Fathers Matter: Research Findings on Fathers and their Involvement with Social Care Services
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Family Rights Group
Fathers – and the positive contribution they could make to the lives of their children – have long been neglected in social work theory, research, policy and practice, writes Gary Clapton.
Despite advances in bringing fathers into services such as the Sure Start initiatives, much of social work practice remains ignorant of the value of seeking to involve them.
This book provides many examples of the neglect and exclusion of fathers from discussions about the welfare of their children. Mary Ryan’s review of the literature is followed by a report from interviews with both young fathers and mothers that delves into how young men can be helped to be involved in the lives of their children.
The chapter “Dad’s Talk” discusses 30 men’s experiences of involvement with welfare services and concludes that “professionals need to be able to engage with fathers’ versions of events in an open and exploratory way”.
Readers will be impressed by the very clear and sensible recommendations to the government and all levels of social work. Fathers Matter notes that “there is no published research study in the UK that exclusively examines the role and involvement of fathers”. It is to be hoped for the sake of the welfare of children, that this publication is just the first of many that will influence policy makers and practitioners alike.
Gary Clapton is a lecturer in social work at the University of Edinburgh