The Role of Social Networks Among Low-Income Fathers: Findings from the PACT Evaluation

Publication Date: November 7, 2016


This brief explores fathers’ social support networks to learn about the size and composition of their family and friendship ties, the types of support they get through these connections, and the types of organizations from which the fathers receive services.

Findings indicate that fathers:

  • Typically had small social networks, and some fathers had no supportive family or friends;
  • used their social networks for four main types of support: emotional, financial, in-kind, and housing; and
  • reported using supports from organizations such as religious organizations, community service agencies, and community based-organizations.

The findings in the brief come from qualitative interviews with participants in four Responsible Fatherhood grantee programs:

  • The Center for Fathering at Urban Ventures (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • The Family Formation Program at Fathers’ Support Center (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Successful STEPS at Connections to Success (Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri)
  • The FATHER Project at Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota)
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