It’s My Child Too (IMCT)

Director: Douglas Powell, PhD, professor and head, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Assistant: Chuck Calahan, project coordinator, Department of Child Development and Family Studies

Staff: Rita Hipps, secretary and administrative support
Janet Walter, graduate assistant
David Caldwell, Extension educator and trainer
Curt Emanuel, Extension educator and trainer
Linn Veen, co-author of It’s My Child Too

Funding: Indiana Family and Social Service Administration
Indianapolis Foundation, Tecumseh Area Partnership, $13,000 for one year

Term of Project: June 2000-May 2001

Description: It’s My Child Too (IMCT) is a short-term, parent-education program designed for fathers 14 to 25 years old in need of parenting knowledge and skills. Primary emphasis is on the healthy development of children. The program is viewed as a first step in heightening awareness of the roles, responsibilities, and skills of fatherhood.

Development of the program began in August 1994. During this phase, an information base was developed through interviews with young fathers, judges, Cooperative Extension officials, and other experts, and a review of the research literature on young fathers. The project’s second phase entailed developing a preliminary curriculum, which was implemented at four pilot sites in the project’s third phase. Extensive revisions, including the addition of new material, were made based on the pilot programs. During the third phase, a series of two-day intensive trainings on using the program were held throughout Indiana for Extension educators and other professionals working with young fathers. Sixty-eight of Indiana’s 92 counties (74%) have been trained to implement IMCT, and the curriculum has been purchased by agencies in more than 25 other states, including Alaska, Texas, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, in addition to a growing program, the Young Fathers’ Program, in Ontario, Canada.

Videotape and a detailed training manual to support local train-the-trainer efforts were developed during the project’s fourth phase. Also, videotape of typical situations or vignettes in the curriculum are now available for program sessions. The curriculum has been revised and expanded with stronger attention to responsible decision-making. Three trainings on the new videotape, revised and expanded curriculum, and train-the-trainer manual were held in Indiana in fall 2000 and spring 2001.

Ninety-four percent of child support professionals expressed the need for relevant resource materials for fathers and families. The Bringing Dads and Kids Together awareness packet was produced and distributed to 523 professional offices in the state. Titles in this resource packet included: “What Dads Do,” “How Fathers Make a Difference,” “Stresses Fathers Face,” and the IMCT brochure.

A recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Honors Award, this program has gained national attention as a unique and effective parent-education program for young dads.