The Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) is a five-year initiative funded by Office of Planning Research and Evaluation to build the evidence base for fatherhood programming. Co-directed by Jessica Pearson of CPR and Jay Fagan, professor of social work, Temple University, FRPN funds teams of researchers and practitioners to conduct rigorous research; provides technical assistance to grantees to improve the quality of the research they conduct; builds the capacity of researchers and fatherhood practitioners by conducting webinars, training programs, preparing written materials, and conducting original research on fatherhood; and disseminates new research and best practices through a comprehensive website, www.frpn.org.
Pearson founded CPR in 1981. Her research includes some of the first national studies of mediation in custody and visitation disputes, parent education, and supervised visitation. She has also completed leading evaluations of new initiatives in child support programs including hospital-based paternity, family-centered services, collaborations with workforce agencies, early intervention strategies, methods of avoiding and addressing child support debt, and addressing parenting time orders and access and visitation problems.
Dr. Pearson served as co-principal investigator of a seven-state demonstration project that resulted in the creation of the State Access and Visitation Grant Program that now awards $10 million annually for programs to support parenting time. Pearson provides technical assistance, research, and facilitation services to federal, state and local agencies, and service delivery programs. Her areas of expertise include improving access to public benefit programs, developing effective work programs for low-income parents and mentoring and literacy programs for disadvantaged learners.
Dr. Pearson is currently the Director of the national Fatherhood Research and Practice Network where she oversees grants distributed to projects to rigorously evaluate fatherhood programs, and provides training to improve practice and evaluation in the fatherhood field.