Making the Case for Fathers


Father’s Day is approaching, and as child and family researchers (and as a mother and possible future mother), we’re concerned about the future of fathers. When a recent poll shows that 2 out of 5 unmarried women under age 50 would consider parenting a child alone, it raises important questions and concerns. Why would so many women think parenting is easy enough to “go it alone”? How can four hands and two brains not be the default position for parenting?

Research findings support the notion that the presence of a loving and nurturing father improves outcomes for children, families, and communities. A separate but highly-related research field has also identified the importance of stable two-parent families and positive parent relationships for child well-being. However, recent trends in family formation such as increases in nonmarital childbearing and high divorce rates have contributed to increasing rates of single motherhood, father absence and multiple-partner fertility (MPF) – or the process of having biological children with more than one partner. These changes to the family, combined with significant economic and cultural shifts, limit many fathers’ opportunities to be involved in positive ways in their children’s lives.

Source: Child Trends

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Father absence in early childhood linked to depression in adolescent girls


New research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol shows that girls whose fathers were absent during the first five years of life were more likely to develop depressive symptoms in adolescence than girls whose fathers left when they were aged five to ten years or than boys in both age groups (0-5 and 5-10), even after a range of factors was taken into account.

While previous studies have looked at the effect of childhood separation and divorce on the risk of depression in adolescence, this new research, published today [15 May] in Psychological Medicine, is one of only a few studies to look specifically at the effect of a father’s absence and the timing of his departure on adolescents’ mental health.

Source: Health News

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Father Engagement Week

June 3 – June 7, 2013

Fathers and male family members play an important role in the lives of their children, families, and Head Start and Early Head Start communities. To support program efforts to improve partnerships with fathers and the significant men in children’s lives, the Office of Head Start (OHS) will release new fatherhood resources June 3 – June 7. A new resource will be issued each day at noon on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC). Please be sure to register for the webinar on Tuesday, June 4 at 3 p.m. EDT.

Father Engagement Week on the ECLKC

Monday, June 3

  • Engaging Fathers, Enhancing Children’s Development, Enriching Families – A Message from Yvette Sanchez Fuentes
  • Father Figures Making a Difference – A blog post

Tuesday, June 4

Wednesday, June 5

  • Best Practices in Family and Community Engagement Video Series: Engaging Fathers, includes a staff learning exercise

Thursday, June 6

  • Las manos de apa, resources to support programs partnering with Latino fathers and their young children

Friday, June 7

  • Young Fathers video, includes a staff learning exercise

Register for the Webinar

In the webinar, Father Engagement Is Everybody’s Business!OHS introduces Head Start Father Engagement: A Birth to Five Programming Guide. Presenters will draw on the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework to identify systems and service strategies for effective father engagement.

Select the link to register:

HHS and the White House Fatherhood Initiative honors local DC fathers


Twelve local Washington, D.C. fathers will be honored on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for their dedication and positive presence in their families and communities. This roundtable is a part of the president’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative and the “Year of Strong Fathers, Strong Families” that President Obama announced in June 2011.  These fathers are everyday heroes who are strengthening their families and their communities.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Parents and Children Together–Discussion Guide


The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing an information collection activity as part of an evaluation of healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood grant programs. The evaluation study title is: Parents and Children Together (PACT). This phase of information collection will involve discussion of a range of topics with key informants in grantee and partner organizations such as their organizational structure, program services, populations served and specific approaches for the grant programs. The information will be used by ACF for the identification and selection of grantee programs to be included in the evaluation.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 76 Issue 156


A Father-To-Be Is Ready For His New Role. For The Most Part. Maybe.

Aaron Peck is the husband of Baby Project mom Lucy Peck, and the father of soon-to-be-born Dexter. He shares his thoughts on impending fatherhood.

What does a father-to-be do to ready himself for impending doom fatherhood? This isn’t where I come up with some poignant answer — I’m truly asking. What in the bleeding blazes do I do?

Source: NPR

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Comunicación de Head Start en apoyo de la paternidad responsable con motivo del Día del Padre ACF-IM-HS-11-01


En estos momentos en que la Oficina Nacional de Head Start continúa ejecutando la Hoja de ruta de Head Start hacia la excelencia, nuestra iniciativa para elevar el nivel de calidad de todos los programas de Head Start, este Día del Padre nos brinda la oportunidad de recalcar el importante papel que desempeña el padre en la vida de los niños a los cuales atendemos.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at:ñol/2011/resour_ime_001e_062211.html

Head Start’s Father’s Day Communication in Support of Responsible Fatherhood ACF-IM-HS-11-01


As the Office of Head Start (OHS) continues to implement the Head Start Roadmap to Excellence, our initiative to raise the level of quality across all of our Head Start programs, this Father’s Day gives us an opportunity to underscore the important role that fathers play in the lives of the children we serve.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at:

Fatherhood Resources

The Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative is a nationwide effort to support responsible fatherhood and to help reengage absentee fathers in the lives of their children. The Fatherhood Resources pamphlet was created in support of this initiative and for professionals who are dedicated to providing resources to support fathers. The pamphlet includes curricula, posters, resource guides, and a link to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse website.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: