Maternal and child health journal
Realizing the paucity of data available concerning fatherhood, the Fatherhood Collaborative of San Mateo County, a public-private community partnership with leadership from the local Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) program, conducted a countywide needs assessment to ask fathers of young children about their personal and service-related needs in order to assist local stakeholders in expanding and improving services for families. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. A total of 204 fathers of children aged 0 to 5 years completed a 35-question survey. In addition, 80 fathers and community representatives participated in nine focus groups. A complex set of needed services for fathers in the county emerged from the assessment, including: father-child activities; parks and recreational activities; better schools; parenting classes; support groups; high quality, affordable childcare; and general legal assistance. Only one-half felt the county was doing a good or excellent job in supporting fathers. This assessment is one county's effort to collect data about fathers, from fathers, in order to shape MCAH programming to better serve families. This assessment may serve as a model for other MCAH programs interested in improving services for fathers and families. (Author abstract)
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