The NYC Department of Probation is working diligently to make the issue of fatherhood an integral part of their client relationship. One of the goals of DOP’s strategic plan is to build stronger communities. DOP believes that bringing fathers together with their children is critical to fulfilling this goal. The agency understands that this bonding is not only financially beneficial to children but there are also many psychological and social rewards to both the child and the father.
Prior to DOP’s involvement in NYC DADS-The Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative, the department's probation officers only engaged fathers on an individual basis. While some officers were diligent and raised the issue with their clients other officers did not. Today, DOP is taking a more intentional approach to engaging fathers and promoting father’s involvement in the lives of their children. In collaboration with the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Human Resources Administration and the State Office of Children and Family Service, DOP’s training unit, the Division of Staff and Organizational Development fatherhood developed a new curriculum to train Probation Officers in effective methods of father engagement. DOP intends to train all officers in the department by the end of 2011. In addition, DOP is making the waiting rooms for their clients more father friendly by displaying posters and resources that can be utilized by fathers. Some of the agency's fathers and their children have already participated in related events.
DOP's senior management reiterates the importance of engaging fathers to all staff. By discussing its strategic goals with all levels of staff, DOP seeks to ensure that everyone understands that engaging fathers is central to its goal of a safer and stronger community.
For more information about the Department of Probation, please visit their website.