Child and Adolescent Social Work
Until the early 1980s, the needs of young fathers went largely unnoticed by policy makers and social service providers. Many programs for adolescent fathers originally started in order to benefit teenage mothers and their children (Leitch et al., 1993). It was later recognized that young fathers also need assistance to successfully become productive and responsible adults (Robinson, 1988; Leitch et al., 1993; Kiselica, 1995). Program designs have been based on a set of implicit assumptions: 1) if programs are offered, young fathers will enroll; 2) the services will meet the needs of participants; 3) once young men enroll in a program, they will use the services that are available; and 4) the services will be beneficial for recipients and will produce positive outcomes (Kiselica, 1995; Children and Youth Funding Report, 1998; Smith, 1997; DeParle, 1998). However, only limited research has been conducted to explore whether these assumptions are appropriate or to document programmatic successes and difficulties (Achatz and MacAllum, 1994; Marsh and Wirick, 1991; Sander, 1993). This paper adds to the literature by reviewing each of the assumptions within the context of one program's experience. It considers issues associated with outreach and enrollment, service delivery, and achieving desired outcomes for program participants. (Author abstract).
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