Resource | Brief

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

  • Authors:
  • Heather Sandstrom
  • Eleanor Lauderback
Project: National Home Visiting Resource Center

available downloads

At least 79 percent of children in the United States under age 6 live with their fathers, and other children may have contact with their nonresidential fathers. 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.

Evidence suggests that home visiting programs should intentionally engage fathers, when possible, to optimize positive child and family outcomes. This NHVRC brief summarizes the existing research on father engagement in home visiting 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?

The brief also highlights three home visiting curriculum enhancements that programs can use to promote father engagement.