North Star Father-Friendly Principles

These principles were established by building from the ideas presented by the Alameda County Fathers Corps Father-Friendly Principles and the initial draft from the 2021 Annual Interagency Fatherhood Council Summit.

  1. Service providers and referral organizations need to be proactive and diligent in helping marginalized fathers and father figures connect to the services and supports they need.
  2. Child and family service providers apply equity and practice belonging in designing and delivery of services to fathers in existing and new programming to meet the unique needs of marginalized fathers.
  3. Systems, policies, and programs need to factor the critical periods of rapid brain development, prenatal to 2 years and adolescence and the essential role of all the loving adults in the life of our children in the design and delivery of services.
  4. Fathers with lived experience with systems that intersect with family services need to be involved in the design and decision making of program development, policy and system transformation.
  5. Service providers need to recruit, train, and retain more male staff that reflect the communities they serve in more effectively meeting the unique needs of fathers
  6. In all family based systems increase the capacity to deliver fatherhood specific resources and access for fathers who are seeking resources.
  7. All organizations that work with families need to have materials, imagery showing loving fathers and male role models.
  8. Across our systems and in our programs we normalize that fathers need to be involved in their child’s life and that co-parenting creates better outcomes for children and families and should be actively supported.
  9. Increase the use of data to assess the efficacy of policies, programs, and systems in improving fatherhood outcomes.
  10. People, policies, systems, and programs need to be aware of and address individual and system biases that marginalize fathers and father figures.
  11. Professionals working with families need to recognize we all come to our professional roles with our personal histories which influence how we are present in our roles to support families.


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