The Fathers and Sons Demonstration Project is linked to the development of the University of Michigan School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (PRC). With funding from the Centers for Disease Control from 1999-2003 the initial Fathers and Sons Project, a community-based participatory research partnership that includes several community-based organizations in Flint, the Genesee County Health Department, and the UMSPH, and a Program Curriculum were developed as part of the PRC. As a strategy for reducing or preventing youth substance use, violent behavior, and early sexual initiation, the project's focus was on strengthening bonds between non-resident African-American fathers and their eight- to 12-year-old sons.
In 2003-2007 the Fathers and Sons Evaluation study was independently funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to evaluation the Fathers and Sons curriculum. The Fathers and Sons Dissemination Project followed with a focus to see if the number of sessions could be reduced from 15 to 10 in preparation for community organizations to implement the program as part of the PRC renewal application in 2008.
During 2007-2008 a planning grant to consider the next steps for the project was funded by Dr. Ronald Mincy at Columbia University and the Ford Foundation.
For the next two years (2010-2012) independent funding from the UM School of Public Policy to publish a Fathers and Sons Policy Study and a study funded by the Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies, School of Public Policy to publish The Fathers and Sons Program Policy Study. Funding was also received from the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint to develop the Fathers and sons Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, which was provided to carry out these projects.
Currently, we are now in the second year of funding from NICHD/NIH to do a Chicago study using the Physical Activity and Nutrition Program as the Control Group Activity. Funding for this study runs (2015-2020).