Engaging fathers in preventive services: fathers and family centres
Ghate, D, Shaw, C and Hazel, N 2000, Engaging fathers in preventive services: fathers and family centres , York Publishing Services, York.
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Although many fathers are spending more time caring for their children in the home, men continue to be conspicuous by their absence from mainstream family support services. Family centres - community-based services for families in need and at risk - are no exception to this, despite widespread enthusiasm for developing work with fathers in these settings. This qualitative study by the independent Policy Research Bureau focuses on the attitudes and experiences of over 90 fathers, mothers and staff in thirteen family centres across England and Wales. The study revealed that while family centres often cater well to fathers in particular circumstances, such as lone parents, fathers in more ordinary circumstances tended to be deterred by the feminised atmosphere of centres and by the limited range of activities more likely to appeal to men. The research strongly suggested that there is a need for greater clarity about who family centres are really intended for, in order to develop good practice in working with fathers in family support settings.
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