In our society, there is a stereotype for how men are expected to behave.
They are often expected to be providers for their families, to be silent about their feelings, and seen as “weak” if they ask for help. We recognize these stereotypes may keep men, specifically men of color, from seeking support with food assistance, employment assistance, caregiving assistance, or services as a someone who caused harm to or was harmed by an intimate partner, child, family member, or vulnerable adult.
In response, our Department of Family Services is improving its approach to male engagement and shaping its service delivery system to engage and support men and boys who receive services.
We can make a positive impact on the lives of men and boys of color by recognizing that they are the experts in their own lives and meeting them where they are. By attending to men of color in an unbiased way, we can better support engagement leading to increased economic opportunity and wellbeing. By ensuring our messages and materials are welcoming, we can improve our engagement with men of color and their families.
This approach is aligned with the Countywide Strategic Plan and the One Fairfax racial and social equity policy; and the inclusive engagement of all county residents in shaping our future.