The Fatherhood Project® Home Page

Families and Work Institute

James A. Levine, Ph.D., Director
Edward W. Pitt, M.S.W., Associate Director

Purpose: The Fatherhood Project® is a national research and education project that is examining the future of fatherhood and developing ways to support men’s involvement in child rearing. Its books, films, consultation, seminars, and training all present practical strategies to support fathers and mothers in their parenting roles.
The Fatherhood Project® is the longest-running national initiative on fatherhood–founded in 1981 at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City by Dr. James A. Levine, and relocated in 1989 to the Families and Work Institute. In 1992, Ed Pitt, formerly director of health and social welfare programs at the National Urban League, joined the Project as Associate Director.
Current components include:

  • Fatherhood USA: This two-part PBS documentary special airs on PBS in June 1998 (check local listings) and will be repeated later by many stations. It goes beyond the popular stereotypes of fatherhood–Mr. Moms or Deadbeat Dads– to examine what it takes for fathers to build or rebuild relationships with their children. The first program, Dedicated, Not Deadbeat, looks at fathers in Baltimore and Boston who are finding community support in trying to be good fathers. The second program, Juggling Family and Work, focuses on three men, in intact families, who confront the daily dilemma of being a dad and handling the pressures of a workplace that isn’t always “father-friendly.” Copies of the film–along with a separate training video and manual–are available for use by community-based organizations and/or employers who want to be more effective in supporting the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. Seminars and training based on the films are also available. (See full program descriptions and ordering information below)

  • Working Fathers: Ongoing research into “best practices” and strategies for creating a workplace that enables fathers to better balance work and family life — while also enhancing business productivity and increasing women’s equal opportunity. This research is routinely channeled into popularly accessible publications, seminars for employees and managers on DaddyStress®/DaddySuccess, and executive briefings on Daddy Strategy®.
  • The Male Involvement Project: A national training initiative that helps Head Start and early childhood programs get fathers and other significant men involved in their programs and in the lives of their children. Training is delivered by a national network of practitioners who have already been successful at increasing male involvement in their own programs. More than 2000 practitioners have been trained in the last four years. In addition, a training center model to serve local and regional areas is being developed.
  • State Initiatives on Responsible Fatherhood: An examination of policies and programs in all 50 states that will yield a new understanding of government’s role in fostering responsible fatherhood. A national guide to best practices will be published in June 1999.

Publications and Films Available from The Fatherhood Project®:

Working Fathers: New Strategies for Balancing Work and Family
by James Levine and Todd Pittinsky

“This is such an important work on such a vital topic — must reading for all fathers.” — Arlie Hochschild, author of The Time Bind
“Few, if any, books can genuinely claim to offer equal benefits to companies, their members, and most importantly, their members’ spouses and children. This one can.” — Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
“Reading this book is like having a wise, no-nonsense coach in your corner.”

–Samuel Osherson, Ph.D. Author of Finding Our Fathers

Balancing the work-family equation represents the single greatest challenge for parents and their employers in today’s economy. But while the difficulties faced by working mothers have been well documented in the media, the challenges facing working fathers have largely remained invisible . . . until now.

In their new book WORKING FATHERS: New Strategies for Balancing Work and Families parenting expert James A. Levine, Director of The Fatherhood Project® at the Families and Work Institute, and Todd L. Pittinsky of the Harvard Business School present a groundbreaking examination of the work-family dilemma and offer a proven and effective game-plan to help fathers as well as mothers, employees as well as managers, succeed in managing the competing demands of home and work.

WORKING FATHERS is based on a decade’s worth of research on men’s changing dynamics around work and family, conducted by The Fatherhood Project® at the Families and Work Institute in New York City. To understand the work/family challenge at the turn of the century, Levine collaborated with Pittinsky on an investigation that included company case studies and focus groups, interviews with over 200 working fathers in diverse occupations across industries, and analysis of FWI’s National Study of the Changing Workforce, a nationally representative survey of over 3,000 members of the U.S. labor force.
challenges conventional understanding of both the American workplace and the American family, showing:

  • Why men’s level of work-family conflict, though equal to women’s, has remained an “invisible dilemma”–something men don’t talk about and the media has not picked up on.
  • Why creating a father-friendly workplace is good for business productivity.
  • Why creating a father-friendly workplace is a key to advancing women’s equal opportunity.
  • How media focus on paternity leave sidetracks the creation of the father-friendly workplace.
  • Why fathers who want to improve their relationships with their children need to spend more time with their wives.
  • Why addressing men’s work-family conflict should be a key component of corporate diversity strategies.

With the steady rise in the number of women joining the workforce, fathers are taking on more responsibility for the nurturing of their children, part by necessity and often by choice, while still retaining their “breadwinner” pressures. WORKING FATHERS is the first book to help men reconcile the demands of work and family, with such practical strategies as:

  • 20 ways for men and women to create a more father-friendly workplace
  • 15 ways for fathers to improve their at-home connections with their wives and children
  • 40 ways for dads who travel to stay connected with their children
  • 15 ways for working fathers (and mothers) to get involved in their children’s education — the single best predictor of academic success

WORKING FATHERS has drawn advance praise from an extraordinary mix of leaders from both the child development and business communities, including Harvard child psychologist Alvin Poussaint, M.D.; Children’s Defense Fund president Marian Wright Edelman; and Peter M. Senge, author of the bestselling The Fifth Discipline, who says, “few, if any, books can genuinely claim to offer equal benefits to companies, their members, and most importantly, their members’ spouses and children. This one can.” According to Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of The Second Shift and Time Bind, WORKING FATHERS is “must reading for all fathers.” First serial rights have been sold to both a leading business magazine (Inc.) and to a leading parenting magazine (Child).

