Early childhood home visiting programs typically target pregnant women and mothers of young children, but increasing attention is being given to the practice of engaging fathers as well. This study aimed to understand how home visiting programs engage fathers, what fathers’ experiences are in those programs, and the perceived benefits of fathers’ participation. Qualitative interviews were conducted with home visiting program administrators, staff members, and participating fathers and mothers in five programs implementing strategies to engage fathers in home visiting services. The findings have implications both for home visiting programs that are interested in working with fathers, and for responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage programs that serve low-income fathers. The final report, Approaches to Father Engagement and Fathers’ Experiences in Home Visiting Programs, discusses approaches that home visiting programs use to engage fathers, the challenges they face, the strategies they use to overcome these challenges, and benefits of participating from the perspective of fathers and program staff. There are also two accompanying briefs: Serving Young Fathers in Home Visiting Programs: Highlights from a Research Study, which summarizes key findings from the final report and Engaging Low-Income Fathers in Home Visiting: Approaches, Challenges, and Strategies, which highlights the experiences of a select group of home visiting programs in the United States that are engaging low-income fathers, including the approaches programs use, the challenges they face in engaging fathers, and the strategies they use to overcome these challenges. (Author abstract modified)
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Approaches to Father Engagement and Fathers’ Experiences in Home Visiting Programs.