The rhetoric versus the reality: a critical perspective on practice with fathers in child care and protection work

Brigid Daniel, Julie Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Within social work training and practice there is a firm emphasis on anti-discriminatory practice. At the same time, however, fathers are often marginalized or ignored in child protection practice. In suggesting a framework for practice we argue that it is essential to address the anomaly between the rhetoric and the reality of such practice if we are to provide a coherent child protection service. This paper addresses the limitations of current models of practice and traces the theoretical strands that influence them. It is essential that social work practitioners understand the role terms they use and the aim of engaging fathers. By beginning to unravel the differences between role and gender and unpicking the diverse (but overlapping) dimensions of fatherhood, it is contended that there is no definitive, dominant discourse regarding fatherhood in the same way as there is about motherhood. However, in conceptually recognizing these roles it is suggested that intervention can be planned in a way that explicates the specific aim of engaging men. Copyright # 1999 John Wiley and Sons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1999

Keywords

  • Anti-discriminatory practice
  • Children
  • Families
  • Father
  • Mother

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