Engaging dads: Enhancing support for fathers through parenting programmes
Parenting programmes purport to improve the parenting capacity of both mothers and fathers; however it is predominantly mothers who participate. Father participation is important because fathers have a positive impact on both child development and behaviour, and out- comes for children are enhanced when both parents participate in parenting programmes. This article draws upon a study (via an online questionnaire) that explored the views of social workers about the issues affecting fathers’ participation in parenting programmes. The results showed that participants considered the qualities of the programme leader, the programme content and the philosophy of the service delivery organisation to be the most important issues impacting on father participation. From the perspective of change, qualities of the programme leader and organisational philosophy were considered the most feasible to address. The sample comprised three times more female than male participants and there was an evident difference in viewpoint according to gender on issues including the gender of the programme leader and the gender make-up of the group.
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