Measuring Effectiveness is Key to Making a Difference in the Lives of Children and Families
National Fatherhood Initiative uses a variety of methods to measure our impact. We want to be good stewards of the resources we’ve been given to do this important work, and we want to make sure we are using the best approaches to ensuring that we accomplish our mission of connecting fathers to their children, heart to heart.
Begin by viewing our Progress Report below:
(click the center to view it enlarged on your screen)
Tracking of U.S. Census Bureau Data
NFI tracks, annually, the U.S. Census Bureau data on the proportion of children living in father-absent homes. After rising for 30 years from the early 1960s to the early 1990s, the rate leveled off for several years until a small but significant decline in father absence in the mid-2000s. While the proportion was nearly 40% in the early 90s, it stands at 33% today, due in part to NFI’s work to connect fathers to their children and create a culture of responsible fatherhood.
We are committed to ensuring that our programs for fathers are the best in the country. After all, they are the primary tools that community-based organizations, prisons, and military bases are using to help fathers build their skills and connect to their children. Therefore, our programs are evaluated in two ways:
- Our fatherhood curricula come with built-in evaluation tools so that the organizations administering them can track the knowledge and attitude changes the dads experience as a result of participating in our programs.
- Several rigorous, third-party evaluations have been conducted on NFI’s major fatherhood programs. As a result, we know that 1) InsideOut Dad® is the nation’s only evidence-based program designed specifically for incarcerated fathers; 2) 24/7 Dad® has been proven to be effective with a diversity of populations due to several rigorous evaluations. 3) A pilot program of our Understanding Dad program for moms has shown promising results in helping mothers communicate more effectively with the fathers of their children.
For more information on our program evaluations, visit our Program Evaluation page.
NFI interviews its community-based, corrections, and military partners to ensure that the implementation of our programming is making a difference within their organization and in their communities.
Read case studies of our work at these links:
Resources Distributed and Practitioners Trained
NFI is the #1 provider of fatherhood resources and the #1 trainer of fatherhood program practitioners in the country. One way to measure our impact is to ensure that we are continuing to distribute hundreds of thousands of resources and training hundreds of new practitioners each year. To date, we have distributed 7,654,338 fatherhood skill-building resources and have trained 26,149 individuals (14,511 staff in person and 11,638 staff online via webinar) from 6,666 organizations, on how to deliver our programs to dads. We've also delivered 86,655 free downloadable resources to dads and organizations from our website since tracking them at the start of 2013.
Stories of Impact/Testimonials
NFI collects stories from around the country from the dads and organizations who have been impacted by our work. This may not be the “hardest” measure of success, but it is certainly the most satisfying to read. Here are some examples that help us know that our work is making a difference. For more examples and videos of our impact on fatherhood, please visit Stories of Impact, where you can add your story as well.
“I’ve seen a positive change in my life during this program…I now know what I need to do to break the cycle 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.”
“Because of your resources, more fathers are trying to be better fathers by spending family time together, showing affection to their children and they realize that a father’s job is never done.”
“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!!!”