Answers to Common Questions We Get at NFI

The best way to learn quickly about National Fatherhood Initiative’s work is to watch this series of 10 short frequently asked questions videos. They answer questions such as “Why was NFI created?”, “How does NFI measure its success?”, and What challenges does NFI face?”

Other FAQs

What does National Fatherhood Initiative do?

National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) works to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.  We accomplish this by educating all Americans, equipping fathers with skill-building resources, and engaging all sectors of society. Learn more about our mission and values here.

Where does National Fatherhood Initiative work?

National Fatherhood Initiative® programs are used in all fifty states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and other countries. Our resources are being utilized by over 6,300 community, state, and regional organizations. US military bases all over the world use NFI programs. Overall, we have distributed over 6.6 million fatherhood resources around the world.

How do you measure success?

Several ways. First, we measure outcomes through the built-in evaluation tools contained in many of our fatherhood skill-building materials. Independent evaluations show that our resources significantly change fathers' attitudes and increase their confidence and knowledge.

Second, we measure success based on the total number of people reached with our skill-building materials and public education efforts, and the total number of organizations and facilitators we have trained on delivering our programs into their communities.

Third, we measure our overall success by tracking the US Census Bureau data on the number and proportion of children growing up in father-absent homes. Clearly, our goal is to reduce this number over time.

Finally, we receive letters, e-mails, and pictures, from fathers and families across the country who have experienced an NFI program.

I’ve seen a positive change in my life during this program…I now know what I need to do to break the circle and help my children become productive, well-balanced adults.

I’ve taken a good look at my role as a father and how important my role is, as well as how much of an impact I am to my children whether I’m in their life or not.

My husband (after being home alone with a vomiting infant and needing some practical help in being a dad)…said it best when he said, 'I thought common sense would be enough.' Thank you, NFI, for offering the tools to help this new father add the most important letters to his…titles, DAD!!!

For more on our success stories, visit our page on How We Measure Impact.

Do you provide assistance with custody issues?

National Fatherhood Initiative® does not provide legal counsel. If you are having custody issues, we recommend that you contact Parent Help, a service of Child Find of America at 1-800-716-3468 or visit their website for more information.

Do you advocate for fathers' rights issues?

National Fatherhood Initiative® focuses on raising awareness about the importance of fathers, producing skill-building resources, and engaging all sectors of society around father involvement.  While fathers' legal and custodial rights are important, they are not NFI's main focus.  National Fatherhood Initiative® does not provide advice on legal matters related to the family court system.  However, we recommend that you contact Parent Help at 1-800-716-3468.  Parent Help offers free, confidential telephone assistance for dads and moms on finding solutions to visitation disputes, mediating co-parenting plans, and understanding custody, child support, and the court system.

Do you have a chapter near me?  Can you refer me to a local organization running a fatherhood program?

Since we are not a membership-based organization or an association, we do not have local chapters or members.  

How are you funded?

National Fatherhood Initiative® is supported by a variety of funding sources.  Individual donors, corporations, and private foundations support NFI's various efforts. NFI has in the past, received government grants. 

Is National Fatherhood Initiative® a religious-based organization?

No.  National Fatherhood Initiative® is a non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-profit organization.

Is National Fatherhood Initiative® a government entity?

No. NFI is an independent, private, non-profit organization that pre-dates most government run and funded fatherhood programs. In fact, we helped many state governments run their fatherhood programs in the 1990s.

Is National Fatherhood Initiative® a direct-service organization?

No. NFI does not provide training and support directly to fathers. We are a capacity-building organization that helps direct service providers get the training and tools they need to reach the fathers in their communities. In other words, we help direct service providers provide quality services to fathers.

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