Integrating Approaches that Prioritize and Enhance Father Engagement

On October 17,2018, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a joint Information Memorandum (IM) emphasizing the importance of meaningful father engagement in all ACF programs to better serve children and families. The memorandum highlights research findings that demonstrate the value of father involvement in the lives of children and families, and identifies promising practices to promote and sustain meaningful father engagement, regardless of a father’s physical location or custodial participation.

Child care serves as a critical resource in strengthening the role fathers play in the lives of their children. Nurturing relationships between fathers and their families contribute to positive cognitive and social developmental outcomes among children, as well as healthier family environments that are less likely to involve, and better equipped to mitigate the effects of, adverse early childhood experiences (ACEs) which negatively impact long term healthy growth, development, and learning. Early care and learning providers in both home- and center-based settings are uniquely positioned to facilitate and promote fatherhood engagement initiatives. For families where both parents do not live in the same household, child care settings are an important resource to help families communicate about their children’s growth and learning, and develop their parenting skills.

The newly released IM can be found on ACF’s website.

The ACF blog is posted as well.