Diversity-Informed Father Engagement in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health – December 8, 2021
December 8 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am PSTFree
Dr. Nucha Isarowong, PhD
December 8, 2021
9:00 am – 10:30am Pacific Standard Time via Zoom
BARNARD CENTER FREE LECTURE SERIES
Diversity-Informed Father Engagement in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
The field of infant and early childhood mental health promotes the relationships between children, prenatally through preschool, and their caregivers. Ideally, this includes those identified as mothers, fathers, second mothers, aunties and uncles, grandparents, kin and felt family, adoptive parents, foster parents, and early care and education providers. However, the emphasis on much of the field’s program and professional attention continues to be on biological mothers that both idealize and blame for children’s developmental outcomes. This lecture series presentation focuses specifically on the identity, concept, and role of fathers, fatherhood, and fathering. Every child has a father-story, from the very basic biological chromosomal story to the everyday, relationally intimate narrative, in the context of the full range of gender diversity. Despite the empirical evidence of fathers’ positive developmental influences on children’s development, IECMH program and professional efforts to be inclusive of fathers and father-figures have been slow and relatively ineffective.
In this session, we will:
- apply the diversity-informed practice framework to analyze and understand program and professional father engagement efforts through the lens of diversity-informed practice, taking into consideration the influences of intersectional and interlocking systems of oppression, such as sexism, racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, transphobia, and homophobia;
- discuss why it is essential, not just a good idea, for organizations, programs, and professionals to engage fathers in services for and with their children and parenting partners; and
- learn about some of the innovative practices in father engagement and begin thinking about some ways you, your programs, and/or organizations can focus on or be inclusive of fathers while keeping in mind principles of diversity and equity.