Texas Fatherhood Summit: Building the Evidence Base for Fatherhood Programs

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – The University of Texas at Austin, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center

The Child and Family Research Partnership at The University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Texas DFPS’ Prevention and Early Intervention division hosted the first annual Texas Fatherhood Summit in Austin, Texas on February 3, 2016.

The Summit brought together hundreds of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of fatherhood to exchange ideas and assess the state of fatherhood programs throughout the country.

National fatherhood expert Dr. Ronald Mincy was the keynote speaker and gave a dynamic talk on the importance of fathers in their children’s lives and why research in this field is so critical. Dr. Mincy is the Director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being and Social Policy Professor at Columbia University.

Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director of The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership presented an overview of the strategies for evaluating and building a comprehensive evidence base.

The remainder of the Summit was composed of series of expert panels for perspectives from the national, state, and provider levels on what the evidence says about fatherhood programs and the impact on future policy decisions. The first panel included prominent national fatherhood program evaluators who discussed what questions they are trying to answer about fathers and their preliminary findings of their most recent studies. In the second panel, policy leaders from Texas state agencies discussed the landscape of their state-wide fatherhood initiatives. The last panel included fatherhood program providers from all over the state who shared their invaluable work of supporting fathers in the communities. Dr. Osborne concluded with a presentation on the evaluation of current Texas fatherhood programs.




Photos, Video, & Social Media:


Presentations and Videos:


  • Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership
  • Sasha Rasco, Director of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention

Keynote Speaker:

  • Ron Mincy, Ph.D., Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study - click for presentation

Overview of Fatherhood Program Research:

National Panel on Fatherhood Research and Evaluation:

  • Moderated by Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D.
  • Robin Dion, Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research - click for presentation
  • Virginia Knox, Ph.D., Director of Families and Children at MDRC - click for presentation
  • Jessica Pearson, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network and Director of the Center for Policy Research - click for presentation

State Panel on Investing in Texas Fathers:

  • Moderated by Sasha Rasco, Director of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention
  • Krista Del Gallo, Policy Manager at the Texas Council on Family Violence
  • Noelita Lugo, Director of Family Initiatives at the Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Nicole Murry, Healthy Texas Babies Nurse Consultant at the Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Kenneth Thompson, Fatherhood Program Specialist at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Provider Panel on Supporting Fathers in the Communities:

  • Moderated by Michael Hayes, Senior Programs Manager at the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement
  • Russell Booth, Fatherhood EFFECT Educator at the Child Crisis Center of El Paso
  • Martin Castaneda, Fatherhood Engagement Coordinator at UT Permian Basin’s Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES)
  • Nakia Edwards, Assistant Director of Workforce and Family Strengthening at AVANCE Houston
  • Tommy Jordan, Executive Director at NewDay Services for Children and Families

Building the Evidence Base in Texas


CFRP Fatherhood Resources:

Topic Type Title
Father Involvement Report Making Good on Fatherhood: A Review of Fatherhood Research
Father Involvement Brief Snapshot: Fatherhood Initiatives in Texas
Father Involvement Infographic The Importance of Father Involvement
Father Involvement Brief  Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children
Father Involvement Brief  Dad's Absence at Birth Linked to Adverse Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby
Child Support Brief How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children: A Study of Unmarried Parents
Child Support Brief Child Support Unpacked: Examining the Factors Associated with Order Establishment
Child Support Infographic Child Support: The Hidden Social Safety Net
Family Violence Brief Families at Risk: Understanding the Characteristics of Relationship Violence among Unmarried Texas Parents
Family Violence Brief Relationship Violence and Paternity Establishment: Mapping the Policy Implications
Paternity Establishment E-News 5 Things You Should Know about Nonmarital Births and Paternity Establishment
Paternity Establishment Brief Why Parents Establish Paternity: A Study of Unmarried Parents
Paternity Establishment Brief Who Establishes Paternity?: A Study of Unmarried Parents
Paternity Establishment Brief To Be There or Not to Be There: How Fathers’ Presence at the Birth Shapes the Paternity Establishment Decision
Paternity Establishment Report Paternity Uncertainty: A Look at Rescissions and the Role of Doubt in Parents' Paternity Decisions
Paternity Establishment Brief Mapping the Paternity Establishment Decision: Regional Variation in Unmarried Fathers' Birth Attendance and Paternity Establishment
Paternity Establishment Brief On the Front Lines of Paternity Establishment: Perspectives of Parents and Birth Registrars
Participation in Home Visiting Brief Increasing Father Participation in Home Visiting: Lessons from Mothers
Participation in Home Visiting Brief Involving Fathers in Home Visiting Programs: Lessons from the Dads
More on Fatherhood All CFRP Fatherhood Publications


Related Research:


Please contact cfrp@austin.utexas.edu if you have questions.