Research Snapshot

Father Engagement in Home Visiting: Benefits, Challenges, and Promising Strategies

April 16, 2019

Early father involvement is important for young children’s development and learning. Most early childhood home visiting programs target mothers for enrollment, but engaging fathers in services can help families achieve desired program outcomes. For example, mothers may be more engaged in and stay enrolled in home visiting services longer when fathers participate in visits and display positive attitudes.*

Fathers can also benefit. Research shows that when fathers participate in home visiting, they learn new parenting skills, are more confident in their parenting, and have stronger relationships with their children and partners.

Our Research Snapshot brief summarizes the existing research to answer four questions:

  • What are the benefits of father involvement for children?
  • What outcomes are associated with father engagement in home visiting?
  • What common challenges do programs face engaging fathers in home visiting?
  • What strategies are home visiting programs using to overcome common obstacles?

We also highlight three home visiting curriculum enhancements that programs can use to promote father engagement. Read the full brief for more details.

Suggested citation: Sandstrom, H., & Lauderback, E. (2019, April). Father engagement in home visiting: Benefits, challenges, and promising strategies. National Home Visiting Resource Center Research Snapshot Brief. Arlington, VA: James Bell Associates and Urban Institute.

*See the full brief for references.