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The “Dads Matter-HV” (home visitation) service enhancement is an intervention that guides home visitors on how to optimize fathers’ roles during the critical first four months of home visiting services, when family and service patterns are most malleable. Through FRPN-funding, a group of researchers led by the University of Denver’s Jennifer Bellamy, PhD., in collaboration with Metropolitan Family Services and four other Chicago-based programs, investigated home visitors’ attitudes and expectations about working with fathers and the effects of implementing the Dads Matter enhancement on fathers’ participation in home visits and the home visitors’ relationships with mothers and fathers.
Findings from this study indicate that home visitors report generally positive attitudes toward engaging fathers, training home visitors in Dads Matter-HV increases dads’ participation in home visiting services, and it does not compromise workers’ relationships with mothers. Moreover, home visitors trained in Dads Matter-HV describe using more, and more varied, approaches to engaging fathers in services.