Working with fathers to improve children's well-being.

Jonathan Scourfield, Sin Yi Cheung, Geraldine Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Interventions for fathers are a recent growth area in family services. Although some specific approaches are beginning to be evaluated, there is little known about what kinds of interventions are more generally being used in practice. A web-based survey of practitioners was conducted in the UK, with contact being made via local authority service managers. Two hundred and twenty-one responses were received from 53% of local authorities. Both interventions specifically for fathers and services for both parents were targeted in the survey.
Results are reported on organisational location; targeting of services; type of intervention; numbers and percentages of men attending services, recruitment of fathers; evaluation strategies; and ideological and theoretical approaches.
Numbers of fathers engaged are relatively low – e.g. the median annual number of fathers attending structured parenting courses was eight and in courses for both parents, 21% of those attending were men. Responses on ideological and theoretical approaches suggest that overt gender politics play only a small part, but that the dominant views of practitioners are in line with mainstream approaches to parenting support. Cognitive and behavioral approaches were the most popular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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