This brief highlights the importance of father-child visitation in the child welfare system and recommends best practices for child welfare professionals in facilitating and promoting these visits. It begins by reviewing the research on the link between parent/child visits and achieving permanency for the child. The differences between fathers and mothers that should inform practices relating to father-child visits are then explained, and included a greater focus on tasks, a less likelihood of talking about relationships, the use of a stern voice and fewer words when correcting children, more active and rougher play with children, the allowance of more freedom for children, and the placement of more maturity and autonomy demands on sons. The need for fathers' visits with children to incorporate learning activities with physical activities is discussed. Findings from a survey of 300 children involved in the child welfare system in Kentucky are shared that indicate fathers are less satisfied than mothers with the child welfare practices and that while over 80% of fathers were referred for visits with the child, only 42% actually had visits. Recommendations for agency administrators for making agencies more father-friendly are made. 10 references.
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