Fatherhood Programs: Factors Associated with Retention, Completion, and Outcomes

Mar 2020 | Solveig Spjeldnes, Jennifer Shadik, Anirudh Ruhil, Daniel Kloepfer & Zarek Bell

Researchers from Ohio University received FRPN funding to conduct a mixed methods study exploring factors associated with retention, completion, and outcomes across seven Ohio fatherhood agencies. These research questions guided the study:

  1. Which participant factors at intake are associated with attendance levels, program completion, and outcomes?
  2. To what extent does client engagement vary based on programmatic characteristics? To what extent does client engagement differ between and among programs/agencies?
  3. To what extent is program completion associated with specific outcomes including coparenting, parenting self-efficacy, and the child–father relationship?

Through an exit survey, researchers asked quantitative and qualitative questions about fathers’ self-perception regarding domains related to relationships with their children, parenting classes or communication, child support, legal issues, employment, and referrals, education, or counseling.

Only about half of all the enrolled fathers completed the programming. Both qualitative and quantitative findings showed that the fathers who completed classes and received case management services were very satisfied with their relationships with staff and other fathers, the interventions they received, their overall experiences, and their outcomes. The data also indicated no compelling demographic differences between completers and noncompleters and no consistent outcomes associated with completion. 

Implications for fatherhood practitioners and researchers are discussed in the study.  Download the full report below. The summary report can be reviewed here and the executive summary here

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