Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

December/January 2023Vol. 23, No. 10Strategies Programs Use to Help More Dads Participate in Fatherhood Services

Responsible fatherhood programs promote healthy relationships, improve parenting skills, and help fathers attain economic stability. In order for programs to improve fathers’ outcomes, fathers must be actively recruited and engaged in the program activities and services. Helping fathers maintain this engagement and active participation in services can be challenging. A brief from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services details ways to encourage fathers to participate in services that programs can implement to address common barriers to participation in fatherhood programs. These approaches were developed based on the results of a literature scan and conversations with fathers, practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and other subject-matter experts.

The approaches were divided based on four main reasons fathers reported being unable to attend services:

  • I am not interested.
  • I do not think the program is right for me.
  • I have unmet basic needs.
  • I have other relationships or commitments to attend to.

To help programs address these issues, the program addresses practices inside and outside the program. Practitioners can find over 100 ideas to better meet the needs, motivations, and concerns of the fathers they serve.

Explore the brief—What Strategies Can Programs Use to Help More Dads Participate in Fatherhood Services?—to learn more about these promising approaches.