The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) recently released four free, easy-to-use assessment and evaluation tools for use in assessing fathers' involvement in the lives of their children or with any intervention designed to increase father involvement. (I sit on the FRPN's advisory committee.) They include tools that measure:
- Father-child contact
- Fathers' decision-making responsibility
- Fathers' engagement with children at different ages (four versions based on the age of a child)
- Fathers' challenges to involvement
Members of the FRPN research team developed the tools based on interviews they conducted in several states with a large sample of 650 nonresidential fathers.
What makes these tools so useful is their potential application in any setting in which you want to assess the level of fathers' involvement (e.g. at program intake) and to any intervention (e.g. program or workshop) that might affect the outcomes measured by the instruments. But perhaps their primary benefit is their short length. Given the challenge practitioners can sometimes face in the amount of time available for completing assessments and evaluations, the short length of these tools means you can quickly administer them, or have fathers complete them on their own, in almost any setting without taking too much of your own or fathers' time. You can also combine them with other assessment or evaluation tools (e.g. those designed to measure improvements in specific attitudes, knowledge, or skills addressed in a program, such as NFI's 24/7 Dad® Fathering Survey) without substantially increasing the amount of time it takes to conduct an assessment or evaluation.
With the exception of the fathers' engagement tool for children of different ages, the FRPN team created short videos (3 1/2 to 6 minutes in length) that describe these tools and how to use them (e.g. as part of a pre-post evaluation and short-term and long-term follow up after an intervention ends). To view these videos and download the tools, click here.
When do you assess fathers' involvement, and what tools do you use to assess that involvement?
What tools do you use to evaluate your interventions to increase fathers' involvement?