The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project

About This Program

Target Population: Low-income fathers, primarily noncustodial

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

The FATHER Project aims to empower fathers to overcome the barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally. It is designed to be a "one-stop shop," connecting low-income fathers with all the services they need in one location. The FATHER Project has developed a model for bringing together parenting education, child support, GED education, employment services, legal services, and early childhood education under one roof. In addition to fathers, mothers and children also actively participate in FATHER Project services. The model has been used with diverse populations, leveraging the expertise of culturally-specific organizations in implementing the holistic approach. The ultimate long-term impact of the program involves service recipients hopefully progressing to become community leaders through intensive engagement in one of three "Leadership Track" options after key program goals have been accomplished.

Program Goals

The goals ofThe FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project are:

  • Short-Term Outcomes:
    • Improve parenting attitudes and knowledge
    • Improve parenting skills
    • Increase commitment to fatherhood
    • Increase contact with children
    • Improve job search skills
    • Increase earnings
    • Job placement, retention and advancement
  • Intermediate Outcomes:
    • Increase time spent with children
    • Increase quality of parenting involvement with children
    • Increase earnings and career advancement
    • Increase length of job retention
    • Increase in paternity establishments and child support payments
  • Long-Term Outcomes:
    • Improve well-being of children and families
    • Produce strong, stable, and healthy men, who support their families and strengthen their communities for the long term
    • Increase community involvement, leadership, and volunteerism

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project.

Essential Components

The essential components of The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project include:

  • Case management services
  • Parenting classes with groups of 10-20 fathers
  • Job placement and employment services
  • Child support services
  • Education services
  • Family law services

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Lack of Employment, in need of family law assistance, in need of a GED, difficulties with child support, lack of parenting skills, and lack of life skills
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Families are integrated into many FATHER Project services and activities:Co-parents and romantic partners are welcome in the parenting groupsCo-parents, romantic partners, and other family members are welcome to engage in GED servicesSeveral times each year, family events are held to recognize the work of the participants and build community–including pumpkin carving, Father's Day celebration, annual participant recognition event, and more.Young children and their parents, including romantic partners and other family member caregivers, participate in the Early Childhood components of the program–with classes at the FATHER Project site as well as home visits to support early childhood development.

Recommended Intensity:

There are multiple forms of contact and program delivery, and the program is customized for each participant. The following are average contact times for different program components - Parenting Class: 4 sessions per month, 2 hours per session (8 hours per month) - Case Management: Twice per month, 1 hour per meeting - Job Club: Weekly, 2 hour for participants seeking employment, individual meetings based on need - Child Support: 1 hour orientation for all, individual meetings (45 minutes) based on need - GED: depends on need, ranges from 4-15 hours per week - Interactive Skill-Building Parenting Class (early childhood development focus): 4 sessions per month, 2 hours per session - Home Visiting (early childhood, school readiness focus): 2 hours per months, from 6-12 months - and Family Law: 1 hour orientation for all, individual meetings, consultations, up to and including full representation (much more time intensive) based on need.

Recommended Duration:

1 year for the typical participant, with options for continued leadership development and service after that year.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider


The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project includes a homework component:

Homework for participants active in the GED component of the program. Readings and exercises as a part of the Early Childhood Education and Parenting Education components.


The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project 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:

  • Space for group sessions; resources to provide light refreshments for group sessions is recommended.
  • A minimum of one dedicated staff who can serve as a Father Services Coordinator and Facilitate parenting groups.
  • Data tracking system for outreach, recruitment and referrals (FATHER Project can provide).
  • Data tracking system for tracking parenting class attendance and outcomes measures (FATHER Project can provide).
  • Forms and systems for working with local child support partners on issues related to intake, eligibility, and case coordination (FATHER Project can provide).
  • Partnerships with your local child support agency, an employment service provider, legal services, early childhood educators, culturally-specific support services, domestic violence prevention, and other services that are primary to the needs of the fathers served.
  • Partners agree to actively participate in a Service Collaborative Committee to guide and inform development of the site, as well as a vehicle for providing the necessary holistic, wrap-around services in the integrated FATHER Project way (FATHER Project provides technical assistance and initial co-facilitation services).

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Training as a facilitator in the Parents as Teachers/Meld Peer Group Facilitation method (can be provided by the FATHER Project); initial training is 20 hours.
  • A commitment and passion for responsible fatherhood with previous experiences and skills that inform that service in your local community.

Manual Information

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

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Training can be provided onsite or at the Minneapolis location of The FATHER Project.

Number of days/hours:

Varies based on the needs of the site. Initial Peer Group Facilitation training is 20 hours; site exchange training ranges from 1.0 - 2.5 days

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for The FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) Project.

Additional References

Wilder Research. (2010). The FATHER Project Return on Investment Study retrieved from - to access this reference, please click here.

Contact Information

Andrew Freeberg, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Goodwill Easter Seals Minnesota
Phone: (651) 379-5874 or (651) 379-5804

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: November 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2011