InsideOut Dad®

About This Program

Target Population: Incarcerated fathers with children 18 years old and younger, designed specifically for the issues/challenges faced by incarcerated fathers (e.g., challenge of successful reentry)

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 18

Program Overview

InsideOut Dad® strives to increase inmates' contact with their children and improve inmates' awareness, knowledge, and attitudes about being an involved, responsible, and committed father. It includes 12 core sessions and 4 optional reentry sessions that allow facilitators to customize the program for the unique needs of the fathers they serve. The optional reentry sessions help fathers develop a plan for connecting or reconnecting with their children and mother of their children, if possible. The program includes an evaluation tool (questionnaire) that allows facilitators to measure changes in fathers as a result of participating in the program. InsideOut Dad® has been used in state and federal facilities, pre-release programs, and community organizations, among others.

Program Goals

The goals of InsideOut Dad® are:

  • Increase awareness among fathers about the elements to being good fathers
  • Increase knowledge among fathers about the elements to being good fathers
  • Increase capacity or skills to carry out what the fathers learn include better skills in caring for children and building relationships with the mother of their children while the father is still incarcerated

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for InsideOut Dad®.

Essential Components

The essential components of InsideOut Dad® include:

  • It is recommended to have no more than 12 fathers per group and to have a co-facilitator for groups of 8 to 12 fathers.
  • Each of the 12 core sessions follows a structured sequence of activities that build awareness and knowledge about the subject matter of the session that fathers use to increase their capacity or skills in caring for themselves, their children, and their relationships (e.g., with the mother of their children)
  • Each core and optional session follows the same format for consistency and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Fathers use their Fathering Handbook during each session (e.g., complete fill-in-the blank forms and surveys/checklists) to enhance and reinforce learning.
  • Sessions include activities that draw on the logical and analytical (left side) and creative and emotional (right side) parts of the brain. These activities combine to enhance fathers' learning because they require them to use all parts of their brain. This approach helps facilitators create a balance of activities for fathers who are most comfortable with analytical and fathers who are most comfortable with creative exercises.
  • Facilitators should follow the sessions in order and the sequence of the activities in each session to maintain program fidelity and to effectively evaluate the impact of the program.
  • Core sessions in the program include:
    • Getting Started
    • Family History and The InsideOut Dad
    • What It Means to be a Man
    • Showing and Handling Feelings
    • Men's Health
    • Communication
    • The Father's Role
    • Children's Growth
    • Discipline
    • Working with Mom and Co-Parenting
    • Fathering from the Inside
    • Celebrate

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

InsideOut Dad® directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Lack of awareness and knowledge and poor skills related to being an effective parent and father including how to improve fathering and parenting while incarcerated
  • Poor or strained relationship with the mother of the father's children
  • Lack of knowledge about how to develop an effective plan for reentry into the lives of family and community

Recommended Intensity:

Weekly 2-hour sessions; the program may also be delivered in a shorter duration depending on the audience (e.g., 2 sessions per week for a total of 4 hours)

Recommended Duration:

12 weeks; program may be delivered in a shorter duration depending on the audience (e.g., 6 weeks with 2 sessions per week)

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)


InsideOut Dad® includes a homework component:

Fathers complete a session log at the end of each session that includes identifying strategies they will use to be a better father based on what they learned during the session. Facilitators may ask fathers to discuss how successful they were at implementing what they learned during the start of the following session.


InsideOut Dad® has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

The facilitator's manual for program lists the basic program supplies. Basic supplies include a flip chart and markers; pens and pencils; and blank pieces of paper. Facilitators should have access to a room large enough for up to 12 fathers and the facilitator(s) to sit comfortably. The room should also be large enough to allow for fathers to move around the room without bumping into each other or objects because some of the interactive activities require movement around the room.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

There is no minimum educational requirement to be a facilitator. It is recommended, but not required, that facilitators participate in a training institute on the programs. If a facilitator is experienced, he/she can purchase the programs and conduct them without training because the curriculum materials describe exactly how to conduct the programs. It is recommended that facilitators have knowledge of the rules and regulations of the correctional facility/system in which they will deliver the program before they deliver it. Free technical assistance is provided to facilitators whether or not they participate in a training institute.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)
    phone: (240) 912-1269 or (301) 948-0599
Training Type/Location:

On-site upon request of organization and at NFI headquarters in Germantown, MD (contact NFI for current headquarters training schedule). There is also a webinar-based training option available.

Number of days/hours:

1-day (8 hours) and 2-day (16 hours) options

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Block, S., Brown, C. A., Barretti, L. M., Walker, E., Yudt, M., & Fretz, R. (2014). A mixed-method assessment of a parenting program for incarcerated fathers. Journal of Correctional Education, 65(1), 50-67.

Type of Study: Nonequivalent control group design
Number of Participants: 413


  • Age — Intervention: Mean age=35 years, Control: Mean age=39 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Intervention: 71.7% Black, 14.3% Hispanic, 9.7% White, and 4.4% Other; Control: 81.9% Black, 9.5% Hispanic, and 8.6% White
  • Gender — 100% Male
  • Status — Participants were incarcerated fathers in short-term New Jersey correctional facilities.

Location/Institution: Newark, New Jersey

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This article presents an evaluation of the InsideOut Dad® program in three correctional facilities in New Jersey. The InsideOut Dad® program aims to improve the parenting skills of incarcerated fathers through a 12-session curriculum. Measures utilized are the The InsideOut Dad® Attitude Scale, a modified version of the Coping Self-Efficacy Scale (CSES), InsideOut Dad® Knowledge Assessment, and an abbreviated version of the Parental Attitude Research Instrument (PARI). Study participants and a control group completed pre and posttest surveys, and a subset of program participants were interviewed before beginning and after completing the program. Class facilitators were also interviewed to assess perspectives on strengths and weaknesses of the program. Results demonstrate that there were statistically significant changes in scales measuring fathering confidence, knowledge, attitude, and phone contact with children in comparison with the control group. Limitations include the lack of information on the reliability or validity of the measures used in the study, the lack of randomization of participants, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for InsideOut Dad®.

Contact Information

Christopher A. Brown, MA
Agency/Affiliation: National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI)
Phone: (301) 948-0599
Fax: (301) 948-4325

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: November 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2011