New Program and Policy Research on Fatherhood
(Family and Child Policy)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This panel will highlight new evaluation research on fatherhood programs and policy conducted with funding from the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN). Begun in 2013 and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Planning Research and Evaluation, FRPN has promoted the rigorous evaluation of responsible fatherhood programs that seek to improve the economic contributions, parenting skill and coparenting relationships of low-income, nonresident fathers. FRPN has done so by soliciting proposals and making sub-awards ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to 20 teams of fatherhood researchers and practitioners to evaluate various aspects of fatherhood programs. To encourage system-level change, FRPN has also solicited proposals and awarded planning grants of $10,000 to multi-agency teams in 11 states to engage stakeholders in activities aimed at enhancing father inclusion in state programs and policies dealing with children and families. Finally, the FRPN co-directors have engaged in new evaluation research on fatherhood programs and policies.
This panel will feature four FRPN-funded studies that address critical areas of fatherhood program practice and are expected to help shape the development of the next generation of federally-led responsible fatherhood evaluation which will occur in 2020 with the planned release of new five-year competitive grant awards totaling up to $75 million per year for the fatherhood component of the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grant Program sponsored by HHS’s Office of Family Assistance. Dr. Fagan’s paper addresses the important area of improving coparenting relationships among low-income parents who do not live together. He presents findings of a study to involve 218 mothers at nine responsible fatherhood programs in a coparenting intervention called Understanding Dads™, developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative. Dr. Bellamy’s paper addresses the important area of improving the engagement of low-income, nonresident fathers in home visiting services. She presents findings of a study to identify biases against father inclusion held by human services worker and strategies to overcome them. Dr. Lee’s paper addresses the important area of improving the quality of parenting demonstrated by low-income, nonresident fathers. She presents findings of a study to use social media to deliver critical parenting information and promote positive father behavior with infants. Dr. Pearson’s paper addresses the important area of including fathers in policies and programs dealing with families and children at the state level. She presents findings of a study of enablers and barriers to effective state planning initiatives conducted by 11 states that pursued data collection activities, strategic planning efforts, interagency convenings, and fatherhood summits to achieve more father inclusive policies.
The discussants for this panel are drawn from the fatherhood research and policy arenas. The chair of the panel is an administrator of a fatherhood program and the recipient of one of the 11 FRPN planning grants.