One hundred child welfare professionals, family service workers, court officials, and fatherhood program employees participated in group discussions held throughout the United States about the engagement of fathers in services. The National Family Preservation Network sponsored the events to determine the extent of agency attention to the needs of fathers and to identify ways to support father involvement in family life. The questions focused on the skills necessary to engage fathers in programs, types of services provided to fathers, barriers to father-child relationships, the impact of worker education and personal biases on services to fathers, and accessibility to fatherhood programs. Participants also were asked about changes needed to agency policies and structures to promote the inclusion of fathers in services. Their recommendations addressed social work education, technical assistance to agency administrators, regular paternity establishment, gender-neutral agency policies, staff recruitment, and collaboration with employment programs. The National Family Preservation Network plans to develop a training curriculum for child welfare workers to improve practice with fathers. 4 references.
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