Challenges and Successes of Pregnancy Assistance Fund Programs Supporting Young Fathers
Since 2010, the Office of Population Affairs (formerly the Office of Adolescent Health) has offered funding to support expectant and parenting youth through the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF). PAF grantees typically focus on serving young mothers, so programs serving young fathers are more limited.
Based on a purposive sample of nine past and current PAF grantees that serve young fathers, this study describes the overall program designs, provides a detailed view of the challenges to serving young fathers, and identifies key strategies for successful father engagement.
Across grantees, program components were largely the same for both young fathers and mothers. Recruitment and engagement were the most commonly cited challenges to young fathers’ participation in the PAF-funded programs.
Successful strategies for serving young fathers included recruiting from places that fathers naturally frequent, creating program space welcoming to fathers, and hiring staff who understand the experiences of young fathers.