The one-day Social Worker Training Curriculum: Engaging the Non-Resident Father was designed to provide participants with knowledge to support a practice shift toward engaging non-resident fathers in child welfare cases involving their children. The need to engage fathers initially resulted from the federal Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSRs) and the “What About the Dads?” report, which identified a lack of meaningful engagement of fathers by child welfare systems. This curriculum was funded by the QIC-NRF, which was designed to develop knowledge and research that determine how children in the child welfare system are impacted by the involvement of their fathers. Historically, child welfare has been challenged in identifying paternal family resources. This limits potential access to resources such as placement opportunities and emotional and financial support, and also undermines the overall well-being of the children involved.
In an effort to facilitate a practice shift in how social workers engage fathers, this curriculum was developed to help participants recognize their own biases and presumptions about men and fathers; understand the benefits and overcome the barriers to engaging non-resident fathers; and, in developing collaborative partnerships with non-resident fathers, better comprehend the cultural needs of men. In this curriculum, participants will operate from the assumption that the father of the child has been identified and located. This curriculum will build from that point as social workers learn engagement strategies designed to encourage partnerships with fathers to promote positive outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being for children. (Author Abstract)
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