Click here for more background
(Price $13.00.)

Click here to order this publication.

New Expectations: Community Strategies for Responsible Fatherhood

This latest release from the Fatherhood Project promotes a new way of thinking and acting to promote responsible fatherhood, including a jargon-free review of research, state-of-the-art review of community-based strategies, tips from leading practitioners, and a guide to more than 300 programs nationwide and to the 100 most useful publications.
225 pages. Soft cover

“A fascinating study of what is needed and what is working in our country for getting men who father children involved.” –Marian Wright Edelman, President, The Children’s Defense Fund

“A must-read practical guide for anyone concerned about our nation’s children promoting effective approaches to male parenting.” –Hugh B. Price, President, National Urban League

“…20 minutes with this book feels like a state-of-the-art consultation, warm informed support group, and creative retreat combined.” —Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., Clinical Professor, Yale Study Center, Author of the Nurturing Father.

“This timely addition to the fatherhood literature will help move the national dialogue about increasing father involvement from mere rhetoric to action.” –-Ross D. Parke, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director, Center for Family Studies, University of California, Riverside; Author of Fathers

Price $22.00

Click here to order this publication.

Getting Men Involved: Strategies for Early Childhood Programs

This is a hands-on guide for people working in early childhood programs who want to involve fathers and other significant males in children’s lives. The first part outlines four “stages” of reaching and working with men and includes over 100 practical strategies. The second part profiles 14 exemplary programs throughout the U.S. A resource section includes an annotated bibliography of books for children which feature men in nurturing roles.
96 pages. Soft cover.

“James Levine has broken new ground. This book should be on the shelves of every childhood program in the country. —Edward Zigler, Ph.D, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University

“This book’s recognition of the significance of males other than the father to child development shows a unique sensitivity to this nation’s changing and diverse family structures.” –-Evelyn K. Moore, Executive Director, National Black Child Development Institute

“Bringing fathers (and other males) into children’s lives is increasingly important. This fine and useful book is full of practical suggestions about how to bring that about.” –T. Berry Brazelton, MD, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

“An invaluable guide for early childhood programs that want to make sure that ‘Family Friendly’ means fathers as well as mothers.” –Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute, NYC

Price $13.00

Click here to order this publication.

Fatherhood USA

This two-part documentary exploring fatherhood beyond the stereotypes of deadbeat dads and Mr. Moms, aired on PBS in June 1998 and was repeated after that by many stations. The first program, Dedicated, Not Deadbeat, looks at fathers in Baltimore and Boston who are finding community support in trying to be good fathers. The second program, Juggling Family and Work, focuses on three men, in intact families, who confront the daily dilemma of being a dad and handling the pressures of a workplace that isn’t always “father-friendly.” The documentary is hosted by former U.S. senator Bill Bradley. Actor Yaphet Kotto narrates the first program and actor John Shea narrates the second program. A separate training video and manual are available. Funding was provided by The Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Dedicated, Not Deadbeat

Absent fathers, unmarried fathers, deadbeat dads — negative depictions of fathers have become a media staple. But what about men struggling to stay involved with their kids despite a legacy of fatherlessness, poverty or incarceration? What does it take to keep men connected to their families? This program looks beyond the stereotypes at what happens when men in fragile families find an environment that supports their importance as fathers.

  • If a father is unmarried and provides little financial support to his young son and daughter, can he still be a good family man? Paul Hope, 21, an unemployed father of two, seems poised to repeat the legacy of fatherlessness in which he grew up. Convicted of assault for a street fight, he may be sent to jail. He joins Baltimore Men’s Services, part of a local Healthy Start Program, starts a job in a federally funded housing/work program, and is determined not to be an absent father.
  • Jeremy Stevens, 28, has five children, is unemployed, and has a criminal history. He seems likely to repeat the domestic abuse with which he grew up. Arrested for hitting his girlfriend, Vicki, he nearly lands in jail. But a judge orders him to join a program that aims to break the cycle of violence and train him to become the father he himself never had.

Juggling Family and Work

This program looks at men from across the country as they confront the daily dilemma of being a working dad. It deals with one of the most important business issues of the future: creating a family-friendly workplace for mothers and fathers.

  • Shortly after a massive heart attack, Bart Morrison, 44, was downsized from his executive job. When Bart is home, unemployed, he takes responsibility for the care of his two small children while his wife works, and he unexpectedly discovers the importance of his role as a father.
  • Don Hicks is a factory worker on a rotating shift, with a schedule typical of hundreds of thousands of line workers today. Don and his wife Karen are on the verge of a divorce that will only further distance him from his two teenage daughters. He works to turn his life and marriage around, joins a fathering group and learns to take on his share of household responsibilities.
  • Al Franco, 35, works as a mechanic for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, one of the nation’s best companies for working fathers. Al and his wife Sandra are juggling work and caring for three preschool children when their oldest girl comes down with what may be a serious disease. Al constantly leaves work to care for her and his co-workers give him a hard time for “being mommy,” but the company’s commitment to supporting dads helps him through this critical period.

Fatherhood Workshop Kit

The Fatherhood Workshop kit based on the two-part documentary, Fatherhood USA, includes four video modules, a 24-page facilitator’s guide, and a Fatherhood Tips handout. It is designed for community-based organizations and/or employers who want to be more effective in supporting the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.:

The four video workshop modules are:

  • The Importance of Fathers
  • Father-Mother Communication
  • Juggling Work and Family
  • Fathers and Social Support.

Prices for Fatherhood USA Components

Fatherhood Workshop (includes four modules)$28.95$99.00
Program I: Dedicated, Not Deadbeat$28.95$99.00
Program II: Juggling Family and Work$28.95$99.00
Special Package: Programs I and II plus the Fatherhood Workshop$74.95$250.00