Father and infant son

Fatherhood/Male Engagement Coordinators play a critical role in a team approach to involving and supporting the fathers/males who are part of Healthy Start families. These team members go by many names in local Healthy Start programs, including (but not limited to):

  • Fatherhood/Male Engagement Program Coordinator
  • Fatherhood/Male Engagement Specialist
  • Male Case Manager
  • Male Involvement Coordinator
  • Male Involvement Specialist
  • Community Health Worker

Smiling young father reading a book for his girls

Father/male engagement has a positive impact on both pregnancy outcomes and child development, and Healthy Start has been serving fathers since the initiative began in 1991. In recent years local Healthy Start programs have worked to strengthen their fatherhood/male involvement efforts through enhanced outreach, recruitment, engagement, and retention activities.

This page was developed in response to the expressed needs of Healthy Start Fatherhood/Male Engagement Coordinators and teams to have a dedicated platform to access resources and information related to fatherhood/male engagement programming. It serves as a repository of resources, examples from the field, evidence-based practices, and upcoming events to help you engage fathers and men in your Healthy Start program.

Check out the videos below to hear from Healthy Start fathers and staff.

This video playlist includes 2 videos:

A video of fathers talking about their participation in Healthy Start fatherhood programs and what it has meant to them.

A video featuring a Healthy Start core services manager describing her program’s father involvement initiatives.



This video of fathers in Philadelphia, PA explores the joys and memorable moments in fatherhood.


Explore the resources featured below to learn more.

When you click on an image below, the resource will open in a new browser window.



The Engaged Fathers Performance Measure Resource Sheet summarizes recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to the two fatherhood benchmarks to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women, men, children, and families they serve.





The Bringing Fathers In fact sheets from MenCare and the Fatherhood Institute focus on why and how to engage dads effectively.




Recruiting and Retaining Men in Responsible Fatherhood Programs: A Research-to-Practice Brief summarizes several promising practices and provides guidance on on how to plan for recruitment, engage fathers in services, and maintain high rates of participation.




Changing Systems & Practice to Improve Outcomes for Young Fathers,Their Children & Their Families makes recommendations for child welfare system policy and practice changes that recognize the critical role young fathers can play in improving the outcomes of their children and families. Young fathers’ voices and experiences with child welfare systems are embedded throughout the brief.



Program P provides concrete strategies for engaging men in active caregiving from their partner’s pregnancy through their child’s early years. It identifies best practices on engaging men in maternal and child health, caregiving, and preventing violence against women and children. 





The Responsible Father Toolkit: Resources from the Field draws on lessons learned and resources used by fatherhood programs in diverse locales throughout the nation. These programs are helping fathers create loving, nurturing relationships with their children and be actively involved in their lives.




Fathers for Life: Strengthening Families and Fatherhood: Children of Fathers in the Criminal Justice System was developed with the goal to encourage and support positive relationships of families with infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children of incarcerated fathers or fathers on probation or parole.



Visit the EPIC Center Evidence-based Practices Inventory for additional resources and practices on father engagement.