Engaging dads: Enhancing support for fathers through parenting programmes


  • Lisa Glynn
  • Michael Dale Massey University




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. 

Author Biographies

Lisa Glynn

Lisa Glynn is a Registered Social Worker based at The Bishop’s Action Foundation, a community development organisation in Taranaki. She is an Accredited Leader for the Incredible Years Parent Programme, with a particular interest in family support, and a volunteer Coordinator for freshper- spective, a parent mentoring programme. 

Michael Dale, Massey University

Michael Dale is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health and Social Services at Massey University, Palmerston North. Michael has extensive work experience within the social services sector as a practitioner, trainer, project leader, policy adviser and manager. He has worked for central government, local government and the NGO sector. 


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How to Cite

Glynn, L., & Dale, M. (2015). Engaging dads: Enhancing support for fathers through parenting programmes. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 27(1-2), 59–72. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol27iss1-2id17