For Potential Participants


The HERO Dads program is a free fatherhood program led by psychologists that is designed to empower non-custodial fathers to achieve family success by helping them to become involved and nurturing parents to their children, to form and maintain collaborative relationships with their children’s other caregivers and achieve financial stability.

This program is supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $7.5M with 100% funded by ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official view of, or an endorsement by, ACF/HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit the ACF website, Administrative and National Policy Requirements. These services are available to all eligible persons, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or religion.

  • Mission

    HERO Dads’ mission is to improve outcomes for children by providing non-custodial fathers with a supportive, safe community where they can obtain the skills and resources to become involved parents to their children, collaborative co-parents to their children’s other caregivers, and a source of financial empowerment to their families.
  • Values

    At HERO Dads, we believe in an evidence-based, trauma-informed, culturally humble, and collaborative approach to supporting the families we serve. We also emphasize four values that we believe embody a HERO Dad:
    • Healthy. Emotionally, physically, mentally, environmentally, and financially.
    • Empowered. Acknowledging the importance of their role in their family’s lives and able to identify and utilize positive parenting, relationship, and communication skills to foster healthy relationships.
    • Resilient. Accepting of the challenges that they may have experienced growing up and during fatherhood and focus on how their strengths enable them to overcome these struggles and change theirs and their families’ lives.
    • Open. Willing to consider new experiences, new knowledge, new people, and new ideas and to become more aware of their emotions and of their unique character and strengths so they can communicate and relate to others effectively.
  • History

    HERO Dads was founded in 2020 by the same team that created the Supporting Healthy Relationships Program in 2006, a 4-cycle grantee of OFA’s Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI). Having seen such success in using a psychologist-led, experiential and holistic approach to relationship education to support thousands of couples in the Bronx, the team at Montefiore received funding from OFA to launch HERO Dads in 2021, expanding its services to provide relationship and parenting education, family support services, and employment services to non-custodial fathers in the Bronx and surrounding areas. Since its nascency, HERO Dads has already served hundreds of fathers throughout New York City.

Program Services

The HERO Dads program provides wraparound services to support non-custodial fathers. At the core of the HERO Dads program are 16 hours of relationship and parent education workshops along with 8 hours of financial literacy and employment readiness workshops delivered over 4 weeks. These services are enhanced by job development and placement, case management, individualized parent coaching, and peer mentorship.

Program Services

Learn More About Our Program Services

HERO Dads’ Unique Approach to Fatherhood Programming

HERO Dads’ unique approach to fatherhood programming stems from Montefiore’s Supporting Healthy Relationships approach to relationship education that has been developed and curated over the past decade and a half by psychologists and researchers at Montefiore’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Like SHR, HERO Dads emphasizes (1) clinically trained workshop facilitators, (2) an evidence-based, curated curriculum, and (3) an experiential approach to workshop delivery. For more on SHR’s unique approach, click HERE. We are aware, however, that fatherhood programs and the needs of our Bronx non-custodial fathers require a much more comprehensive and intensive approach. Therefore, the HERO Dads Approach also includes:

  • Financial Literacy and Work Readiness delivered by our partners at Fedcap Inc., experts in workforce development, including:
Financial readiness
  • Individualized Parent Coaching delivered by our clinically trained psychologists at Montefiore, who meet with each participant weekly to focus on teaching authoritative parenting skills and communication skills, processing childhood trauma, bolstering emotional intelligence, providing support in navigating co-parenting, and making mental health and substance use referrals as needed.
  • HERO Dads’ Unique Experiential Approach to Fatherhood Education. Involved fathers and collaborative co-parents require secure attachment, emotional intelligence, authoritative parenting. These elements are essential, fluid, and overlapping, and are taught via four mechanisms: modeling, teaching-demonstrating, practicing-coaching, and processing. Workshops are taught by two facilitators to provide ample opportunity for modeling. The facilitators not only teach the three elements of involved fathers, but also demonstrate through role-plays. No workshop is complete without ensuring that every father can practice newly learned skills, and success is ensured through coaching by workshop facilitators. Finally, obstacles to at-home application are addressed by processing any new skills used or new experiences that occurred during the workshop.
The HERO Dads Approach

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HERO Dads 2020-2025 Program Evaluation

HERO Dads is committed to contributing to scholarship on Fatherhood Programming, and recently participated in the Strengthening the Implementation of Responsible Fatherhood Programs (SIRF) federal implementation study, conducted by MDRC.

For more information about SIRF, click here.

HERO Dads is currently conducting a local evaluation that addresses a research question about the impact of different ways of implementing fatherhood curricula: Does the delivery of group fatherhood education workshops virtually (i.e., via Zoom) impact engagement, skills learning, and parenting outcomes in comparison to in-person group workshops? In order to answer this question, HERO Dads is implementing a randomized control trial where fathers are randomly assigned to Zoom or In-Person workshops. Fathers complete data collection at intake, program completion, and 6 months following intake.

For Potential Participants