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Male Involvement

Where Dads Matter

Healthy Start projects over the years have consistently expressed a need to make Healthy Start sites more father-inclusive, by involving dads in program activities and in the lives of their children, and the promotion of responsible fatherhood with or without marriage. The commitment to the topic by the Association has resulted in a great deal of work around fatherhood through its current initiative, Where Dads Matter. Over the last four years a committed group of more than 130 individuals, representing Healthy Start projects, have worked closely with the Association to ensure the issue of fatherhood is a priority concern for the organization.


The Strategy

Recognizing that fully integrating fathers and men into MCH programs will not occur overnight, this cohort identified three primary goals for NHSA to achieve over the next few years:

  • Create an action plan centered on an “attitude of inclusion” that will look at current core components of Healthy Start to determine how the “attitude of inclusion” can be implemented in existing programs using existing resources and services.
  • Develop a baseline for marketing materials that leads to a toolkit and resource repository for various useful materials that include curricula, talking points, activities, etc. specifically designed for Healthy Start Projects.
  •  Develop a research design to support the quality research regarding male involvement and the impact on MCH and the outcome for the family. The research design will further help to advance additional research models to increase the available evidence-based information available on the subject.

In addition, core workgroups were created around research, marketing, analyzing and synthesizing, and funding and partnerships to help accomplish these goals. The organization continues to include the issue of fatherhood and male involvement within its strategic planning and recognizes how essential that we set the primary example of inclusion within all aspects of NHSA programming and infrastructure.

For more information about Where Dads Matter or to get involved with a workgroup contact the NHSA Office at info@nationalhealthystart.org

The National Healthy Start Association Inc.
1325 G Street, NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2195 
Contact via E-Mail

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Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative

Check our our 2nd Edition! It chronicles the birth of Healthy Start and NHSA and includes profiles and photographs from the federally-funded Healthy Start Initiatives.