Sustaining and Growing Father Involvement for Low-Income Children.

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National Human Services Assembly. Family Strengthening Policy Center.
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This brief is on father-involvement programs that seek to sustain and grow low-income, nonresidential fathers' emotional and financial involvement in their children's lives. Such programs can strengthen families by enabling: Low-income children to receive emotional support from both parents; Poor children to have improved economic circumstances if increased child support raises family income; Noncustodial fathers to overcome child support problems and insufficient employment, both of which are primary barriers to father involvement; and Human service agencies to attend to the whole family, including nonresidential fathers. Father-involvement programs are a promising practice that merit policy attention due to the: Substantial benefits when nonresidential fathers are involved in their children's lives; and Significant gaps in public assistance that result in many low-income fathers not getting the help they need to become responsible fathers. Because the fatherhood-involvement field is still developing, leaders in the field are working to understand how to best protect families from violence, which can be a factor in why fathers are removed from children's lives. Accordingly, this brief speaks to helping low-income, nonresidential fathers who have a history of nurturing relationships with their family and partners. It is a companion to prior Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC) briefs on families with incarcerated parents and on marriage and relationship education. (Author abstract)

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