Child and Family Social Work
This research analyses key findings from qualitative research conducted with (ex) offender fathers and their probation officers. This paper focuses on the critical role of family and social support for (ex) offender fathers who seek to build and maintain relationships with their children. The research reported in this paper shows that the men receive social support, both formal and informal from a wide ranging and complex network of family, friends and practitioners, which facilitates and enables their commitment to fathering. Drawing on social support theory, I argue that identification of support networks recognizes the productive possibilities of vulnerable families which constitute a source of strength and connection to be nurtured in contexts of adversity. This strengths-based paradigm advocates the need to identify and facilitate family, friendship and professional networks in the context of social work with offenders and their families. (Author abstract)
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