Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value their Children Program


Categories associated with best practice:

  • Young Adult (ages 19-24) icon
  • Adult (ages 25-64) icon
  • Best Practices
  • Canada
  • Community/ Neighbourhood
  • English
  • Healthy child development
  • Personal health practices and coping skills
  • Social environments
  • Social Relationships That Respect Diversity

Determinants of Health: Personal health practices and coping skills, Social environments, Social relationships (including those that respect diversity), Healthy child development


The Caring Dads program targets the needs of fathers who are abusive or at risk of being abusive. This 17 week group intervention aims to: increase men’s awareness of the impact of coercive, shaming and under-involved behaviour on children; enhance fathers’ motivation to change; reduce attitudes and perceptions that support maltreatment of children; and improve father-child relationships. It also aims to reduce men’s involvement in child-focused marital conflict and increase fathers’ cooperation and problem solving around childcare issues. The Caring Dads program uses motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioural and psycho-educational techniques to meet these goals. The program also consists of systematic outreach to mothers to ensure safety and freedom from coercion and ongoing collaborative case management of fathers with referring agents, as well as the professionals who are involved with their families.

The Caring Dad program has been shown to reduce anger, hostility and verbal aggression among program participants. Parenting and co-parenting has also been found to improve alongside a decrease in overreactivity, laxness and hostility. Improvements were also found with respect to total stress, emotional unavailability and unresponsiveness, hostility, denigration and rejection of a child, angry arousal to child and family situations, and exposure of the child to hostile interactions with the child’s mother.

Primary Source Document

K Scott, V Lishak, Intervention for Maltreating Fathers: Statistically and Clinically Signifcant Change Child Abuse and Neglect; 36: 680-684.

Contact information of developer(s) and/or implementer(s)

Les professionnels qui souhaitent mettre en place le programme Caring Dads ont la possibilité de suivre des séances de formation.

Intervention Focus


Health Issue(s) that is/are addressed by the Intervention

Health Promotion

  • Other

Risk Reduction

  • Prevent violence
  • Other

Specific Activities of the Intervention

  • Information sessions offered about a risk factor or condition
  • Group process/program

Priority/Target Population for Intervention Delivery

Life Stage

  • Young adult (age 19-24 years)
  • Adults (age 25-64 years)


Educational Settings

    Community Setting

    • Community/neighbourhood


    Outcomes and Impact Chart
    Level of ImpactDescription of OutcomeEquity Focus
    Individual LevelIntervention led to considerable changes in fathers’ respect for their partner’s commitment and judgment. Results provide evidence for substantial increases in men’s respect for the commitment and judgment of children’s mothersReported outcomes do not distinguish findings specific to people living in conditions of disadvantage.
    Individual LevelIntervention led to considerable changes in fathers’ over-reactivity to children’s misbehavior. Reductions from pre- to post-intervention were statistically significant for laxness, over-reactivity and hostility with effect sizes of medium for over-reactivity and small for laxness and hostility. Reported outcomes do not distinguish findings specific to people living in conditions of disadvantage.


    Implementation History

    • Multiple implementations - Different settings/populations/providers - The intervention showed significant adaptability as it has been implemented in different settings or with different populations or by different provider(s). This can include multiple implementations during the same time period. Each implementation of the intervention must have been substantially the same and must have demonstrated positive results for the primary objectives of the intervention.

    Expertise Required for Implementation within the Context of the Intervention

    • Specialized skills training provided as part of the Intervention - The intervention does not require individuals or groups with highly specialized training, but requires that individuals or groups be trained as part of the implementation of the intervention.

    Are there supports available for implementation


    Are there resources and/or products associated with the interventions

    Yes. Program training sessions are available for professionals who wish to run the Caring Dads program.