Recognizing Fathers’ Impact on Children’s Lives on Father’s Day and Beyond

June 15, 2020
| Samantha Illangasekare
This image depicts a father and son

Father’s Day gives us the opportunity to highlight the impact fathers can have in the lives of their children. Research shows a link between supportive fathering and positive child outcomes. OPRE has a large portfolio of research projects that address the experience and impact of fatherhood for a wide range of fathers. The findings from these projects can help practitioners consider evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches to best serve fathers in their communities.

For example, OPRE projects are examining how to engage fathers and paternal relatives of children involved in the child welfare system and how to serve fathers who have experienced incarceration. They are testing interventions to improve services and outcomes for fathers, including parenting and economic stability programs and a smartphone-based mobile application designed to improve fathers’ program attendance and parenting involvement.

Martin, a participant in the PACT Evaluation, reflects on fatherhood.

 In this post, in honor of fathers everywhere, we share some of the most recent findings from our fatherhood-related projects.

  • The Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study is examining innovative approaches to helping fathers with low income improve their parenting and employment skills. Based on program experiences, B3 shares a variety of tips for engaging fathers, including incorporating hands-on learning, addressing common logistical problems, and using insights from behavioral science, for example in designing custom phone apps to encourage attendance.
  • Findings from The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation challenge the negative perception that fathers with low incomes who live apart from their children are not interested in assuming the role and responsibilities of fatherhood. The PACT study explored ways in which responsible fatherhood programs are working to help these dads become better parents, providers, and partners and support them on this journey. The impact analysis found that the responsible fatherhood programs in PACT improved fathers’ parenting, specifically their self-reported nurturing behavior and engagement in age-appropriate activities with children.
  • The Preventing and Addressing Intimate Violence when Engaging Dads (PAIVED) study describes multiple promising practices that responsible fatherhood programs can use with to address domestic violence/intimate partner violence (IPV). These include engaging fathers in IPV prevention and response, actively seeking out ways to identify survivors and users of violence, creating partnerships with domestic violence agencies, and providing IPV-related training for responsible fatherhood program staff.

We hope this information is helpful in your work with fathers.

Wishing all the fathers and father figures reading this a very Happy Father's Day!

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