What About the Dads? Child Welfare Agencies' Efforts to Identify, Locate and Involve Fathers

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Most foster children are not living with their fathers at the time they are removed from their homes. Once in foster care, these children may experience even less contact with their nonresident fathers. This study sought to assess typical child welfare practice with respect to nonresident fathers of children in foster care. The study also examined the potential utility of expanding the use of child support enforcement data sources in these efforts. Local agency caseworkers were interviewed by phone about nearly 2000 children in foster care in four study states (Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Tennessee) to examine front-line practices related to nonresident fathers. The study documents that nonresident fathers of children in foster care are not often involved in case planning efforts, and nearly half were never contacted by the child welfare agency. By not reaching out to fathers, caseworkers may overlook potential social connections and resources that could help to achieve permanency for the child.


Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Parenting