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Fraternity of Fathers

A Group-Based Intervention Program for Fathers of Young Children Looking for Better Connection

Fraternity of Fathers featured in Leelanau Ticker

U of M’s Fraternity Of Fathers Brings New Parenting Perspectives To Families In The County

Leelanau County once again finds itself leading the way in early childhood development innovations (here is one recent example) and this time the spotlight is on dads of young kids in the county.

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Dads Matter

The importance of paternal involvement in a child’s life is well documented. Fathers play an essential role in the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral development of their kids. Despite the established significance of fathers, there remain few resources and minimal support available for men with children.

Fraternity of Fathers, a Strong Roots program, is specifically tailored for dads of young children that utilizes adventure therapy principals to deliver attachment-theory based concepts in an interactive, fun, and supportive format. Dads in the community gather together for 10 weekly sessions to discuss fatherhood, how individual experiences impact parenting styles, and new ways to think about and understand the development and behaviors of their children.

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What is Fraternity of Fathers?

Fraternity of Fathers is a Strong Roots program for men with at least one child under the age of 6. Meals are provided for participants free of charge. Transportation can also be provided, if needed. This is a closed group, meaning fathers who begin the group move through the program together without the introduction of new members allowing for meaningful connections to be made and bonds to be formed with a consistent group of men. The program includes an Individual session so fathers have the opportunity to meet with a group facilitator to explore their satisfaction and feedback about the group and also to discuss additional supports or resources they may need.

“The activities…are really cool and interesting and will definitely help you parent and be stronger of a parent to your kids”.


Fraternity of Fathers Statistics 



in the model across Michigan and New Mexico



14 existing, with new groups in Inkster and Traverse City



established in 2020

Fraternity of Fathers Fast Facts:

  • Integrated mental health and parenting intervention
  • Based in adventure therapy principals, interactive and novel
  • Was developed with input from fathers in the community
  • Provides safe inclusive space just for fathers to find support and create community
  • Decreases parenting stress for fathers who participate
  • Fun weekly opportunities to practice and reflect upon skills needed in being a parent, communication, team work, emotion regulation

Bringing Fraternity of Fathers to your community

FoF Formats

Fraternity of Fathers has been designed to be readily accessible to communities, agencies, and moms – there are three options for FoF delivery:

The Full Fraternity of Fathers Module

A multifamily group with 10 group sessions and three individual sessions with participants                  that delivers the curriculum with full model fidelity.

Fraternity of Fathers Principles and Practices

Infusing the core concepts of Fraternity of Fathers – strengths-based attachment theory, infant mental health, CBT, and DBT – into any program that engages fathers through child age six. Fraternity of Fathers principles and practices can be used by multiple agencies and programs (e.g. home visiting, clinical providers, community health workers, etc.) to create foundations for resilience and to enhance relationship and parenting skills.

Fraternity of Fathers “Lunch and Learn” for dads and/ or providers

An ‘à la carte’ menu of brief stand-alone interactive workshops delivering Fraternity of Fathers principles and practices to either dads or professionals. The lunch and learn modules provide specific topic education and skill building and can be used as an adjunct to programs for dads (e.g. SUD treatment, psychotherapy groups, etc.) or for professional development. 


The training for Fraternity of Fathers includes the following options:

Fraternity of Fathers Full Model: 3-day in-person training by two specialized trainers


  • Pre-training materials
  • Three full days of Fraternity of Fathers curriculum training
  • Child Team implementation training
  • Digital versions of training materials provided to participants
FoF Principles and Practices: 1-day in-person training by a specialized trainer


  • Core concepts of Fraternity of Fathers
  • Interactive training on integrating Fraternity of Fathers Principles and Practices into your agency or program

Training can be adapted in advance to meet your needs.

Fraternity of Fathers Lunch and Learn Modules


  • 1- to 4-hour web-based or in-person training modules, tailored to site interest and need
  • Materials provided

For more information on being trained in Fraternity of Fathers, please complete the inquiry form:



Brilliant Detroit

Brilliant Detroit is dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods where families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school ready, healthy, and stable. 

Fraternity of Fathers group in Traverse City

The FoF group up in Traverse City is run in a collaboration with the Great Starts Collaborative and Generations Ahead. There are currently 6 dads enrolled in the group.

Starfish Family Services

Starfish Family Services and the University of Michigan, are partnering to bring the Fraternity of Fathers program to families in and around Inkster, Michigan. 

Live in the D Extra: Starfish’s Fraternity of Fathers

Starfish’s Fraternity of Fathers is a program designed to help fathers think about and understand kids’ behavior and development. Fatherhood Coordinator Eric Donald and participant DeShawn Loggin stop by to talk about the program and its benefits.

“It helped a lot.  It showed me that there’s no right or wrong way to parent.  It teaches me that, no matter how old you are, or how old your children are, it’s okay to still learn… It taught me that relationships and patience is the most important thing to being a parent.  I take a lot of advice that they gave me… I also take a lot of advice from the other dads.  Everything they tell me, I just try to stick it into parenting.”