children’s and family’s lives

All webinars offered live Spanish translation.

This webinar series was made possible by the generosity of our community of supporters.

 

Webinar 1:
Focus on Father Involvement and Co-parenting: Why It Matters
Tuesday, September 29, 2020; 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

This webinar explored the positive impact of fathering and co-parenting on child and family development, and how the Supporting Father Involvement model supports fathers as equal partners in parenting. The presenters introduced SFI’s Five Domain Model and its engagement tool for tapping father involvement and increasing shared parenting responsibilities. A director from a community agency serving diverse families discussed the impact of implementing the SFI program in his community.

Presenters:

  • Armando Alcaraz, Project Director, Papás of the Central Coast, a program of Encompass Community Services, Watsonville, CA
  • Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL, Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor, Smith College School for Social Work
  • Kyle Pruett, MD, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

Watch Recording

Webinar 2:
Parent and Child Voices: The Importance of Fathering and Co-parenting
Tuesday, October 20, 2020; 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

This webinar featured the voices of children, fathers, and mothers on the importance of fathering and co-parenting. The presenters will explore how the SFI program helps parents learn to hear what their partners and children need, and figure out—together—the routines, parenting strategies, and future plans they want to keep or change to best sustain their family. The webinar will include short videos of children talking about what their father’s presence or absence means to them, and of parents discussing how SFI changed their families. 

Presenters:

  • Philip A. Cowan, PhD, Professor of Psychology Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley
  • Carolyn Pape Cowan, PhD, Professor of Psychology Emerita, University of California, Berkeley
  • Deutron Kebebew, Founder and Executive Director of MENtors Driving Change for Boys, Men, and Dads

Watch Recording

Webinar 3:
From “Second Shift” to “First Shift”: Supporting Fathers as Central to Family Life
Tuesday, November 17, 2020; 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

The third webinar focused on institutional, practitioner, and family changes that must occur to make room for fathers in the “first shift” of family life. It will showcase a user-friendly tool from the SFI program that can help organizations assess their “father friendliness.” Agency and program changes that increase fathers’ inclusion in family life will be shared. The presenters also will highlight fathers’ contributions to family life in over-burdened, under-resourced communities, which often go unrecognized. 

Presenters:

  • Armando Alcaraz, Project Director, Papás of the Central Coast, a program of Encompass Community Services, Watsonville, CA
  • Philip A. Cowan, PhD, Professor of Psychology Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley
  • Deutron Kebebew, Founder and Executive Director of MENtors Driving Change for Boys, Men, and Dads
  • Kyle Pruett, MD, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

Watch Recording

Learn more about the presenters:

Armando Alcaraz is Project Director of Papás of the Central Coast, a program of Encompass Community Services that offers parent groups and social activities in California’s Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties that are designed to strengthen the father-child bond. Armando has worked as a social worker and facilitator in the Latino/Hispanic community with parents in low-income households and parents of children with special needs for over 15 years. He has noticed the positive impact on families when fathers are involved and actively participating in parenting and when couples make conscious efforts to improve their co-parenting and communication.

 

Carolyn Pape Cowan, PhD, is Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She has over 40 years of clinical and research experience in evaluating interventions with parents from diverse settings and income levels that are designed to strengthen family relationships in order to foster parents’ and children’s development and well-being. She is one of the four designers and consultants of the Supporting Father Involvement/Parents as Partners program, conducted in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Malta, and Israel. Co-editor of Fatherhood Today, and co-author of When Partners Become Parents and The Family Context of Parenting in the Child’s Adaptation to School, Dr. Cowan also publishes widely in the literature on family transitions, interventions, and family policy. 

 

Philip A. Cowan, PhD, is Professor of Psychology Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-director of three longitudinal preventive intervention projects with Carolyn Pape Cowan. Dr. Cowan served as Director of the Clinical Psychology Program and the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley. In addition to authoring numerous scientific articles, he is the author of Piaget with Feeling (Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1978), co-author of When Partners Become Parents: The Big Life Change for Couples (Erlbaum, 2000), and co-editor of four books and monographs, including Family Transitions (Erlbaum, 1990), and The Family Context of Parenting in the Child’s Adaptation to School (Erlbaum, 2005). He is one of the four designers and consultants of the Supporting Father Involvement/Parents as Partners program, conducted in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Malta, and Israel.

Deutron Kebebew is a father, husband, and a mentor to fathers, father-figures, and young people in our community. He is the Founder and Executive Director of MENtors Driving Change for Boys, Men, and Dads, a local social justice 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Previously, Deutron managed and directed the Supporting Father Involvement (SFI) evidence-based clinical research project for over a decade in Santa Cruz County, California, in partnership with the University of California (UC) at Berkeley and Yale University. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from UC Santa Cruz. Deutron has a strong passion and commitment to representing, supporting, and working for children, youth, fathers, and families. He has extensive fatherhood involvement intervention expertise, training, knowledge, program experience, and background in evidence-based program implementation with fathers and co-parents. He has over 15 years of leadership and implementation experience and working with the Supporting Father Involvement curriculum and group work. Deutron has engaged and served over 4,000 fathers and father-figures over a 15-year period. He has served on several community boards, including Children’s Network, CASA, Smith Society, and the Watsonville Rotary Club.

Kyle Pruett, MD, is Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry and Nursing and has served as Director of Medical Studies at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, where he received both the Lifetime Distinguished Teaching and Lifetime Achievement awards for being “the psychiatrist’s psychiatrist.” He has been in the private practice of infant, child, adolescent, and family psychiatry since 1974 in New Haven and Guilford, CT, and since 2007, in Northampton, MA. With his wife Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, and with Drs. Carolyn and Phil Cowan, he served as co-investigator in the award-winning eight-year, 900+ family, multi-site, multi-cultural abuse and neglect prevention study, “Supporting Fatherhood Involvement,” for California’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention. Dr. Pruett is an award-winning author and researcher, has published 100+ original scientific articles, and is a frequent contributor to national and international media on matters pertaining to children’s mental health and their families, with an emphasis on paternal engagement and its effect on child well-being. 

Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, MSL, is the Maconda Brown O’Connor Professor at Smith College School for Social Work. She has over 25 years of clinical experience, with expertise in couples counseling, father involvement and co-parenting consultation, and the design and evaluation of model programs created to minimize family conflict and help solve disputes within and outside of the legal system. One of the four designers and consultants of the Supporting Fatherhood Involvement (SFI) Program, she has been involved in its design and implementation in the U.S. and Canada and in current adaptations abroad. A prolific writer and speaker for scholarly and lay audiences, Dr. Kline Pruett specializes in social science research translation, family issues pertaining to early development, communication, conflict, and parenting plans after separation.