HElping Fathers in the Heartland

Helping Fathers in the Heartland is a video and discussion-based program designed to help organizations and communities (including churches) to address the needs of fathers. It is intended for use in small groups of potential stakeholders who are interested in encouraging father engagement. Participants are encouraged to consider the following:

  1. Are the needs of fathers addressed in our organization or community? If so, how is this done and who does it?
  2. How might we as a community or organization more effectively reach out to fathers?
  3. What are the steps to starting a Good Dads initiative?
  4. How and why might we focus on helping fathers through a school-based approach?
  5. What are some of the best ways to fund the work we hope to do?

Becoming a Good Dads Ambassador

A Good Dads Ambassador is an individual who shares the mission and vision of Good Dads in an energized and compelling manner. This may include any of the following:

  1. Information conversation, e.g. coffee, with a friend or acquaintance.
  2. Arranging for a presentation from a Good Dads representative.
  3. Sharing information with others in a group setting about the importance of Good Dads.
  4. Using Good Dads resources, e.g. Helping Fathers in the Heartland, Module 1, to initiate a conversation about the importance of father engagement.

Typically, a Good Dads Ambassador is someone who has the time to talk with others, e.g. an “empty nester” or a recently retired person. He or she must believe in the importance of engaged fathers, understand a bit of the research, and enjoy talking with others.

Learn More


MODULE 1: Assessing Fatherhood Focus in Your Community

Module 1 includes a 10-minute video that poses one chief question: Where do dads go for help in YOUR community? We all know there are plenty of organizations nationwide and globally that aid mothers and children, but a vast majority of dads will be hard-pressed to find constructive programs that aim to help fathers. The first vital step to establishing a Good Dads program in your community is to assess existing resources.

Module 1 covers “the father effect,” which is the benefit of positive paternal presence. It’s no secret there are endless benefits to prioritizing and cultivating engaged, loving fathers. However, there are plenty of barriers that hinder positive fatherhood development. Module 1 addresses those barriers and offer practical methods for positive fatherhood involvement.

MODULE 2:  Who We Are, What We Believe and What We Do

Module 2 poses the big question: What are your organization’s core beliefs? The 11-minute video included in this module covers how your organization’s existing identity and outreach can influence how you run a Good Dads program in your area. 

Considering the commonly held tenets surrounding fatherhood in the community at large will impact the niche a Good Dads program fills in a given landscape. We use the Good Dads Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, as an example in the Module 2 video. By reflecting on our core beliefs, we were able to isolate areas where our services were needed the most while setting attainable goals.

MODULE 3:  Getting a Good Dads Group Started

Module 3 is all about branding and identity. The 10-minute video that comes with Module 3 asks, “How will my organization’s identity influence the people we will impact?” The old adage “know your brand” plays a key role in understanding which kinds of people will benefit from a Good Dads program in your area.

No one organization can reach all dads at once. Module 3 poses several effective methods for narrowing the scope of your operation to achieve the biggest and most productive impact. Finding strong leaders to champion the brand and highlighting model behaviors are two important methods Good Dads explores in Module 3.

MODULE 4:  Good Dads—Strong Schools

Module 4 takes a deep dive into the benefits of creating opportunities for fathers to engage with their children’s educations. In the 17-minute video in Module 4, Good Dads discusses the one important resource that can reach many dads and impact many young lives for the better: schools. 

School-based programs have many advantages – they clearly connect father engagement to improve school outcomes, for one. Schools become valuable resources in the effort to foster good fatherhood practices because they allow fathers the time and space to connect with children in a learning environment with their children’s teachers. Module 4 offers resourceful methods for approaching, establishing and nurturing these mutually beneficial programs.

MODULE 5:  Funding Your Good Dads Vision

Module 5 TBA

Helping Fathers in the Heartland Blogs

Helping Fathers in the Heartland Podcasts