The influence of father involvement on child welfare permanency outcomes: A secondary data analysis

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tanya M. Coakley, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Children have a higher risk for poor psychosocial outcomes when their fathers are absent or uninvolved. These children are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of school, and engage in risky behaviors like using alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. Only 54% of nearly a half million children in foster care had contact with their fathers in the past year compared to 72% of children from the general population. Data on the involvement of fathers whose children are in out-of-home placements are scarce and child welfare agency efforts to involve fathers and children's permanency outcomes also are not well documented.This present study entails a secondary data analysis of 60 foster care case records to assess the influence of father involvement on children's permanency outcomes. The findings indicate that when fathers are involved their children have shorter lengths of stay in foster care and they are more likely to be reunited with birth parents or placed with relatives after foster care than in non-relative placements. This study contributes to the emerging research on father involvement and explores agency practices that might account for long-term and non-relative out-of-home placements. Implications for child welfare practice, policy, and research are discussed.

Additional Information

Children and Youth Services Review, 35(1) 174-182
Language: English
Date: 2013
Father involvement, Father engagement, Child welfare barriers

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