Parents and Children Together: Design and Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Sep 30, 2015
Heather Zaveri, Scott Baumgartner, Robin Dion, and Liz Clary

Key Findings:

  • RF programs in PACT offered a broad array of services that went beyond the three core areas of parenting and fatherhood, economic stability, and healthy relationships.
  • Programs took one of two approaches to service delivery: (1) a cohort approach that integrates content across core areas into one intensive daily workshop, or (2) an open-entry menu approach with separate workshops for parenting, economic stability, and relationships.
  • Employing staff who were role models facilitated RF programs’ ability to serve fathers.
  • Setting performance targets and using data to support program planning, progress monitoring, and midcourse corrections helped RF programs enroll and engage fathers.
  • Integrating staff from organizational partners promoted consistent service delivery.
  • All programs partnered with local child support agencies, but involvement ranged from limited to extensive.
The PACT evaluation, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the Office of Research, Planning and Evaluation in the Administration of Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is examining a set of Responsible Fatherhood (RF) and Healthy Marriage grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). Recognizing that grantees’ programs will continue to grow and develop, PACT aims to provide foundational information to guide ongoing and future program design and evaluation efforts, and to build the evidence base for programming. This report presents early findings from the process study of four OFA RF grantees serving low-income fathers and participating in the PACT evaluation: (1) Connections to Success in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas; (2) Fathers’ Support Center St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri; (3) Goodwill–Easter Seals Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and St. Paul, Minnesota; and (4) Urban Ventures in Minneapolis, Minnesota.