Father Friendliness Organizational Self-Assessment Tools (FFOSAs)
The Father Friendliness Organizational Self-assessment tools were developed by the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership (NPCL) in partnership with the National Head Start Association (NHSA); the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Region V; the Illinois Department of Public Aid; and the Division of Child Support Enforcement.
The questionnaire has been slightly edited and modified by Cowan, Cowan, Pruett, Pruett, and the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC). The modified questionnaire includes additional items that have been adapted from the Assessment Guide on Father Inclusive Practices and the National Quality Improvement Center on Non-resident Fathers and the child welfare system Father Friendly Check-Up™.
How the FFOSAs Were Used
Eleven counties participated in a pilot to make their agencies more engaging to/with fathers. One of the first things that they did was to conduct an assessment to gauge the perception of father friendliness in their organizations. The plan was to administer the Father Friendliness Organizational Self-assessment tools at three intervals, six months apart. After each administration, counties reflected upon their results, hoping to see their scores increase each time.
The FFOSA would help to inform counties about the types of father engagement strategies they would ultimately employ. Although not explicitly scientific, the tool gave counties baseline information about their organization. For example, the FFOSA was divided into 8 categories and if agencies scored lower than they would have liked, they could develop and implement strategies to fit their needs. The 8 categories are:
1. Organizational Support
2. Position and Reputation in the Community
3. Agency Policies and Procedures
4. Staffing/Human Services
5. Program Services
6. Physical Environment
7. Communication and Interaction
8. Collaboration and Organizational Networking
Staff at all levels were asked to complete the tool. The reasoning was that different people may have different perceptions and interpretations of their organization's friendliness to fathers.
How to Complete the FFOSAs
Staff had the option of completing the questionnaire several ways. They could complete it online. A Survey Monkey questionnaire was set up and a link to staff was sent out via email. Staff could also complete the questionnaire in Excel. Lastly, they could print out the questionnaire and complete it by hand. All of the questionnaires were collected and analyzed centrally.
View or download the Father Friendliness Organizational Self-Assessment for Child Welfare in Excel.
Iniatiative Readiness Self-Assessment Tool
The purpose of this tool is for organizations and agencies to use as a checklist, of sorts, to determine their readiness for the implementation of an initiative, program, or intervention, such as father engagement. The checklist essentially asks organizations to gauge what materials, (human) resources, training and curriculum, policies, finances, etc. are already in place in order to make implementation smoother.
Organizations ranked their readiness in terms of:
- Not yet
- Starting to
- Just about
If organizations find themselves on the lower end of the scale, then, perhaps they may want to consider ways to increase their ranking by completing some of the items described in the tool. If, on the other hand, agencies have ranked themselves in the higher end of the scale, then, perhaps they are ready to start thinking about implementation and making steps toward implementation. For more information about implementation, visit the National Implementation Science Research Network (NIRN). View or download the Initiative Readiness Self-Assessment Tool.
County Specific Assessment Tools
Napa County created two different assessment tools to gather information about children, fathers, and families:
- Family Contact and Family Tree - This template is used to assess family members from the maternal and paternal sides of the family. This form is collected initially at disposition and entered into the CWS/CMS computer system by clerical staff. In addition, the form is administered at different intervals during the case and updates are made periodically. The goal is to start collecting information about families early and often.
- Permanency Case Review Guide - This form assesses the state of permanency for children by asking about precipitating factors that brought the child into the system, family and sibling relationships, child's perspective about permanency, barriers to permanency, cultural considerations, and the staff's hopes for permanency for the child. All of these factors are reviewed and analyzed at six month intervals.