How I Care: Foster Fathers Recount Their Experiences of Caring for Children.

Journal Name
Adoption and Fostering
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Heslop, Philip.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Resource Language
This article reports the findings of a narrative study of 23 foster fathers involved with an independent foster care agency. These narratives reveal a more complex contribution to the lives of fostered children than is currently attributed to men in the professional literature. Foster fathers are shown to perform traditionally masculine roles by being a supporting carer or disciplinarian, as well as some unexpected and less traditional ones. Through their stories, the men show motivation, emotionality and heroism as they construct versions of masculinity based on caring for children. The narratives reveal patterns that argue for social workers to think of foster fathers in more nuanced ways, and by adopting anti-oppressive practices, to engage with them more effectively as carers. Further work is needed to expand and develop the themes emerging from this study. (Author abstract)

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