Fathers are essential partners in promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and youth. However, fathers and paternal family members have been historically overlooked by the child welfare system, with fathers being less likely to be engaged in case planning compared with mothers.  

There are many benefits to engaging fathers, including improved emotional and social well-being for children, fewer incidents of maltreatment, better school performance, and fewer child behavioral and psychological problems.  

Many jurisdictions struggle in their efforts to engage fathers, according to data from the Child and Family Services Reviews. To improve the engagement of fathers and paternal family members, child welfare agencies can provide training for their staff on effective engagement strategies and father-identification practices. Agencies can also partner with fathers and fatherhood organizations on system improvement efforts.

Explore the resources on this page for information about the importance of father involvement in the lives of their children and best practices for engaging fathers and their families in child welfare practice. Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.

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