JFCS of the Suncoast’s (JFCS) Ignite program is among ten Responsible Fatherhood programs in the United States selected to participate in the highly competitive federal evaluation project, Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF).
“JFCS is very pleased and honored to be selected to participate in the evaluation project. Our selection is a reflection of the hard work of our staff in effectively implementing this important federal program. This program is an important part of our Building Strong Families program,” stated Arthur Lerman, JFCS President/CEO.
On behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), MDRC will oversee a collaborative examination by Ignite and SIRF to increase fathers’ involvement in Responsible Fatherhood programs. Beginning in June, the organizations will co-design and test strategies that will assist Responsible Fatherhood programs nationwide in overcoming implementation challenges such as recruiting and registering fathers and keeping them actively engaged in services. Research findings will be released throughout the course of the project. They will help SIRF build evidence to improve program effectiveness and introduce opportunities for future research.
Last fall, JFCS received the $1.49 million Responsible Fatherhood grant to fund their entire Ignite program. The Responsible Fatherhood grant is one of two grants awarded to JFCS by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ that promotes “strong, healthy family formation and maintenance, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability.”
To encourage participation in the Ignite program and reduce engagement barriers, JFCS will try out new coaching strategies for fathers and provide supports for them and their families during their participation. Ignite staff will recruit and engage 250 fathers and father figures annual through the end of 2025. Fathers and father figures who live in Sarasota or Manatee Counties and are interested in learning more about the Ignite program should contact Katelyn Kopakin at 941-366-2224, ext. 109 or KKopakin@JFCS-Cares.org
About The Administration for Children and Families: The Administration for Children & Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities with funding, strategic partnerships, guidance, training and technical assistance.
About the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Programs: Since 2006, the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood programs across the country have received federal funding administered by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These programs aim to promote positive father-child interactions, improve parents’ relationships with each other, and increase their capacity to parent as a team, and build fathers’ economic stability.
About Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Program: The Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF) project is studying ways to help programs overcome implementation challenges using learning cycles, which utilize an iterative approach to identify implementation roadblocks, design and test solutions, interpret findings, and adapt practices and measurement. This project is led by the nonprofit policy research organization MDRC and its partners MEF Associates and Insight Policy Research.
About JFCS: Celebrating its 35th year as one of the Florida Suncoast’s leading mental health and human services agencies, JFCS offers programs that support youth, families, seniors and veterans. Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, services are delivered on a non-denominational basis and with the goal of empowering individuals and families to self-sufficiency and stability. JFCS of the Suncoast believes all people are to be treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunity to physical well-being, self-expression and joy. For more information, visit https://JFCS-Cares.org/ or call (941) 366-2224.