“Fathers are valuable to God.”, says Roland Warren, President and CEO of Care Net, in his newest LifeChat. Care Net’s network of pregnancy centers serves hundreds of thousands of women facing pregnancy decisions every year providing them with mental, emotional, and spiritual support they need to choose life for their unborn children. But what about the dads?

About a decade ago, Care Net had set out to ensure that serving fathers became an unquestioned central part of the work that pregnancy centers do to save babies from abortion and build strong God-honoring families. Here’s why we serve fathers.

Watch the full LifeChat: Empowering Fathers

#1 Fathers are valuable to God.

Roland points out that, even a quick read of Scripture will show you that fathers are valuable to God. One reason specifically stands out. Roland reminds us of the birth of Jesus. After God sent an angel to Mary letting her know she would give birth to Christ, God also sent the angel to Joseph, letting him know to be a husband to Mary and a father to Jesus. God set the example here. He showed the importance of marriage and fatherhood with the birth of Jesus.

#2 Fathers are highly influential in their partners’ pregnancy decision.

We know from research, even our national surveys, that women who have had an abortion (and men whose partners had abortions) — both list the father of the unborn child as the most influential factor in the abortion decision.

#3 Fathers are vital to the well-being of children and families.

Children with involved fathers, and as Roland further explains, ideally married to the mothers of their children, do better across every measurement of child well-being when compared to children in father-absent homes.

To address the need to reach and equip those who are involved in unplanned pregnancies Care Net has created resources and training to prepare pregnancy centers to welcome men into their centers. With training and a heart for men, a center will empower men, making it a point to meet men at the door with compassion, hope, and help from the onset of their fatherhood journey.

Roland reveals in this new LifeChat, that in 2021, Care Net invested significant funding resources and training to launch ten (10) pilot fatherhood programs at pregnancy centers across the country.

With key learnings from the pilots, Care Net was able to double the size of its project in 2023 to twenty (20) fatherhood programs.

The centerpiece for each center was the online version of Doctor Dad, Care Net’s foundational training program for new and expectant fathers. To build up each center’s capacity and skills in reaching fathers, Care Net provided centers with training on how to reach and serve men at risk for choosing abortion.

Care Net provided these centers with a variety of resources to serve them for years to come. For example, Roland shares that Care Net gave these centers a Care Net resource called Welcoming Him, the only manual that provides detailed instructions on how to start or enhance a men’s ministry at a pregnancy center.

Care Net also provided the centers with Making Life Disciples, a basic training program to equip a group of first responders in any church or parish to offer compassion, hope, help, and then discipleship to women and men facing pregnancy decisions.

The key piece in the success of this project was Doctor Dad a one-of-a-kind training for new and expectant fathers. This program provides them with the basic health and safety skills and confidence they need to successfully care for their pregnant partner and their baby.

You might be asking, what happened as a result of the training and resource provision for these twenty centers? Great question. Glad you asked. Roland shares the details. The centers which participated in the 2023 Fatherhood Project saw the following results:

  • 19 centers completed the project
  • These 19 centers served 6,185 men; or about 325 men per center.
  • 39% year-over-year increase in the total number of men served as clients at the center
  • 491 men completed the full Doctor Dad Program
  • 45% increase in the total number of men present at pregnancy test appointments
  • 25% increase in the total number of men present at ultrasound appointments
  • 26% increase in the total number of men present for STI testing
  • 72% increase in the total number of men who attended parenting or education classes
  • 182% increase in the total number of men who graduated from a parenting education or support program

Praise God. These are amazing stats. They show what can happen when a center learns how to empower the father. Roland doesn’t stop at the stats. He also shares a powerful testimony from a fatherhood champion at a center in Birmingham, Alabama. This is what the fatherhood leader shared about a dad they served during the Fatherhood Project:

We have a father in our program who shared about having a drug-addicted mom and a workaholic dad. While his dad instilled a work ethic in him, he also felt that there was a lack of connection. When he came to our center, he and his girlfriend had only recently found out that they were pregnant. Soon after he got his hands on Doctor Dad, he dove right in, desiring to learn as much as he possibly could to be the best father he could be. They’ve gotten married and have already had their baby boy. He’s not only a great father but an inspiration to the rest of the dads in our program.

Roland does well to make clear here when we say at Care Net that we’re not just a pro-life organization but a Pro Abundant Life ministry, this is what we’re talking about. Roland explains, “This story illustrates that a true and full victory involves not only saving a baby from abortion, but building a strong, God-honoring family, so that children can not only survive, but can thrive in the abundance of God has for them.”

Learn more about caring that’s important work with fathers visit DoctorDad.org.