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Key Programmatic Elements of Father Engagement to Promote Self-Sufficiency (KEEP Fathers Engaged)

Engaging fathers in human services programming can help improve economic opportunity and well-being for fathers, children, and families. While many human services programs have historically been targeted more toward mothers and have under-served men and fathers, HHS encourages state and local human services agencies to value both the financial and parenting contributions of both mothers and fathers to their children’s lives. This includes keeping fathers safely engaged in their children’s lives and avoiding unintentionally or inadvertently excluding fathers—and their strengths and needs—in service delivery and program implementation.

ASPE has contracted with Mathematica to identify strategies used to engage fathers across human service programming. This page lists materials developed through this project as resources for human services program staff and practitioners to strengthen father engagement.

Issue Brief:

  • Father Engagement in Human Services – Identifies approaches and strategies at the program, organization, and system levels to strengthen engagement of fathers by human services programs, with the goal of improving outcomes for children, fathers, and families. This issue brief summarizes the key research findings of ASPE’s KEEP Fathers Engaged project.


  • What is Father Engagement? – Defines "father engagement" and highlights ways programs, organizations, and systems play a role in promoting father engagement in services.
  • A Framework for Father Engagement – Visualizes a framework for father engagement in human services, detailing key approaches and strategies used by programs, organizations, and systems.

Case studies:


Additional Resources: