Intended for court appointed special advocate volunteers and guardians ad litem, this guide offers practice tips for identifying and engaging fathers in cases involving child clients. It begins by describing the benefits of father involvement, including improving children's quality of life and providing children with adult connections. Barriers to father engagement are identified and a framework for involving fathers in children's lives is offered. Strategies discussed include: help to identify and locate the father, encourage the agency to find missing parents, assess whether the father could be a placement or other resource for the child, consider paternal relatives, talk to the child about his or her father and maternal and paternal relatives, recognize that fathers learn and seek help differently than mothers, try to engage incarcerated fathers, understand how substance abuse affects fathering, and advocate for including the father and paternal relatives in case planning and family group decision-making conferences. Additional information is provided on dimensions of effective fathering, the legal rights of fathers in child welfare cases, the most frequently requested services from fathers, and the different learning styles of men. A services checklist for fathers is included. 22 references.
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