The Bureau of Family Health (BFH) has been working with MEE Productions to better equip its staff with skills to communicate effectively with African-American fathers and communities and to learn how to engage African-American fathers to participate in BFH programs and services.
Findings relevant to breastfeeding promotion indicate that fathers resonate most with information that emphasizes health benefits for the child and cost savings that occur when the child is breastfed. Additionally, fathers indicated they don’t feel they play a role in the decision to breastfeed the baby, so recommendations for increasing father engagement include re-framing breastfeeding educational opportunities as “Child Nutrition” rather than “Breastfeeding.”
BFH Activities with MEE Productions
- 2017: Conducted statewide focus group research with African-American fathers. The goal of the focus groups was to gain a better understanding of how state agencies like BFH can engage African-American fathers to support the health and wellness of their families, particularly of their female partners and children. Read the report
- 2018: Conducted statewide focus group research to learn how BFH’s promotional messages and materials resonated with men. Focus groups also explored how our messaging/materials can be enhanced to better connect and resonate with African-American fathers. Read the report
- 2017 & 2018: Hosted professional development workshops and webinars across the state designed to improve attendees’ ability to communicate with African-American communities and provide them with public health information in a way that is effective and culturally-relevant.
- 2018 & 2019: Conducted key informant interviews with professionals who work with men, and experts in the field. View the interview with Sulaiman Nuriddin, fatherhood expert
- 2019: Hosted professional development workshops and webinars across the state designed to improve attendee’s cultural competency and ability to communicate effectively with African-American men and fathers (and other under served populations).
- 2019: Worked with MEE and select BFH programs (Development Screening Initiative, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, and our breastfeeding program, including The Gift) to determine ways to better engage fathers while working collaboratively to do so. We hope to replicate findings with other programs within BFH.