The Impact of Head Start Fathers on the Lives of Their Children

Published: April 15, 1999
Head Start
Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 1997-2018 | Learn more about this project
Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1999

One of the goals of Head Start, a program designed to serve low-income families, is to strengthen families in their role as the primary nurturers of their children. Consequently, part of the mission of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) has been to investigate how families work to support and nurture their children.

Low-income families experience varied sources of stress, including stress from within their family, from their neighborhood, or from more broad based sources, such as Federal and State welfare reform. These stresses have implications for many parents in terms of daily family functioning and what they are able to do with their children. The burden of family responsibilities may become heavier in households where fathers are not present. Unfortunately, this may come at a cost for the children.