Fathering Among Families Served By Child Welfare

Jennifer Bellamy

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online April 2011 | | DOI:
Fathering Among Families Served By Child Welfare


Fathering among families served by child welfare is a relatively underdeveloped but growing area of focus in social work and allied fields. The role of fathers in the achievement of key child welfare goals—including child safety, permanency, and well-being—has been increasingly acknowledged both in research and practice communities. Like mothers, fathers confer both risks and resources on their children, directly and indirectly, through a complex interplay of behaviors and relationships. Historically, child welfare research has focused on the mother-child dyad and has often narrowly acknowledged fathers as perpetrators of sexual and physical maltreatment. Indeed, males have been linked to some of the most severe forms of physical abuse and are overrepresented as perpetrators of sexual abuse. However, more-current works have opened the lens of focus on fathers to include a variety of family and parent-child relationships, to explore the potential for fathers to serve as resources for children and families and to address the unique service needs of men in families. Providers in the child welfare system and related services have begun to explore the engagement of fathers in child welfare services, but few empirical studies have examined the efficacy of these efforts.

Article.  7001 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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