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Promoting father involvement in home visiting services for vulnerable families: A pilot study
The father involvement service enhancement targeted in the present study was designed to leverage the longer-term potential to significantly magnify the preventive impact of home visiting by addressing the significant father-related influences on child and family outcomes. Therefore, the present study designed and pilot tested in the field an empirically-derived father involvement service enhancement, dubbed "Dads Matter," which can readily be adopted for a variety of home visiting models. The Dads Matter enhancement was designed to engage fathers concurrently with mothers' engagement in services and aims to increase fathers' knowledge, skill, and commitment to the fathering role, and foster co-parenting strategies among mothers and fathers on behalf of the child, in order to optimize support and consistency across biological parents and to reduce counterproductive conflict in caring for the child. A core element of this intervention study is the degree to which fathers and mothers enroll in the study and engage in the Dads Matter service enhancement as well as the degree to which there appear to be preliminary indications of benefit to mothers and fathers in their parenting role. The present report provides our initial data on these questions. (author abstract)
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