The goals of the FRPN are to:
- Promote rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs that serve low-income fathers. FRPN has funded evaluation research of programs that aim to increase paternal engagement and parenting skills; improve fathers’ ability to provide economic support; and increase parenting time, father-child contact, positive coparenting and healthy relationships.
- Expand the number of researchers and practitioners collaborating to evaluate fatherhood programs through in-person and virtual trainings.
- Disseminate information, including new evaluation findings, that leads to effective fatherhood practice and evaluation research.
- Promote father inclusion in state-level programs and policies dealing with children and families.
This project is led by Jay Fagan, Ph.D., professor of social work at Temple University and founding editor of the journal Fathering, and Jessica Pearson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Policy Research (CPR) in Denver, Colorado. CPR is a nonprofit research and evaluation firm established in 1981 to improve the lives of children and their families. FRPN also includes a steering committee and four workgroups consisting of approximately 40 leading national fatherhood researchers and practitioners who have helped guide the direction of the project.
Why is the FRPN needed?
1. The evaluation of fatherhood programs involves multiple disciplines, but there are limited opportunities for:
- Researchers to engage in dialogue or work collaboratively to improve next-stage work.
- Practitioners to work closely with researchers.
- Researchers and practitioners to share information about effective practice.
2. There is a large and growing body of research on how fathers positively influence child development and well-being, but there is:
- Limited knowledge about which interventions are most effective with low-income, non-resident fathers and under-studied populations.
- Limited evidence about how these interventions affect fathers, children and families.
- A lack of rigorous research about effective interventions with low-income fathers facing additional challenges.
3. While nearly every state has community-based and/or public programs to support fathers, there are:
- Limited numbers of states with multi-agency initiatives or commissions that aim to include fathers in programs and policies dealing with children and families.
- Limited number of states that use public funds such as TANF to support fatherhood programs.
- Limited number of state systems that improve service delivery for children and families by overcoming barriers that exclude fathers.
4. There is need for improvement in the areas of:
- Disseminating information on fatherhood in formats of greatest use to specific audiences.
- Building capacity in the fatherhood field to support and conduct well designed, scientifically valid evaluation studies among researchers and practitioners.
- Providing technical assistance and guidance to state leaders trying to implement father inclusion strategies.
Read the latest FRPN publications.