Assessing Child Welfare Agency Practices and Attitudes that Affect Father Engagement

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tanya M. Coakley, Professor (Creator)
Kenneth Gruber, Evaluation Section Chair (Creator)
Tyreasa Washington, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The importance of fathers' involvement in their children's lives is irrefutable. Supportive, warm, and positive involvement of fathers leads to children being well-adjusted. Indeed, involved fathers positively influence their children's cognitive ability, social behavior, psychological well-being, and educational achievement. For children in foster care, when fathers are involved they have significantly shorter stays in foster care than those whose fathers are not involved. For parents to demonstrate fitness to parent they must show the successful completion of goals specified in a case plan that promotes safety and permanence of their child. This cross-sectional study investigated how fathers' perception of social workers' attitude and practice skills was associated with fathers' understanding and confidence with regard to completing the case plan goals. A purposive sample of 56 child welfare-involved fathers completed the Child Welfare Father Involvement Questionnaire. The findings indicated that the more positive fathers perceived social workers' attitude and skills, the greater their understanding about the case plan goals and greater confidence to complete case plan goals. The results were statistically significant. These results have implications for child welfare training to build the social worker-client relationship in a compassionate manner while maintaining a rigorous assessment and monitoring of fathers' parenting capabilities.

Additional Information

Journal of Social Service Research, 44, 3, 365-374
Language: English
Date: 2018
Father engagement, father involvement, assessment, child welfare, agency barriers

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