Formative Evaluation of the FOCUS+ for Fathers Program

NewDay Services for Children and Families works to increase responsible parent involvement. Parents are referred from child support courts, child protective services, and other public and private entities.

The NewDay program Families Offering Children Unfailing Support+ (FOCUS+) fosters healthy parent-child relationships and parental and individual development. It aims to increase parental emotional and financial support, strengthen coparenting relations, and promote parenting skills such as decision making, conflict resolution, and communication. FOCUS+ for Fathers adds mentor-navigators to reinforce the 10-week curriculum. Using a relational engagement strategy, mentor-navigators help fathers plan for their future and realize their potential as fathers.

This project replicates and expands our previous formative evaluation of FOCUS+, which included refining the program’s logic model and theory of change, strengthening data systems, and analyzing administrative data. Drawing on the Permanency Innovations Initiative framework, the current project includes—

  • Identifying and expanding outcome measures
  • Standardizing data collection manuals and procedures
  • Training FOCUS+ staff on data collection
  • Coordinating data collection and transfer
  • Conducting focus groups with fathers
  • Analyzing and presenting formative findings


  • Allison Meisch, Ph.D. Associate Director

    Allison Meisch is a developmental psychologist with 20 years of experience in quantitative and qualitative methods, program evaluation, applied research...

  • Amanda Thomson Amanda Thomson, M.P.P. Research Associate

    Amanda Thomson has nearly 10 years of experience in social science research, program evaluation, and technical assistance. She is trained in public policy...

  • Eleanor Fisk Eleanor Fisk, Ph.D. Research Associate

    Eleanor Fisk has more than 5 years of experience in early childhood research, policy, and practice. Areas of expertise include community-engaged evaluations...