The Jefferson County Reentry Fatherhood Initiative (JCRFI) is a collaborative, innovative, community and strengths-based effort serving low-income returning adult male offenders who are currently fathers, who are expecting children, or who play a “fatherly” or “caregiver” role for minors in their lives.Two recent projects for adult reentry men funded separately by the Center for Substance Abuse (CSAP) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) produced statistically significant results in 9-targeted relationship skills and recidivism reduction. Results from these two projects will be published in the Criminal Justice Policy Review, the premier, peer-reviewed journal of criminal justice, in March, 2012. JCRFI is also funded by ACF.
Following this established history of success, the major thrust of the Jefferson County Reentry Fatherhood Initiative (JCRFI) is to enhance effective fatherhood and healthy relationship skills, and to increase economic stability and social support for participating fathers.
Stakeholder and participant input have played a critical role in the development of this initiative and the needs of individual participants will continue to drive the evolution of the project. As with the previous Fatherhood project, JCRFI uses a version of Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) adapted for fathers and families in preparing for marriage, establishing or re-establishing strong family harmony and supporting adult males who may be in recovery for substance abuse, incarcerated or reentering the community after a period of incarceration, military service, or any other form of physical or emotional separation. This adapted version is a personal and family strengthening experience that addresses the following multiple challenging and interconnected issues: personal history of substance abuse (and recovery support); personal safety and violence prevention; sexual health including HIV and other STD prevention; and prison recidivism. The adaptation employs a multi-faceted, strengths-based approach that includes strategies to assist a parent in gaining deep insight in providing effective prevention practices for their children. This adapted version of CLFC is currently under review by the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) for possible inclusion on their list of evidence-based programs. The original CLFC curriculum is already listed on NREPP.
JCRFI staff will implement the adapted version in conjunction with case management to enable low-income returning offenders to develop a broad range of healthy relationship, responsible parenting and economic stability skills and behaviors.
Continuing a six-year, successful partnership with the Kentucky Department of Corrections will ensure access to a ready stream of potential participants. JCRFI staff have developed strategic partnerships with additional community agencies (Center for Women and Families, Metro Community and Revitalization Services, KentuckianaWorks, Department of Community Based Services, Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Seven Counties Services, and Goodwill Industries) to effectively and efficiently link participating fathers to additional supportive community services (i.e., child support, transportation, housing, medical or health care, education, etc.) when needed.
Ultimately, JCRFI is designed to empower fathers to reconnect first with themselves, their innocence, their hopes and dreams, their personal integrity, character, commitments and emotional and financial responsibilities; and secondly, to reconnect in love and deep respect with their family and children through physical, emotional and economic support.
Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FK0009.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.