Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health

Fathers and Partners in Parenting

Dad holding newborn

Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health is dedicated to promoting physical, social, and emotional health and well-being for pregnant persons, children, adolescents, and their families through information, education, and resources. We are committed to inclusion, diversity, and anti-racist values. All community members are welcome and safe to use our services.

This page is new! Please let us know if we have missed anything, or mis-stated anything. This website is for you and we welcome your feedback: 800-427-8982.

Parenting and Social Supports for Dads

Dad with son on his shoulders The importance of Dad's role is finally becoming understood and acknowledged - and it isn't being the breadwinner!

Parenting Resources:

The Child Parent Institute: Offers parenting classes and co-parenting classes, a Parent Mentor Program, and a Parent Support Line. They also have therapy for parents and other caregivers.

Instructions Not Included is a parenting class with a father-friendly format. ALL parents have questions, INI has answers.

Family Man is a research-backed online parenting program designed with dads in mind. They offer videos and blogs, and you can sign up for texts: one simple parenting tip a day for fourteen days.

Dad's Social Groups and Supports:

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse offers a Blog, videos, activities, and many other services for dads.

City Dads Group/ SF Bay Area is a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive community of fathers dedicated to being active in their children’s lives and, by example, redefining what it means to be a dad in the 21st century. They bring dads together in real life and online to socialize with and learn from and support each other.

The Fatherhood Project from Harvard and Mass General empowers fathers to be knowledgeable, active, and emotionally engaged with their children.

Father's Rights

Dad kissing his son From Paid Family Leave to shared custody and child support, know your rights as a parent.

Paid Family Leave:

To be eligible for PFL benefit payments, you must have:

  • Welcomed a new child into the family in the past 12 months through birth.
  • Paid into State Disability Insurance (noted as "CASDI" on most paystubs) in the past 5 to 18 months.
  • Not taken the maximum eight weeks of PFL in the past 12 months.
  • Citizenship and immigration status do not affect eligibility

Learn more about Paid Leave for fathers. Visit Eligibility Requirements to learn more about qualifying for PFL.

Parentage, Custody, and Child Support:

California’s Self Help Courts can help you understand your rights with the basics about Establishing Parentage, Child Support, Child Custody and Parenting Time and Guardianship.

The Father’s Rights Movement is a group of men and women who are committed to helping loving fathers enjoy their full rights and responsibilities, as well as helping children have their fathers in their lives.

Fathers Helping Fathers offers resources, a glossary of legal terms and recommended reading supporting father’s custody rights.

Sonoma County Child Support can help with information about custody, visitation, spousal support and paternity testing.

Mental Health Support

Dad laughing with his daughter Mental Health is a Dad's issue. One in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression and nearly 2 in 10 develop anxiety.

The Father’s Rights Movement Crisis Hotline offers one to one support via call or text at 907-312-5552. You can also email them at CRISIS@TFRM.ORG 

  The 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline is available for persons experiencing a crisis or concerned about a friend or family member. Dial 988 anytime 24/7.

PSI offers a call or text helpline in English or Spanish. Call 1-800-944-4773 and leave a confidential message. A caring volunteer will return your call during business hours. PSI also has a Dad Support Group, a monthly Just for Dads Chat, and a closed Facebook Group just for dads. offers a web page of Mental Health Tips and Resources for dads.

Four articles for modern day dads about changing roles, purpose, stress, and how being a dad changes your brain:

American Psychological Association: The Changing Role of the Modern-Day Father.

Greater Good: What is Your Purpose as a Father?

Greater Good: The Daddy Brain.

Greater Good: Five Co-Parenting Tips for Stressed-Out Dads.