This report summarizes the findings of a study of father involvement in Early Head Start Programs, conducted as part of the national Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project. Officials from 261 Early Head Start programs completed an Internet-based survey about the characteristics of fathers, strategies for involving fathers, goals for father involvement, level of father involvement, characteristics of staff, and barriers to involving fathers. Respondents reported that an average of 44.6 percent of children served have a resident father and 24.9 percent have an involved nonresident father. Seventy-two percent of the programs perceived themselves to be novices in the area of father involvement, while 21 percent reported some level of experience and 7 percent believed they were experts in father engagement. Although almost all programs had strategies to involve resident fathers, 77.2 percent made an effort to involve nonresident biological fathers and 57.9 percent targeted nonresident father figures. Mature programs had more goals for father involvement than novice programs and were more likely to focus on personal problems and contact than less experienced agencies. Mature programs also offered a greater variety of services for fathers and had higher participation rates. Barriers to father involvement included work schedule, living arrangements, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Recommendations for father involvement are presented in the report. 17 references, 3 figures, 11 tables.
Father Involvement in Early Head Start Programs: A Practitioners Study.
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