Why We Do It
CCFF is committed to increasing fatherhood engagement and personal development opportunities for fathers because such activities are beneficial to children, families, and communities.
Increasing bodies of research are revealing the profound effects positive father engagement has on family and child well-being, health, and life outcomes. Evidence demonstrates that fathers play a critical role in children’s health and development, beginning in the prenatal period and continuing through early childhood and adolescence. When fathers are involved during pregnancy, mothers are 1.5 times more likely to receive prenatal care in the first trimester, which has positive implications for both maternal and infant health. During infancy, fathers can support mothers in breastfeeding and in following safe sleep guidelines, both of which can reduce infant deaths. Fathers also play an important role in supporting children during early childhood in terms of executive function and social-emotional development. And during adolescence, father involvement translates to better outcomes in school and a reduced risk of teen pregnancies. (National Institute for Children’s Health Quality)
Despite these growing insights, healthcare programs and professionals are yet to fully integrate father-centric approaches. The mother-child dyad remains the standard, perhaps exclusive, means by which healthcare providers approach service delivery. Touchpoints for fathers along the continuum of care are sparse and, in some instances, nonexistent.