Fathers play a unique role in their children’s lives and development, but some fathers face personal or societal barriers to positive involvement with their children — such as low levels of education, stigma from criminal records, declining wages for low-skilled men, or family instability. Responsible Fatherhood programs aim to improve the well-being of low-income fathers and their children by addressing these types of barriers.
On behalf of the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) study partnered with Responsible Fatherhood programs and experts in the field to identify high-priority questions and emerging service approaches. Programs use a number of promising models to work with fathers, but rigorous studies have not yet shown which are effective and worth expanding or replicating.
The B3 team is rigorously evaluating three new and emerging service approaches being implemented across Responsible Fatherhood program sites:
Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Justice Involved Individuals Seeking Employment: a series of interactive workshops designed for small groups to develop interpersonal skills for the workplace
Just Beginning: five one-on-one sessions designed to enhance a father’s early relationship with his young child
- DadTime: a smartphone application to support engagement in the Just Beginning program
These interventions were selected for their emphasis on active skill-building for adults. Each works with fathers to help them learn, do, reflect, and successfully build new capabilities.