Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value Their Children

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Scientific Rating:
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value Their Children has been reviewed by the CEBC in the areas of: Father Involvement Interventions and Interventions for Abusive Behavior, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Fathers (including biological, step, and common-law) who have who have physically abused, emotionally abused, or neglected their children; exposed their children to domestic violence; or who are deemed to be at high-risk for these behaviors

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Brief Description

The Caring Dads program combines elements of parenting, fathering, and child protection practice to address the needs of maltreating fathers. Program principles emphasize the need to:

  • Enhance men’s motivation
  • Promote child-centered fathering
  • Address men’s ability to engage in respectful, non-abusive co-parenting with children’s mothers
  • Recognize that children’s experience of trauma will impact the rate of possible change
  • Work collaboratively with other service providers to ensure that children benefit (and are not unintentionally harmed) as a result of father’s participation in intervention

The program uses a combination of motivation enhancement, parent education (including skills training and behavioral practice), and cognitive behavioral therapy to:

  • Improve men’s recognition and prioritization of children’s needs
  • Improve men’s understanding of developmental stages
  • Improve men’s respect and support for children’s relationships with their mothers
  • Improve men’s listening and using praise
  • Improve men’s empathy for children’s experiences of maltreatment
  • Identify and counter the distortions underlying men’s past, and potentially ongoing, abuse of their children and/or children’s mothers

Program Goals:

The goals of the Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value Their Children are:

  • Ensure the safety and well-being of children who have been impacted by men’s abuse or neglect, including domestic violence
  • Develop sufficient trust and motivation to engage men in the process of examining their fathering
  • Increase men's awareness and application of child-centered fathering
  • Eliminate fathers’ use of abuse and neglect towards their children and to promote respectful and non-abusive co-parenting with children’s mothers
  • Promote men’s appreciation of the impact of their past abuse on their children and family and help men take responsibility for these behaviors
  • Provide supportive outreach to children’s mothers to provide information about the program, safety planning, and referral, as necessary
  • Work with other professionals to plan for the future safety and well-being of children who have been impacted by abuse, neglect, and/or domestic violence

Contact Information

Katreena Scott, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: University of Toronto, Canada
Phone: (416) 978-0971
Fax: (416) 926-4708

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2011