The Caring Dads program is one of the first group intervention manuals designed specifically for men who have maltreated their children and / or exposed them to domestic violence. Developed and piloted over five years, this 17-session program draws from best practices in the fields of batterer intervention, parenting, child maltreatment, behavior change, and working with resistant clients. The Caring Dads manual provides clear, easy-to-follow guidelines and activities for the implementation of the program and is a useful tool for both experienced and relatively novice service providers. Intervention strategies are adapted from motivational interviewing, psycho-educational, cognitive-behavioral and emotion-focused approaches. The program is organized around four therapeutic goals: engaging men; building positive parenting; recognizing and countering abuse; and rebuilding trust with children. Each goal is presented with a rationale and general overview followed by detailed session plans. In addition to providing specific group activities, session plans include process notes, client worksheets and homework assignments. Materials are further annotated with icons to draw attention to challenging issues and special considerations for clients who have perpetrated abuse towards their children's mothers. In addition, the manual includes introductory chapters that provide a roadmap for community planning in the delivery of service to this group of fathers. The formation of a community advisory committee is outlined, with specific issues for the committee to address to ensure that the program is implemented in a way that provides accountable service to children, women, men, and the larger community. Practical considerations such as facilitator selection and service agreements with clients are also addressed in the introductory chapters. The manual is written for a range of professionals who may be working in batterer intervention, children's mental health, or child protection agencies. (Author abstract)
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