Fatherhood EFFECT Evaluation Final Report: A Comprehensive Plan for Supporting Texas Fathers and Families

Mar 2018 | Cynthia Osborne, Andrea Michelsen, and Kaeley Bobbitt

Summary: The state of Texas recognizes the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families, and also how challenging it can be for some fathers to be involved. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Prevention and Early Intervention Division (PEI) developed the Educating Fathers for Empowering Children Tomorrow (EFFECT) Program to support fathers and strengthen families through evidence-based fatherhood programs across the state. EFFECT aims to improve children’s wellbeing by helping fathers become more involved, responsible, and committed to their children through parent education skills, guidance, and support systems. Additionally, EFFECT aims to increase protective factors—family functioning and resilience, social support, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support, and nurturing and attachment—to reduce the risk of child maltreatment and to promote positive family wellbeing. Using a mixed-methods approach that relied on administrative and survey data collected from fathers participating in the EFFECT Program, literature reviews, and interviews with key fatherhood stakeholders, program administrators and staff, and fathers, the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) organized its evaluation of PEI’s efforts to support fathers into three tiers. In the first tier, CFRP conducted both an implementation and outcomes evaluation to assess PEI’s current investments in Texas fathers through the EFFECT Program. In the second tier, CFRP identified the investments that state agencies and localities have made in fatherhood, and developed an inventory of programs in Texas. In the third tier, CFRP identified innovative programs and policies in other states and highlighted best practices for supporting family inclusiveness. The findings from this evaluation inform a comprehensive plan to support Texas fathers that is described in the final chapter.



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