Engaging Fathers

Fathers play an important role in every child's life. This role has an impact on a child's growth and helps shape their personality and development. An engaged father promotes healthy personal and interpersonal growth in children and youth and helps to instill an overall sense of well-being and security; while also providing a fundamental child developmental need of being a provider and protector.

DCYF's Engaging Fathers project (previously referred to as Fathers Matter) focuses on engaging fathers with children in the child welfare system. DCYF provides helpful resources and information about parenting that can empower a father to navigate the child welfare system successfully.

Fathers and their families are an important part of a child's life. They are the other half of a child's biological identity and heritage. Building positive relationships benefit everybody involved and can develop a sense of connection and family during what can feel like a stressful transitional experience for a child and a father.

Fatherhood Involvement in Education

When fathers are involved in their children's lives, especially their education, children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior. Even if you do not share a home with your children, your active involvement in your child's education can have a lasting and positive impact.

Research shows that when fathers are engaged in children's education, student grades, and test scores improve, attendance increases, and students are more involved in school activities.  For example, 

  • Preschoolers with involved fathers have stronger verbal skills than those with less involved fathers.
  • Girls with a close, warm relationship with their fathers have stronger math skills and abilities
  • Boys with highly involved fathers in their life receive higher grades and perform a year above their expected age level on achievement tests.

In contrast, when fathers are not engaged, children are twice as likely to repeat a grade or drop out of school. There are countless ways to be involved in your child's education at all ages. This page can help you explore how to support your child and encourage lifelong learning.