Only a few years into our work supporting fathers and we have served over 1500 families in father engagement programs and distributed over 138,000 items (from cribs and car seats to diapers and books) through our Fatherhood Initiative. We also initiated an independent assessment of our Fatherhood Initiative by two accomplished program evaluators in 2015 and have been incorporating these learnings to increase impact. Specifically, our Interim Evaluation Report found that while the items we donate are critical incentives for many of the low-income dads enrolled in our partner programs, the dads and program leaders also greatly value our role in providing father-child bonding experiences or “memory-making” moments. With the support of Fatherhood Leadership Council members and other supporters, we were able to provide father-child outings to Legoland, the Big Apple Circus, sporting events, theater outings, and two afternoon bowling parties in NY & LA.
Our evaluators also found that GOOD+ Foundation has a unique opportunity to serve as a strong voice to amplify the message of engaged fatherhood as a leader in this movement for change. As a result, we served as the lead sponsor of the Fatherhood Solutions Conference in Los Angeles in June 2015 and provided intensive capacity-building training for four program leaders in NY, led by one of our fatherhood partners in LA. This year, we will focus on expanding access to father-friendly and father-inclusive social services by providing additional trainings to grantee partners, working with additional father engagement programs, and continuing to measure the impact of our work in this important arena. Our goal is to provide opportunities for all fathers to become dads.