Working with practitioners’ perspectives: supporting father involvement in family services in England

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Abstract

The paper draws on a study aiming to work with practitioners’ perspectives to support involvement through family services. Data were collected from a cluster sample of practitioners conducting father groups in south-west England. The paper focuses upon working with their perspectives. Two issues in their perspectives were associated with ‘masculinity’ and ‘blocks’ preventing father involvement. Using an interventionist-based method known as the ‘change laboratory’, conducted through a series of development work research (DWR) workshops, practitioners reflected on contradictions in their practice. Implications from the study suggest that, first, if practitioners identify contradictions with which they work, they can explore possibilities for developing their work. Second, being an involved father may be played out differently in terms of identity, according to social and cultural contexts. By implication, practitioners can help fathers to express themselves in several identities and support them in their understanding, through being part of a group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
Number of pages13
JournalEarly Years: An International Journal of Research and Development
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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