Engaging Fathers in Child Protection Services: A Review of Factors and Strategies Across Ecological Systems [Author Manuscript].

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Gordon, Derrick M.
Oliveros, Arazais.
Hawes, Samuel W.
Iwamoto, Derek K.
Rayford, Brett S.
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Current policy regarding child protection services places increasing demands for providers to engage fathers whose children are involved in the child protection process. This requisite brings to the fore the ongoing challenges that fathers have historically faced in working within these systems. Despite this need, there is little empirical evidence regarding the factors and strategies that impact the engagement of fathers in interventions relevant to child protection services. This comprehensive and systemic review synthesizes the available literature regarding factors and strategies that may foster paternal involvement in the child protection system and their services. We organize the literature concerning paternal engagement in child and family services around an ecological model that examines paternal engagement from individual, family, service provider, program, community and policy levels. We consider factors and strategies along a continuum of engagement through intent to enroll, enrollment, and retention. This review advances theory by elucidating key factors that foster father engagement. The review also highlights the gaps in the literature and provides strategies for how researchers can address these areas. Future directions in the arenas of practice and policy are discussed. (Author abstract)

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