Child Abuse Review
Fathers' involvement in child protection processes appears to remain low and is problematic given their influence over the lives and wellbeing of their children and partners. Men's views need to be taken into account, as part of consideration of risk and the meaning of their participation for others in the family. While the risk or presence of abuse may necessarily limit how the participation of a father is managed in case conferences, and needs to be explored and challenged, in most cases it does not justify failing to contact or seeking to involve fathers. Involving fathers is crucial to actively managing and tackling risks. Most work on engaging fathers has been focused on engaging them one-to-one or in families. This article focuses on the neglected issue of the participation of fathers in child protection conferences and subsequent inter-agency team work on the child protection plan recommended at the child protection conference. It argues that, with careful preparation and chairing, fathers' participation can be managed using the skills of relationship-based and authoritative practice in tandem. (Author abstract)
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