Fatherhood & Family

Care Net leads the pro-life community to serve fathers because fathers are 1. valuable to God, 2. highly influential in their partner’s pregnancy decision, and 3. vital for the future well-being of their child. Care Net’s fatherhood resources and strategies are informed by our national research projects, robust staff experience, and the Pro Abundant Life perspective that keeps the gospel and God’s design for family first. We’re not just about adding another program, we’re about renewing a healthy vision.

The Joseph Vision

For nearly fifty years, Care Net has been helping women find hope amid the uncertainty of unplanned pregnancy. Our work is inspired by the gospel account of the birth of Christ where God sent an angel to Mary with the news and to bring her courage. Mary accepted God’s will and glorified Him in response, but the story doesn’t stop there.

In Matthew 1, we read how, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”

Joseph was called to be a husband to Mary and a father to the child growing inside her, setting aside his initial plan to put her away quietly. While the response of another man–Herod the Great–was to put all the infants to death, Joseph pursued God’s model for family and offered protection to the Christ child. As a result, we read in Luke 2, “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.”

With God’s vision of the whole family in mind, Care Net seeks to promote the importance of both mothers and fathers, equipping and empowering pregnancy centers and partner organizations to uniquely reach families in their own communities.

A Father’s Influence: Research

Positive interaction with either parent contributes to a child’s well-being. Yet research consistently shows that children who have positive experiences with only their mothers lack the nurturing and life skills that come when both parents are involved in their lives. From the very start, a dad’s absence — or presence — affects virtually every aspect of his or her life. These documented benefits of responsible, committed fatherhood show that when pregnancy centers encourage dads’ involvement with their children and support the development of positive parenting skills, they can make a multi-generational difference in whole families. Read more on fathers’ impact on their families in the research below.

Care Net Study of Men and Abortion

In partnership with Lifeway Research, Care Net commissioned a study to measure men’s church attendance at the time their partner/spouse had an abortion, their opinions about the pregnancy and the influence they had on the decision, and how helpful or safe churches were in that decision for them. The results show that not only is the male partner the most influential or consulted party in a woman’s abortion decision, but it was also highly likely that he attended a church or was connected to a faith community in some way at the time of the decision.

NFI

Our partners at the National Fatherhood Initiative share a host of statistics that prove a father’s absence affects children in numerous ways, while a father’s presence makes a positive impact for both children and mothers. Learn more at the link below.

The Impact of Focusing on Fatherhood & Family

Investing in fathers and whole families has a generational, transformative impact! Care Net has had the privilege of investing in budding fatherhood programs at pregnancy centers across the country, and the growth witnessed in individual lives and communities alike has been thrilling to watch. 

Fatherhood Project 

The second year of Care Net’s Fatherhood Project closed out in 2023, and the results are in – your investment in fathers and families has made an incredible impact. Centers participating in the Fatherhood Project reached more than 6,000 fathers, with 1,290 dads enrolled in the Doctor Dad online course and 491 graduating from the program entirely. Similarly, participating centers saw a 182% increase in fathers graduating from their own parenting education or support programs, resulting in equipped and empowered dads and healthier families.

How You Can Partner with Us to Invest in Fathers and Families

You can empower fathers with practical support and a biblical vision of the importance of their presence for their families! With your help, Care Net can equip pregnancy centers and churches in communities nationwide with practical tools and resources to encourage fathers and build healthy, whole, God-honoring families. Here’s how you can make a life-saving, transformational impact. 

 Support 

You make it possible for new and expectant dads and moms to be equipped with online courses, practical support through expanded pregnancy center ministries, and so much more. Will you join us in ensuring that dads and moms alike recognize the importance of their presence in the lives of their children, and are empowered to make life-affirming decisions?

Volunteer at a Center 

Care Net-affiliated pregnancy centers need your help! The need is great for compassionate support to new and expectant parents – and you can be a part of that life-affirming work. Most if not all centers have an expanded impact on families thanks to a robust volunteer program, and we encourage you to join your local pregnancy center today! 

MLD

The church is uniquely equipped to not only provide practical support to new and expectant families, but also to empower them in a Pro Abundant Life vision through long-term discipleship. How can we do this practically? Care Net’s Making Life Disciples program provides a framework for churches looking to expand their life-saving impact to families. 

The Future of Care Net’s Family Formation

You’ll notice that many of our family formation resources are currently geared towards fathers specifically. While we fully believe that holistic family formation hinges on the involvement of both dad AND mom – and we felt called to respond to a lack of resources for reaching dads uniquely – Care Net seeks to expand our impact for the whole family in the future through practical support and resources for moms, marriage support, and more. Do you feel called to join us in this work? Help us invest in whole families through the love of Christ today! 

How Care Net Works to Engage Fathers

With the biblical vision for a whole family in mind, reinforced by research proving a father’s positive impact, Care Net seeks to engage and equip fathers through our affiliated pregnancy centers, church partners, and more.

For Pregnancy Centers and Their Partners

Welcoming Him

This is the foundational resource you need to jumpstart a men’s ministry at your pregnancy center! Welcoming Him discusses how it is critical to establish the importance of the father’s influence in pregnancy decisions and the presence of both dads and moms in their children’s lives.

Fatherhood Connect

On a monthly basis, our Fatherhood & Family team hosts a Zoom call with fellow fatherhood and pregnancy center ministry leaders and volunteers who seek to engage fathers and families in their community. Learn from guest speakers across the country – fatherhood leaders doing great work, authors with valuable insights and research, and more.

Making Life Disciples

Research shows that 5 out of 10 men whose partners had an abortion were attending church regularly at the time of their first abortion decision. It’s vital for churches to be prepared to serve parents facing unplanned pregnancies through showing Christ’s love in practical ways. Making Life Disciples equips the church to invest in life-saving ministry.

For Fathers

Doctor Dad 

Did you know that when dads get involved right from the start, they affect their child’s health for a lifetime? This one-of-a-kind practical self-paced course will equip men to care for their pregnant partners and learn the basics of infant-toddler health, safety, and welfare. New and expectant dads will gain knowledge and skills through 6 1/2 hours of teaching in an interactive online course. New and expanded lessons in English and Spanish coming soon!

Pregnancy centers and churches supporting fathers can purchase a group cohort to serve fathers in their community with this practical support.

Reclaiming Fatherhood

If you’re a man with an abortion experience in your past, there is hope and healing available to you. Reclaiming Fatherhood provides a road map to healing for men who are struggling with the emotional and spiritual fallout of abortion. This book can be the first step in a journey out of survival and into hope, purpose, and fulfillment for your life. 

You can also get connected with an abortion recovery group in your own community to walk alongside other men who have been there too.