Engaging and involving fathers and other paternal family members is a crucial component of family engagement. Child welfare agencies should continue to focus on creating greater opportunities to partner with fathers throughout their involvement with the child welfare system so that they may maintain their connections with their children and help establish permanency through reunification. The following resources address the engagement of fathers and paternal family members and include State and local examples.
Approaches to Father Engagement and Fathers’ Experiences in Home Visiting Programs (PDF - 1,331 KB)
Sandstrom, Gearing, Peters, Heller, Healy, & Pratt (2015)
Presents key themes and findings from a review of home visiting programs that implemented strategies to engage fathers. The report concludes with implications for home visiting program design and implementation.
Encouraging Attendance and Engagement in Parenting Programs: Developing a Smartphone Application With Fathers, for Fathers
Balu, Lee, & Steimle (2018)
MDRC & University of Michigan
Describes the development of a smartphone app for fathers to help boost participation and address the challenges they face with parenting program attendance.
Engaging and Supporting Native Fathers (PDF - 171 KB)
Capacity Building Center for Tribes (2016)
Highlights links to selected articles and resources that focus on engaging and supporting Native fathers.
Futures Without Violence
Explores ways that child welfare caseworkers and agencies can better engage fathers to try to create a healthy role for them in their children's lives. Strategies for working together are listed.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau
Provides information and resources to enhance father engagement efforts, including wall posters to create father-friendly environments and a webinar on supporting fathers with the help of communities.
Father Engagement and Father Involvement Toolkit
University of California Berkeley, California Social Work Education Center
Provides a fatherhood engagement toolkit for communities and local organizations that includes engagement and communication tools, assessments, trainings, policies and procedures, and evaluation tools.
The Father Factor: How to Effectively Serve Dads Involved in Child Welfare
National Fatherhood Initiative
Provides resources to help agencies increase the involvement of young fathers in the lives of their children, particularly when these fathers are involved in the child welfare system. The resources touch on topics such as protective factors, coparenting, intimate partner violence, and more.
National Family Preservation Network (NFPN)
Provides information on and resources for the NFPN basic and advanced fatherhood training curricula, which focus on best practices and the skills needed to engage fathers. Some of the resources on this website are only available by paying a fee.
A Father's Impact on Child Development
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2018)
Examines the specific impacts of father engagement on childhood development and lists 10 important facts related to fatherhood and children. The resource also describes the negative effects of father absence.
National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute
Serves as the National Compadres Network's policy, advocacy, and training arm to assist national and community organizations with the development and implementation of programs that resonate with Chicano, Latino, Native, Raza, and other communities of color.
Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
Parents as Teachers
Provides strategies to encourage absent fathers' renewed involvement in their children's lives. The toolkit includes strategies for service providers to improve their practice with fathers and assess agency performance.
Resources for Serving Young Fathers (PDF - 1,550 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health (2016)
Provides a comprehensive approach for working with young fathers. The toolkit includes a factsheet describing the benefits of positive involvement with children, an assessment and checklist to help make programs more young-father friendly, a workbook with interactive activities to explore fathers' unique challenges and potential, and tips and strategies to recruit and retain young fathers.
Supporting Fathers and Strengthening Families
Child & Family Research Partnership (2017)
Explains the importance of father involvement for child well-being and development and increasing protective factors in families. The report also discusses disproportionately regarding fathers and father figures being implicated in child maltreatment.
Dads Rock: Nurturing Father Engagement [Video]
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center & United States Children's Bureau (2018)
Presents the benefits of father involvement in the lives of children and features the work of the Children's Trust of Massachusetts Fatherhood Initiative. The webinar also explores the challenges in attracting fathers to services.
Children's Bureau, Inc.
Describes a program in Indiana that identifies fathers and helps them reengage in their children's lives. Through the program, caseworkers provide mentorship to dads who typically did not experience safety and stability during their own childhoods.
Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Children, Youth and Families Division
Provides information on the benefits of father engagement, parenting classes for fathers, local events that focus on parenting or engagement, a fatherhood podcast and video series, and more.
New Hampshire Department of Education: The E3 Teen Fatherhood Program
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health (2017)
Provides information about a program to increase the likelihood that teen fathers will develop skills and knowledge to lead successful lives and to fully engage in the parenting of their children. The E3 program approach is to improve education, employment, and family engagement for teen fathers in New Hampshire and to build a sustainable network of stakeholders and partners to serve their unique needs.
Responsible Fatherhood Programming: Two Approaches to Service Delivery (PDF - 1,331 KB)
Zaveri, Dion, & Baumgartner (2015)
Parents and Children Together & Mathematica Policy Research
Provides an overview of four Responsible Fatherhood grantees and how their different approaches to service delivery address the needs of fathers, influence their engagement and participation in services, and affect the program content to which they are exposed.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Explains an initiative in Texas that provides men with support and services to help them become fully involved dads. The website offers ways to engage fathers and then keep them involved, resources and tips for fathers, and a video.