The experiences of families of an intervention programme for fathers
The importance of the role of fathers in the lives of their children and families has received much attention in recent years. This new focus on responsible fatherhood has led to an increase of programme interventions for responsible fathers. The aim of this study was to explore how families experienced an intervention programme for fathers, and how the intervention contributed to child and family well-being. The study made use of a qualitative research methodology. The research sample included fathers, who participated in the intervention programme, as well as their life partners and children. The sample for the study included 10 fathers, 10 spouses, as well as 10 children of the fathers, who participated in an intervention programme for fathers. The final sample of participants in this study was 30 participants. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect the data in face-to-face interviews. The data analysis was conducted by means of a thematic analysis. All ethical considerations were adhered to by ensuring the confidentiality and anonymity of participants. The following themes were found in the study: Understanding of family well-being, Conceptualization of fatherhood and father involvement, Communication about the programme, Parent-child relationships, Parental involvement and personal matters, Discipline and conflict management, Experience of programme intervention the father attended. The results of the study showed that (1) the intervention contributed to the well-being of children and their families; (2) the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children increased post-intervention; (3) fathers' communication skills improved; (4) fathers were more involved in unpaid care; (5) spousal relationships improved with less conflict in their relationships.