Casework Practice With Fathers of Children in Kinship Foster Care.

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O'Donnell, J. M.
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This study examined the characteristics of caseworkers that affect their work with the birth fathers of children in kinship care. Fifty-four caseworkers were interviewed about case assessment procedures, permanency planning activities, service provision, frequency and content of contacts with the child and family, and consultations on 100 cases. Almost two-thirds of the caseworkers participating in the study reported that they had no contact with the father of the focus child during the previous six months. Only 2 percent of fathers were involved in the most recent case review and 6 percent provided input for the most recent service plan. No correlations were found between the involvement of the father and caseworker characteristicsof race, length of professional experience, or size of caseload. Fathers of children placed with paternal relatives had more contact with caseworkers and were more involved in planning and service delivery than the fathers of children placed with material relatives. Few caseworkers attempted to involve fathers or noted the lack of paternal participation in case records, supervisory meetings, or discussions with the fathers' families. Limitations and implications of the study are described in the chapter. 23 references and 7 tables.

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