Making fathers relevant: How practitioners include both parents in talk about parenting programmes

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Parenting programmes are recommended as an effective means to support parents in promoting positive relationships with, and managing the behaviour of, their children. One barrier that impedes their successful implementation is that partners, especially fathers, are less frequently recruited by child welfare services. This article reports on a study that investigated how both parents were engaged with parenting services. Direct recordings were made of initial telephone conversations between six practitioners and 28 parents referred to those services and investigated for evidence of how the other parent was recruited. Conversation analysis was used to identify how participants introduced the possibility of both parents being included in the service; how these possibilities were negotiated and what eventual agreements were made for both parents to be included in future arrangements. Implications for practice, training and future research are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019

Structured keywords

  • Families and Parenting
  • SPS Children and Families Research Centre


  • Fathers/Fatherhood
  • Engagement
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Family support
  • Parenting programme
  • Communication

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