Men as Foster Carers: A Neglected Resource?

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Gilligan, R.
Type of Resource: 
Journal Article
Page Count: 

Foster fathers play an important part in the development of their foster child by counteracting the child's previous negative experiences with men and by sharing parenting responsibilities with their wives. Discussions held during focusgroups and workshops with foster fathers revealed that men see themselves as a respite provider for the foster mother, as a mediator between their wife and the social worker, as a protector for their partner, as a source of discipline, as a role model, and as an activity leader for the family. However, the men were somewhat reserved in their relationships with the children due to concerns about allegations of sexual abuse. Agencies should recognize the important role of foster fathers and treat them asresources rather than potential abusers. Training should be scheduled at a time convenient for fathers and peer support groups should be offered for men. 19 references.