H-PACT: A Descriptive Study of Responsible Fatherhood Programs Serving Hispanic Men

OPRE Report 2015-112
Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Nov 30, 2015
Authors
Natasha Cabrera, Luis Torres, Robin Dion, and Scott Baumgartner

Key Findings:

  • Three of the four programs strongly reinforced Hispanic values such as familismo (family-centeredness) and such concepts as hombre noble (the ideal father who prioritizes family relationships and takes full responsibility for his actions) through a curriculum developed or adapted for Hispanic fathers.
  • Most program staff were Hispanic men who aimed to demonstrate Hispanic values such as personalismo (warm, personal interactions), respeto (respect), and confianza (confidence and trust) in their interactions with participating fathers. Staff also helped fathers explore notions of masculinity and gender roles.
  • Most fathers were motivated to enroll because they wanted to improve the quality of their interactions with children; many had been involved in the child welfare system. Programs fostered ongoing participation by developing la familia, trust among fathers, and a sense of belonging.
  • Program participants felt the programs helped them become better fathers and reconsider their ideas about what it means to be a man and a father. Many said they learned to be more emotionally supportive and nurturing toward their children, especially boys. 

As one component of the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Research, Planning and Evaluation in the Administration of Children and Families, this report focuses on a descriptive study of four responsible fatherhood programs that primarily serve low-income Hispanic fathers. It describes the social, cultural, and other factors that influence how these four practitioners designed and implemented programs for this population. It also describes the views, experiences, and characteristics of a subset of Hispanic fathers participating in these programs. Nearly 60 percent of participating fathers were foreign-born, and most identified fairly strongly with many traditional Hispanic cultural values on a well-established measure. Most programs reinforced the values of familismo (family-centeredness), and the concept of hombre noble (the ideal father who prioritizes family relationships and takes full responsibility for his actions), through a curriculum developed or adapted for Hispanic fathers. Most program staff were Hispanic fathers themselves, who aimed to demonstrate Hispanic values such as personalismo (warm, personal interactions), respeto (respect), and confianza (confidence and trust) in their interactions with participating fathers. Staff also helped fathers explore notions of masculinity and gender roles. Program participants felt the programs helped them become better fathers and reconsider their ideas about what it means to be a man and a father. Many said they learned to be more emotionally supportive and nurturing toward their children, especially boys.