The Fatherhood Project designs and delivers programs using our innovative curriculum centered in evidence-based principles. We work with all fathers while focusing on underserved, at-risk populations.

The Dads Matter Initiative: Pediatrics

The Dads Matter Initiative is an ongoing collaboration between the MGH Revere Department of Pediatrics and The Fatherhood Project at MGH. The Dads Matter Initiative was designed to help health care professionals serving a highly diverse patient population to develop simple, integrated approaches to engaging with men and promoting active fatherhood.

DIRECT SERVICE
The Dads & Kids Connect Group: The central aim of this group is to increase men’s sense of confidence, competence and connection as fathers of young children age birth – 5 years old. Using an ongoing, drop-in group format, each session incorporates three key elements:

  • Unstructured, free time for play and social interaction.
  • Structured relationship-building activities and rituals for dads & kids.
  • DadsTalk, a 30-minute pullout session utilizing TFP’s innovative psycho-educational curriculum designed specifically for fathers.

Examples of topics addressed in the DadsTalk curriculum include: healthy attachment and the developing brain, mindfulness, emotional regulation, positive discipline, and successful co-parenting.

TRAINING

Through a combination of full staff professional development training, as well as department and program-level consultations or meetings (i.e., Healthy Steps, WIC, literacy, home visiting, lactation, etc.), we work to increase awareness of fathers as valued and capable caretakers who play a critical role in child and family health outcomes. The purpose of the training is to support healthcare providers in creating an atmosphere that welcomes and engages fathers in all aspects of family care.

The dads group at MGH actually impacted their relationship as a father and son. I see them bonding more. Before, there wasn’t a time where they sat down together and did their own thing without me. Since joining the group he has realized the importance of how he needs to be with his son more without me being present.

Dads Matter Initiative: Obstetrics

As part of TFP’s Fathering Across The Life Course Series, a collaboration with MGH Departments of Obstetrics and Pediatrics, the Becoming A Dad program is geared towards new and expectant fathers. The focus of Becoming A Dad is to support dads in developing a sense of competence and confidence about the new role during the prenatal period. Specifically, fathers will leave with:

  • Important knowledge about basic infant care, safety, and development.
  • Helpful information about healthy attachment and brain development.
  • Recent findings from neurobiology research about changes to men’s levels of oxytocin, prolactin, and testosterone during the transition to fatherhood.
  • Critical skills for how to recognize and respond to their baby’s emotions.
  • Key tools for becoming positive partners in their child’s growth and development over time.

Divorcing Dads:

From Disruption to Connection

Our program’s focus is the development of fathering skills that serve all members of the family, including estranged spouses. This class is intended to promote positive interactions and address the emotional and practical requirements of parenting. The pursuit of political goals is not part of the curriculum.

We know that it is possible for all members of a family to emerge from divorce with healthy co-parenting and fathering relationships. Divorcing Dads: From Disruption to Connection is designed to address the emotional and practical aspects of fathering through all stages of divorce. In an interactive group setting for fathers-only, participants will:

  • Gain skills necessary for relating to your children during and after divorce.
  • Learn strategies for minimizing conflict with your former spouse or partner.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to being the best possible father to your children.
  • Discover insights from other fathers’ stories and circumstances similar to your own.

Divorcing Dads: From Disruption to Connection is a research-based program that teaches skills and addresses issues in greater depth than the traditionally mandated 2-hour class. The overall goal is to increase your sense of confidence and competence as a father and help you meet the challenges of parenting through a difficult time. Certificates of completion are offered to qualified participants.

As one who is just starting the divorce process, being in a class with men who were farther along was incredibly helpful on several levels.  It helped me understand some of the ways in which divorce might affect my kids, ways to fortify my relationship with them during the process and the importance of working with my spouse to minimize any negative impact on our children. The class and the leaders were excellent.

Divorcing Dads Program Participant 
Divorcing Dads
   View Webcast    Download Program Info    Register or Send Inquiry

Dads in Recovery

We know that addiction driven behavior damages families, leaving fathers with negative relationships with their children and a powerful sense of guilt. Dads in Recovery is an innovative, evidence-based program offered to fathers recovering from substance use. By providing substance-using fathers with psycho-educational counseling that supports their recovery, this program helps them to:

  • Establish or repair their relationship with their children
  • Parent with increased skills, confidence and competence
  • Understand aspects of child development
  • Learn about activities and interactions that build brain development

*To inquire about bringing TFP’s Dads in Recovery program to your organization, use the contact form to the right.

Teen Dads

In an effort to reach this underserved, at-risk population — often referred to as ‘the forgotten partner in teen pregnancies’ — TFP’s Teen Dads Program provides expecting & parenting teen fathers in the Boston area with support, fathering skills and resources. Many of these young dads feel alienated and experience a lot of judgment from their family and from their friends at school. Our co-facilitated group model provides them with a safe, educational and positive place to be with others going through similar experiences, as well as to learn important relationship skills.
The content of the group meetings is based on the stories young fathers share about their everyday lives — the challenges they face, the strengths and resources they draw upon — interspersed with:
  • Fathering skill-building activities
  • Usable knowledge about child development (including the latest in brain science)
  • Practical parenting tips
  • Thematic ‘virtual visits’ from guests brought in via video
TFP’s Teen Dad Program addresses topics such as: creating a vision for fatherhood, managing toxic stress, building healthy attachments with your child, communicating with your child’s mother, and building brain architecture through serve and return interactions. TFP’s Teen Dad Program is an excellent complement to services for teen mothers.

I appreciate being here and having a place to come to get advice, and be listened to…otherwise I would keep it all inside because I don’t have anyone else I can talk with about fatherhood.

TFP Teen Dads Program Participant - age 18 with twin 7 month old daughters
Incarcerated Dads

Incarcerated Dads

This eight-session program is based on TFP’s curriculum, Fathering From The Inside. In addition to learning specific relationship skills and practical information & ideas about effective parenting and co-parenting, the incarcerated fathers in this program are provided with positive role-models, motivational concepts, and discussion points through our innovative use of digital video storytelling called Virtual Visitors.

Father Readiness for Adolescents

This innovative program for adolescent boys and girls is a unique combination of teen pregnancy prevention, future life planning, and healthy relationship skill-building. Easily integrated into existing health curricula, TFP’s Father Readiness program introduces students to the challenges and risk factors associated with teen fatherhood, as well as The 5 Essentials of Father Readiness (see box below). Using a variety of interactive content, students:

  • Explore the practical, psychological, economic and social demands of becoming a future father.
  • Discuss the role of fathers and mothers in family life and the presence and absence of mentors and their own fathers in their lives.
  • Practice self-reflection, decision-making, planning, and problem solving.
  • Identify strengths, skills and qualities they can develop today.

This program is a contribution toward young boys and men avoiding fatherhood before they understand and feel prepared for the responsibilities and personal demands of the role.

   Sample Curriculum    Bring Father Readiness to You

Thank you TFP for offering such a valuable service to our kids! The sessions were a great success!

Emily Wilcox, NP, MGH Revere School Based Health Center, Nurse Manager
Father Readiness for Adolescents

Engage

Engage fathers from a strengths-based perspective that sees fathers as capable caretakers with knowledge, know-how, and positive, sometimes unseen, contributions as parents.

Develop

Equip fathers with skills, research and knowledge about child development, safety and health; everyday practices to emotionally engage, enjoy and enhance the quality of his relationship with his child.

Empower

Empower fathers to see themselves as competent caretakers that understand the importance of using support networks and parenting resources to meet the everyday challenges of fatherhood.

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