Parent review feedback summary

  • Majority of parent reviewers feel that kinship support would benefit and make a big difference in the lives of families, largely since “fathers have nothing to go to.”
  • Reviewers feel these services are not effective without involvement of the community of men that they are trying to serve.
  • When implementing, parent reviewers want to ensure that providers are looking at the root of fathers’ trauma, provide appropriate resources to meet their needs, and to understand the stigma preventing men from sharing their feelings and emotions.
  • One reviewer noted that a better incentive must be provided considering the length of the sessions.

What is the intervention?

The Father’s Feelings study is an assessment and research study as well as support for dads. After a brief assessment, the project provides consultation and resources to help dads improve their skills and understanding of themselves as father, validating them as primary caregivers for their children.

The program administers a 25-question survey that screens for paternal depression in new dads with children 12 months or younger. Participants then receive up to five 90-minute, 1-on-1, father-specific sessions with clinicians or parent coaches. Dads can share their thoughts and feelings about their baby and their lives as parents. Dads also learn ways to strengthen to father-child bonds and get help preparing for the joys and challenges of fatherhood. Upon completion, dads receive a $25 gift card.

The Father’s Feelings study is funded by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund and Prevent Child Abuse America of Ohio and coordinated by the Institute of Family and Community Impact. The Institute of Family and Community Impact is an initiative of OhioGuidestone, which is a Care Management Entity (CME) for OhioRISE, a specialized Medicaid managed care program that focuses on children who have complex behavioral health and multisystem needs.

What makes it a Bright Spot?

Even if this isn’t a father’s first baby, each infant may offer different joys and challenges and a father’s mental health is important for whole family wellbeing. Father’s Feelings gives dads space to share their thoughts and feelings about the new baby and receive the focus, care, and assistance needed from mental health professionals.

A new tool was developed specifically to screen for paternal depression in new. Fathers participating in Father’s Feelings reported feeling less stressed, more involved as a parent, and more confident in the quality of caring they provide for their child. The screening tool also helps researchers understand the specific needs of new fathers.

What steps can you take?

  • Recommit to involving fathers in the families you serve, understand their unique contributions and challenges to new fatherhood
  • Contact your state’s Prevent Child Abuse America or Children’s Trust Fund to explore implementation
  • Contact Ohio’s Institute of Family and Community Impact to learn more about ways to implement in your jurisdiction


These downloadable resources may help provide additional context and information about this family-approved resource for systems change.

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