The National Fatherhood League: Increasing Father Involvement in the Black American Community
Background: Father absence is a worldwide phenomenon associated with poor academic performance, negative social skills, poor mental health, delinquency behavior, incarceration, and substance abuse in children. In America, 46.3% of Black American children live without their fathers and are at greater risk for social problems and developmental difficulties. On the contrary, actively involved Black American fathers who discipline their children by setting limits and boundaries have socially and emotionally stable children who can form meaningful relationships with others and remain steadfast in challenging situations. Furthermore, the Bible calls for individuals to take up the fatherless cause. Thus, it is essential to increase father involvement in the Black American community to ensure children's positive growth and development. Researchers have developed effective interventions and fatherhood programs that increase a father's involvement with his children. However, Black American men's participation in these effective programs is significantly low. Therefore, it is imperative to discover practical ways to increase the participation of Black American men in effective fatherhood programs to increase father involvement in the Black American community. Community Engagement Efforts: A qualitative thematic analysis examined the research question of what mission, elements, and outcomes an effective fatherhood program encompasses for Black American men's increased participation. This project engaged the Black American male community by utilizing focus group meetings and transcribed and analyzed the focus groups using the latest Nvivo software, where the respondents' views emerged four major themes leading to sub-themes followed by initial codes. The study's results informed a social innovation to increase father involvement in the Black American community. Conceptual Model: Albert Bandura's (1977) Social Learning Theory guided and informed this study in creating a fatherhood coalition culturally tailored to Black men that aids in increasing a father's involvement with their children. Social Innovation: Theoretically, this research has led to the proposal of a social innovation called The National Fatherhood League (TNFL), a non-profit fraternity organization geared toward increasing father involvement in families and the community and promoting the development of men individually. A critical component of TNFL is its structured nine-month mentoring program that initiates members into the fraternity. During the nine-month mentoring program, mentees develop two fatherhood goals and one personal goal to ensure the mission and vision of TNFL are met. Evaluation: To evaluate the effectiveness of The National Fatherhood League, a quantitative study using surveys will investigate the impact The National Fatherhood League has on its members and analyze if TNFL services increase father involvement. Conclusion: The researcher summarizes the data collection results and discusses the implications and future research of TNFL.
A capstone project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Social Work
Social Work, African American Studies