Connected to Others is a Good Place to Be: Helping Fathers Build Their Social Capital

Cover page showing a picture of Father and son hugging with heading text: Connected to others is a good place to be: helping fathers build their social capital by Armon R. Perry, Ph.D., MSW University of Louisville; Nigel Vann, MA Fathers Incorporated and Stacey Bouchet, Ph.D.1 Fathers Incorporated, and Logos of Administration for Children and Families, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Fathers Incorporated
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Armon R. Perry, Ph.D., MSW; Nigel Vann, MA; Stacey Bouchet, Ph.D
Author (Organization)
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
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As interest in fathers’ involvement in the lives of their children has increased, so too have investments in Responsible Fatherhood (RF) programs. These programs provide an array of services designed to help fathers fulfill their social, emotional, and financial obligations to their children and families. Although many of these interventions have produced positive outcomes, research has found that program services are not always sufficient to help fathers overcome structural barriers that can prevent their full involvement in the lives of their children (Randles, 2020). Empowering fathers by improving their social capital may help fathers overcome these obstacles (Perry, 2011).

The purpose of this information brief is to discuss the research on social capital, especially as it relates to fatherhood programs; describe ways in which fatherhood programs can increase the social capital of fathers; consider the efforts of a specific fatherhood program that successfully built fathers’ social capital; and provide tips and resources for practitioners and researchers interested in integrating social-capital-enhancing components into their interventions.

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