Rufus Lynch

Stoneleigh Fellow


Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch is motivated by the fact that for a variety of reasons, too many children are growing up without the emotional and financial support of both parents. According to the Annie E. Casey Kids Count (2011), 34% of all American households are headed by a single parent, affecting some 25 million children. The most recent census reflects that only 15% of these are headed by a father. The “father-absent” factor in the lives of children leads to greater poverty, dropout rates, instances of neglect and abuse, and juvenile justice and foster care system involvement.

Dr. Lynch’s fellowship will explore and address some of the barriers to fathers’ involvement with children. Working with some two dozen foster care provider agencies and responsible fatherhood service providers, he will administer father-friendly agency assessments, training and practice revisions, and enhance the integration of fatherhood programming into foster care service delivery.

Dr. Lynch’s main partner is the Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research; however, he has active support from the Regional Office of the Department of Health and Human Services, the City Department of Human Services and the state chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The overarching goal of the fellowship is to improve well-being outcomes for children in Philadelphia and across the nation by creating a model for integrating responsible fatherhood programming into the child welfare system.

Rufus Sylvester Lynch, a NASW Social Work Pioneer ®, has served as President and Principal Investigator of the Institute for the Advancement of Working Families (IAWF): A Forensic Education, Behavioral Health, and Employment Services Corporation, since October 2001.