The Power of Partnerships

The Power of Partnerships

What Fatherhood Programs Can Learn from Child Welfare, OPRE Report #2023-210
Published: Sep 13, 2023
Publisher: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Associated Project

Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare

Time frame: 2017–2023

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families


Sheila Cavallo

Jennifer Bellamy

Sarah Campbell

Brandon Hollie

Key Findings
  • Connect to father-inclusive organizations, events, and businesses to support recruitment and enrollment.
  • Partner with local organizations that are trusted by fathers to increase credibility.
  • Develop partnerships that can help connect fathers and families to supports.
  • Create a more seamless network of resources for fathers.
  • Build connections with the courts to help fathers navigate the legal system.
  • Expand your program’s capacity to serve diverse fathers by partnering with agencies that provide tailored services and supports.
  • Collaborate with researchers to document outcomes, improve services, and communicate the value of fatherhood work.

When testing and implementing engagement strategies, participating child welfare agencies noted that community partnerships were a vital part of their work with fathers and paternal relatives. Child welfare jurisdictions often work with community partners to deliver services to families. Similarly, fatherhood programs often work with community partners to expand their supports beyond what they can directly provide to fathers. Partnerships are also an important source of referrals and recruitment for fatherhood programs. This brief aims to distill lessons learned from the Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare project about partnerships that might be relevant to fatherhood programs and describes ways fatherhood programs can use partnerships.

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