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Currently, hundreds of fatherhood programs are active across the nation and evaluations of these have increased in number. Few studies, however, have considered diversity of experiences and explored factors that may influence change among participants and their families.
Through FRPN-funding received in 2016, Auburn University, the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and the Alabama Department of Human Resources conducted a study of a large group of fathers participating in fatherhood programs to assess the average change trajectory in multiple target outcomes over a one-year period and explore variations in retention and in outcomes within the group, based on geographic setting of the programs (rural or urban), sequencing of services (case management and classes), and race of the father.
The assessment of fatherhood program participants’ improvements yielded encouraging findings that suggest the longer-term influence of program participation on multiple, key indicators of individual and family well-being. Researchers also found that various demographics of fathers impacted vulnerability and need for services as well as benefits received from participating in the fatherhood programs.