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Introduction: Since 2005, Congress has funded Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grants to support programs for fathers that promote responsible parenting, economic stability, and healthy marriage. Although many fathers voluntarily enroll in these programs, service providers often struggle with program attendance and completion. RF programs cannot achieve their intended outcomes if fathers participate minimally or not at all. Factors related to fathers' circumstances and the programs that serve them may explain what leads some fathers to participate more than others. Understanding the associations between these factors and RF program participation may help practitioners design and target their services to maximize program attendance and completion - and ultimately improve fathers' outcomes.
The Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation included four RF programs in its rigorous multi-component research design. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, PACT examined: fathers' backgrounds, views, and experiences (qualitative study component), how the programs were implemented (implementation study component) and the programs' effects on fathers' outcomes (impacts study component). Using data collected for the implementation study and baseline data from the impact study, this brief presents findings on factors associated with fathers' participation in RF programs.