Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic for Supporting Fathers’ Relationships in Fatherhood Programs
Healthy relationships, including coparenting and romantic relationships, are critical to the health and well-being of fathers and families. Supporting these relationships is therefore a key goal of many fatherhood programs. During COVID-19, fathers have faced a number of challenges that may affect their romantic and coparenting relationships. These include increased unemployment, issues around child access and visitation, and difficulties navigating work-from-home arrangements. At the same time, COVID-19 created unique hurdles for fatherhood programs in providing services to fathers. In particular, many of these programs were required to swiftly shift from in-person to virtual service delivery.
The disruptions faced by fathers and fatherhood programs and the ways in which they have adapted have the potential to inform how fatherhood programs can better support fathers’ healthy relationships moving forward. This brief describes how COVID-19 affected fathers’ relationships and healthy relationship programming provided by fatherhood programs and offers strategies that these programs can adopt to better support fathers’ coparenting and romantic relationships.