Enhancing Parenting Effectiveness, Fathers' Involvement, Couple Relationship Quality, and Children's Development: Breaking Down Silos in Family Policy Making and Service Delivery

Carolyn Pape Cowan Philip A. Cowan - Journal of Family Theory & Review


In this article, we examine family‐based interventions designed to increase parenting effectiveness, fathers' positive involvement, and couple relationship quality, all with the goal of enhancing children's development. We focus on the fact that government funding policies, service delivery systems, and research evaluations of interventions to benefit children and families typically operate in separate silos. We provide a theoretical model, along with empirical evidence, to argue that a more integrated, collaborative perspective is likely to produce more optimal outcomes for parents and children than current siloed attempts to improve child and family well‐being. We discuss some of the obstacles to using evidence to guide policy decisions. We offer suggestions for policy makers and service providers in an attempt to describe a more integrated approach to supporting family well‐being, and to encourage the increased use of systematic data in making decisions about how to allocate scarce resources for family support.