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June 2015Vol. 16, No. 5Child Welfare Workers and Father Engagement

A recent article in the Journal of Family Strengths examines a study on the challenges child welfare workers have in engaging fathers in case planning. The article discusses agency workers' feelings and opinions regarding working with fathers, the possible barriers to fathers' involvement with their children and engagement with child welfare, and ways for agency workers to work effectively with fathers. Many of the barriers highlighted indicate that a lack of father involvement is often rooted within family dynamics, socioeconomic issues, and absenteeism. The study provides recommendations to child welfare workers on how to actively engage fathers within four broad approaches:

  • Use diligent efforts to ensure fathers are present to contribute
  • Provide equitable services, support, and policies for fathers
  • Address father-specific needs
  • Promote a positive worker-father relationship

Access the complete article "Exploring Child Welfare Workers' Attitudes and Practice With Fathers," by T. Coakley, A. Kelley, and R. Bartlett, Journal of Family Strengths,14(1), 2015, at (PDF - 263 KB).