Since 1997, child welfare services have been faced with new demands to engage fathers or develop father-inclusive services. This book emerges from work by the author as a researcher and educator over many years on the issues posed by this agenda for child welfare practitioners in a variety of contexts.
In locating fathers, fathering and fatherhood within a historical and social landscape, the book addresses issues seldom taken up in practice settings. It explores diversity and complexity in fathering in different disciplines such as psychoanalysis, sociology and psychology and analyses contemporary developments in social policies and welfare practices. The author employs a feminist perspective to highlight the opportunities and dangers in contemporary developments for those wishing to advance gender equity.
A key strength of the book is its inter-disciplinary focus. It will be required reading for students, graduate and postgraduate, of social work, social policy, sociology and child and family studies. Academic researchers will also find the book invaluable because of its breadth of scholarship.
Brid Featherstone is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Bradford. She has been involved in researching fathers' engagement with social care services since the late 1990s.
Introduction; The contemporary context; The historical context; Freud and his legacy; Psychological perspectives; Sociological perspectives; The politics of fatherhood: contemporary developments; Contemporary social policies; Working with fathers; Reflections on a decade of working with fathers; Concluding remarks.