Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit

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Introduction | History of the Field

With an emphasis on positive father involvement in the lives of children, the responsible fatherhood field dates to at least the mid-1970s in the United States. At that time, more people were beginning to recognize that father absence had a substantial impact on child well-being. Early efforts sought to support young, primarily low-income men as they struggled with parenting and financial issues. In recent years, the responsible fatherhood field has expanded beyond its roots in employment and parenting services for low-income fathers to recognize the diverse needs of a wide array of fathers. Programs now include elements such as healthy marriage and co-parenting skills training, general fatherhood competency for all income levels, support for fathers involved with the child welfare and criminal justice systems, a focus on children’s education and literacy, awareness of the needs of fathers who have children with special needs, and attention to issues of domestic violence.

Planning A Program

Running A Program

Working With...


The Office of Family Assistance wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to the development of this toolkit:

  • Stephen Hall Indiana Department of Corrections
  • W.C. Hoecke Family Connections of South Carolina
  • Joe Jones and James Worthy Center for Urban Families
  • Patricia Littlejohn South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families
  • Barry McIntosh Young Fathers of Santa Fe
  • Fernando Mederos Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
  • David Pate and Jacquelyn Boggess Center for Family Policy and Practice
  • Al Pooley Native American Fathers and Families Association
  • Rozario Slack Rozario Slack Enterprises
  • Bobby Verdugo Consultant
  • Pamela Wilson Consultant and Curriculum Developer
  • Gardner Wiseheart Healthy Families San Angelo

Affiliations current at time of contributions.