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The Father Factor


InsideOut Dad® Designation on National Registry of Evidence-based Programs & Practices

We're excited to announce NFI's InsideOut Dad® is now included in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


This designation lends further credibility to the curriculum, the only evidence-based program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers.

According to Christopher Brown, president of NFI, “InsideOut Dad’s inclusion on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices is yet another powerful testimony to the effectiveness of this program in changing the lives of incarcerated fathers and their children. This listing further confirms the evidence, both statistically and from the stories we’ve gathered over the years, that InsideOut Dad® has the power to transform lives and connect fathers, heart to heart, with their kids.”

InsideOut Dad® was found to be evidence-based in 2011 as a result of an evaluation conducted by Rutgers University-Newark’s School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), qualifying it as the first evidence-based program designed specifically for working with inmate fathers.

Specifically, SPAA’s study compared the effects of the InsideOut Dad® program on more than 300 incarcerated fathers who participated in the program (intervention group) to incarcerated fathers who did not participate in it (control group). Through the quantitative data collected, the researchers found statistically significant changes across confidence, knowledge, behavior, and attitude variables in the intervention group compared to the control group.

The researchers also conducted interviews with program facilitators. This qualitative data indicated that several of the practical issues that emerged in previous evaluations of other parenting programs for incarcerated parents did not become a problem, such as staff turnover, poor coordination, interruptions during class, a lack of respect, and comprehension difficulties.

Based on the above findings of SPAA’s rigorous study, InsideOut Dad® then met NREPP's minimum requirements for review and has been independently assessed and rated for Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination, resulting in its listing on the registry.

InsideOut Dad’s listing on the registry is an important iteration in a growing body of research that suggests that a key to reducing recidivism is ensuring that inmates have strong family connections.

InsideOut Dad in Richmond JailInsideOut Dad® is currently being used in over 400 correctional facilities across the country and has been named a standardized program by 26 state departments of corrections. It is also used by many community-based organizations as a re-entry or transitional program to help reintegrate ex-offenders back into their communities, often used in conjunction with NFI’s 24/7 Dad® program, job training programs, and other helpful interventions (e.g. substance abuse treatment).

InsideOut Dad’s NREPP entry can be viewed here.

Prisons, jails, facilitators, and others can learn more about using InsideOut Dad® here

Photo credit: Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2013.

Implementing Evidence-Based Programs: The Devil in the Details

This is a guest blog post from Christopher Brown, Executive Vice President, National Fatherhood Initiative. 

evidenceThe federal government, many state governments, and many private funders continue to place an emphasis on funding evidence-based programs. Indeed, many funders now require the use of evidence-based programs for receipt of funds.

What is lost on many funders is how difficult it is to implement evidence-based programs with fidelity (i.e. as designed). The primary reasons are:

  • How difficult (and often impossible) it is to replicate the controlled environments in which evaluations are conducted.
  • Lack of access to the resources (e.g. funding and staffing) in which programs are rigorously evaluated.
  • The desire to implement evidence-based programs with populations or in settings that are different from the populations or settings in which programs are evaluated.

These reasons are compounded by one of the unintended consequences of the emphasis on funding only evidence-based programs—it sends the message that evidence-based programs are the only kinds of programs worthy of funding and implementation. Consequently, an organization might not be willing to use a program that could work well with the population it serves and in its setting simply because it hasn’t undergone a rigorous evaluation. 

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness among some funders of the difficulty in implementing evidence-based programs with fidelity and that there are other programs worthy of implementation that haven’t undergone rigorous evaluations. (These latter programs are typically called “promising programs”.) Some funders now allow grantees to modify the content and delivery of evidence-based programs, within certain limits, and the populations that participate in the programs that they fund. Other funders allow the organizations they fund to implement promising programs that have been shown to be effective based on less rigorous evaluations and programs with content that is informed by evidence. (These latter programs are typically called “evidence-informed programs”.)

This flexibility is wise because an organization that wishes to use an evidence-based program might lack the resources, staff, and organizational culture to implement that program with fidelity. That organization might serve a population and operate in a community that are quite different from those in which the program was evaluated, and it might be better served using a promising or evidence-informed program.

How do NFI’s programs and workshops address these difficulties? NFI provides Facilitator’s Manuals with all of our programs and workshops (and training institutes on our programs) that guide organizations on how to implement them with fidelity. When implementing with fidelity isn’t an option, the modular structure of our programs and workshops provides the flexibility to customize them based on organizations’ resources, cultures, populations served, and community-based settings.

Based on feedback from the organizations that use our programs and workshops, we know that most of them don’t implement our fatherhood programs and workshops exactly as they’re designed. These organizations value the ability to create customized programs by combining portions of our programs and workshops (and often adding our other resources) that best meet their needs and the needs of the fathers and families they serve. 

In closing, please don’t hesitate to contact our Program Support staff at or 240-912-1270. They can help you to create a customized solution for your organization that draws from our more than 100 resources, several of which are either evidence-based, evidence-informed, or promising programs.

For more information on all of our programs, workshops, and other fatherhood resources, visit

The Father Factor Blog > Where Fatherhood Leaders Go To Learn.

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