Fatherhood Initiative

Fatherhood Initiative

About the Fatherhood Initiative

When fathers are actively involved in their children’s lives, the whole family thrives.

Our Fatherhood Initiative works to advance activities and trainings that support fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them.

Fathers & Family Network

The Fathers & Family Network (FFN) was created in 1996 and has since been recognized as both a statewide and national program model. The Children's Trust provides funding to local agencies and organizations to convene FFN meetings in several locations across the Commonwealth. FFN has a current membership list of over 1,500 interested individuals and provider programs that meet regularly in an effort to increase competency for professionals, better coordinate services and raise public awareness of the important role that fathers play in families. FFN meetings include topical presentations and discussions as well as networking and collaboration opportunities. The result is increased competency for professionals, better coordination of services and greater public awareness of the important role that fathers have in families. Key components of the FFN are:

  • Information sharing between program leaders focused on the needs and interests of fathers
  • Formal and informal networking opportunities as a way for programs to collaborate and to enhance the design and delivery of their activities
  • Presentations by fathering program leaders/experts at each meeting to increase awareness of various successful and innovative program models and practices
  • Coordination and collaboration of efforts across programs to avoid unnecessary duplication of services
  • Guided formal discussion related to topic presentations as a way to share interests and ideas concerning the development of fathering programs and policies
  • Training development to enhance both capacity and competencies of programs focused on the needs and interests of fathers

More information on upcoming meetings can be found here.

Nurturing Fathers

The Children’s Trust partners with community agencies to bring the Nurturing Fathers Program to Massachusetts fathers. The program is a 13-week, strength-based parenting group that helps fathers build and strengthen positive parenting attitudes and behaviors.

Tyler's Story

While incarcerated at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction, Tyler participated in our 13-week Nurturing Fathers program, which he credits with helping him learn "a lot of different parenting skills and coping mechanisms." After his release, Tyler continued to receive guidance through a 15-week program that helped him adjust to day-to-day parenting. The Nurturing Fathers program had such an impact on Tyler that now, he helps facilitate the program at the jail, helping other incarcerated dads discuss and learn how to nurture and support their children, so that they can be an active part of their children’s lives. Hear from Tyler himself how the program provided him the support and guidance needed to give his son a safe and healthy childhood.


Click here to view available trainings.

To see our Fatherhood Initiative in action, watch the 11-minute "Dads Rock" video created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

News Stories

For more information, please contact Chris White, Fatherhood Initiative Coordinator. 

donate now