‘Family Foundations’ – transition to parenthood programme for dads and mums

Family Foundations (FF) is a series of seven enjoyable ante- and post-natal participatory classes for expectant mothers and fathers, aimed at enhancing parent and child well-being.

FF helps to prepare couples for the transition to parenthood by fostering attitudes and skills related to positive family relationships.

The goal of FF is to promote positive co-parenting (the way that parents support each other). Recent research indicates that this has a strong influence on parenting and on child outcomes, including improved births.

The Fatherhood Institute is the only agency licensed to offer FF training in the UK.

The evidence

FF is a highly evidenced based parenting programme*. In families who have taken part in FF  there have been significant impacts on:

· Postnatal depression

· Improving parenting sensitivity and warmth

· Decreasing harsh parenting

· Fostering positive couple relations

· Establishing positive child self regulation

· Reducing child behaviour problems.

*FF is featured in the Early Intervention Foundation Guidebook, with a strength of evidence rating of 3 (out of 4), and was an ’exemplar’ in a recent systematic review of parenting interventions.

Who can we train?

We can train a wide range of practitioners, including health visitors and midwives, and staff working in early years, family support services, Children’s Centres and voluntary sector agencies.


“Only 3 and a bit weeks to go now, bit scared, but less so because of the course, it’s really helped us to prepare, physically and mentally.” (Mum)

“One of the best things I found was when we started to give topics to couples to work through and for some it was a light being switched on, it was something they had never thought about.” (Health Visitor).

Read about the Lambeth Early Action Partnership pilot of Family Foundations here.

Find out more

Read a journal paper by Mark Feinberg, the US academic who created Family Foundations: Feinberg 2008 Establishing Family Foundations

Read Laying the Right Foundations, a Fatherhood Institute report about our 2-year trial of Family Foundations (2011-13): Laying the Right Foundations

New research suggests Family Foundations can have a beneficial impact on birth outcomes. Read more in this summary by Pennsylvania State University.

Mark Feinberg reports that Family Foundations may also reduce family violence. Read more in his witness statement to the Royal Commission into Family Violence, held by the Australian state of Victoria in summer 2015.

Contact us

For more details, contact Jeszemma Garratt, Head of Training

Tel: 07917 864130

Email: j.garratt@fatherhoodinstitute.org