Top Takeaways

Work With Dads

Top Takeaways

  • Contrary to stereotypes, many young fathers are involved in the lives of their families and will participate in fatherhood programs if services meet their needs.
  • Active community outreach by understanding, caring staff is needed to reach these fathers.
  • Young fathers will need help with education, employment, parenting, and relationships. They may also need assistance with housing, substance abuse, and legal issues.
  • Teenage fathers may benefit from participation in programs or activities that are designed specifically for their developmental needs and held separate from older fathers.
  • Many young or low-income men have been let down by adults in their lives. Often they test staff to determine if they are “for real.” It is important for staff to come across as sincere, approachable, and nonjudgmental.
  • Staff members should be strong role models who display the attributes that young men are trying to achieve.
  • Family support is critical, so try to work with other family members. Without the support of family on both sides, young fathers may have trouble getting and staying involved. Help fathers understand and improve their relationships with extended family members.
  • Encourage young fathers to be involved during the pregnancy and at the birth.
  • To connect with young fathers, go where young fathers are—both physically and virtually. Beyond community outreach, stay connected by using social media and other electronic communication.
  • Help young men and couples gain the motivation and capacity to plan and space any additional pregnancies. Reach out to local reproductive health centers and use online resources to design and deliver appropriate information for young men and couples.