The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children

Year Published
2006
Author (Individual)
Rosenberg, Jeffrey.
Wilcox, W. Bradford.
Author (Organization)
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau
Resource Type
Training Materials
Resource Format
Bound
Unbound
HTML
PDF
CD
Resource Language
English
To carry out their responsibilities of protecting children at risk of maltreatment, CPS caseworkers must effectively engage families that often both present and face great challenges. These can include substance abuse, mental health problems, economic stress, unemployment, separation and divorce, inadequate housing, crime, and incarceration. Figuring out how best to work with and engage these families, always with the safety of and permanency for the child as the goal, is not easy. This manual also speaks to both the opportunities and challenges presented by one participant in the family sagas that CPS caseworkers deal with everyday: the father. Working with fathers who are the perpetrators of child maltreatment is different than working with mothers or other perpetrators. In addition, fathers whose children were victimized by someone else, even fathers not living with their children, can prove to be a valuable ally as the CPS caseworker pursues his or her case planning objectives. Whether the father is the perpetrator or not, the abuse of a child can be a direct affront to how a father views himself as a man and a father. How well a caseworker understands these reactions and feelings and how effectively the caseworker can address them will make a major difference when trying to either help an abusing father become a protecting father or engaging a father as an ally in addressing the family dynamics that made the situation unsafe for the child. Effectively involving fathers in case planning and service provision presents unique challenges for caseworkers. This may explain in part why they often may not include fathers. This manual is also known as, "The Fatherhood Manual," and "The Fatherhood User Manual."

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