Implementing an Innovative Parenting Program for Fathers
Findings from the B3 Study
The Building Bridges and Bonds (B3) evaluation, a federally funded study of Responsible Fatherhood programs, is testing a set of three innovative approaches to help fathers with low income improve their parenting and employment skills. One innovation, Just Beginning (JB), was added to the existing fatherhood services at three community-based organizations. JB is a one-on-one parenting program that incorporates engaging skill-building videos and father-child play activities. In each of five JB sessions, fathers learn and try out one new strategy for interacting with their child to enhance the quality of the father-child relationship. The evaluation, which is using a random assignment design, will assess outcomes including improved quality of father-child engagement, increased parenting efficacy, and increased father-child contact to determine whether JB is effective.
As part of a series of publications from the B3 evaluation, this brief presents the first systematic analysis of how the JB innovation was implemented. Based on data from the three implementing organizations’ management information system records, this brief describes how an initial sample of fathers who were enrolled in the study engaged in the JB component and each organization’s usual menu of services. The study finds that the three organizations were able to incorporate JB into their existing menu of services but faced challenges to get fathers to engage in JB. In this early sample, 55 percent of fathers completed at least one JB session, and those fathers typically progressed through most of the curriculum.