Quick facts and numbers

A father’s impact on his kids

  • Fathers have a significant impact on the academic and social and emotional wellbeing of children – having lasting influences into their adult life. (11)
  • An effective and engaged father or father-figure helps to (1):
    Reduce alcohol, tobacco and drug use
    Reduce suicide & self-harm
    Increase health outcomes
    Increase self-esteem and resilience
    Reduce bullying behaviours
  • Effective and engaged fathering also helps to (1):
    Increase social responsibility and social maturity
    Reduce engagement in unhealthy and risky behaviours
    Increase physical activity
    Increase student connectedness with school

The Fathering Project In Schools

Impact of fathers’ involvement in school

  • By specifically targeting fathers, schools will see significance additional benefits for the children and for the school as a whole. (1)
  • Fathers’ involvement has been shown to have a stronger influence than mothers’ involvement on children getting high grades. (4,5)
  • Children do better in school when their fathers are involved in their school, regardless of whether their fathers live with them or live apart.  (11)
  • Children whose fathers participate in school activities, meetings and events also enjoy school more, are less likely to have behaviour issues and are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities. (11)
  • Fathers are more likely to engage in school if they are directly invited or targeted.
  • Once engaged, the proportion of fathers who are highly involved in school does not decline over time as much over time as much as with mothers. (11)
  • Mothers are more likely to remain involved as well if the father is involved so you get true family involvement. (11)

Impact of improved school and family connectedness

  • Family and schools working partnership can have an enormous impact on the success, happiness and health of children. Involvement of both mothers and fathers is significant in contributing to school success for children of all ages. (4,5)
  • Family and school connectedness are recognised as impacting improvement of student outcomes, school culture, attitudes to learning and is also associated with lower levels of emotional and behavioural problems in children and youth. (3)
  • When schools intentionally and collaboratively plan and implement parent engagement strategies they benefit from and contribute to family knowledge, experiences, capacities and networks. Collectively, this enriches learning, improves wellbeing and strengthens communities. (7)
  • Robust research also links parent engagement to the improvement of other outcomes including (6):
    Early literacy acquisition
    School readiness
    School adjustment
    Cognitive development
    Motivation
    Attendance
    Belief in the importance of education
    Engagement in schoolwork
    Self-regulation behaviour
    Sense of personal competence
    Wellbeing
    Enrolment in higher level classes
    Academic achievement
    Retention
    Graduation
    Participation in post-secondary education

The Fathering Project Dads Groups

  • Data from dads in Dads Groups across Australia identified that:
    98% of dads reported feeling more connected to other dads
    82% of dads had more awareness of their impact on their child
    75% of dads became more engaged in conversation with their children
    68% of dads reported spending more time with their child as a result
  • 90% of the principals surveyed, strongly agreed or agreed that the Dads’ Group in their school had already impacted the fathers’ behaviours in the following ways:
    Increased involvement with their child’s education
    Increased involvement with the wider school community
    Increased connection and friendship with other friends

Our Numbers

The Fathering Project In Schools

  • Active schools = 235
  • Forming schools = 20
  • Leaders of groups = 226
  • Engaged dads = 11,750
  • Engaged kids =  19,975

The Fathering Project email subscribers

  • Web subscribers = 10,500

Last Updated January 2020
View references.