June is National Reunification Month and Fatherhood Awareness Month
In conjunction with National Reunification Month and Fatherhood Awareness Month in June, we are highlighting programs and services that focus on reunifying children in foster care with their parents and families and celebrating fathers and the importance of a father’s engagement with his children and family, especially during the reunification process.
It is our goal that children in foster care be given every opportunity to grow up with their parents or other relatives whenever possible. National Reunification Month celebrates the people and efforts that support reunification and raises awareness of the importance of successful relationships between birth parents, foster families and child welfare professionals in achieving reunification.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, fathers and paternal family members play a crucial role in children’s growth, development and well-being, and engaged fathers can increase the potential for reunification when a child is in foster care.
Throughout June, we will be highlighting information, links and resources on Facebook and Twitter about foster care, fatherhood and reunification and how residents can support Alexandria’s at-risk families and children.
In addition, check out opportunities to support at-risk children in Alexandria, including volunteer and mentoring opportunities as well as programs to employ youth. You can also help enhance the lives of resource families and children in foster care through The Fund for Alexandria’s Child, which provides extra-curricular activities and other childhood experiences for children in foster care.
Fatherhood Support and Engagement
There is a direct link between father involvement and child safety and well-being. Just like mothers, fathers are crucial to a child’s healthy physical, emotional and psychological development. Children in and out of foster care with involved fathers are at lower risk for delinquency, teen pregnancy, drug use and dropping out of school. DCHS provides specialized fatherhood engagement services to families experiencing foster care.
Fathers In Touch
Fathers in Touch (FIT) helps fathers get the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the real world and provide for their family. The program prepares men with education, workforce development and technical and leadership skills through workshops that include workforce and economic development as well as personal and family development.
Learn more about the program.
For more information about father engagement