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Results of a training course for social workers on engaging fathers in child protection

Scourfield, Jonathan Bryn ORCID:, Tolman, Richard, Maxwell, Nina ORCID:, Holland, Sally, Bullock, Alison Deborah ORCID: and Sloan, Luke ORCID: 2012. Results of a training course for social workers on engaging fathers in child protection. Children and Youth Services Review 34 (8) , pp. 1425-1432. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.03.022

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This paper describes the findings of an evaluation of a training course for child protection social workers that aimed to improve their engagement of fathers in child protection assessments and interventions. The two day training course was designed by the research team and aimed to increase awareness of gender issues and develop skills through the use of Motivational Interviewing. The course was developed in the context of a body of literature that has pointed to the gendered nature of child protection work but with little empirical evidence of the effectiveness of training or of the impact of increasing fathers' involvement in child protection interventions. The evaluation was designed to act as a feasibility study for a potential future randomized controlled trial of the training intervention. The study employed a mixed methods design, including qualitative observations and interviews and quantitative pre- and post-intervention measures of self-efficacy in engaging with fathers, team culture, self-reported engagement of fathers on caseloads and satisfaction with training. This paper reports the quantitative results only. Fifty participants completed the two day training course. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was used to compare mean responses at t1 and t2. There was little change in team culture. There was, however, a significant increase from pre-test to post-test in social workers' self-efficacy and self-reported engagement of both non-resident fathers and residential men who were not a risk to children. There was no increase in the engagement of residential fathers who were perceived as presenting a risk to children. The findings indicate that participation in the training intervention may change practitioner attitudes towards the engagement of fathers and increase their engagement of non-abusive fathers. A randomized controlled trial is proposed in order to draw firmer conclusions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: Training; Social work; Child abuse; Fathers; Evaluation; Motivational Interviewing
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0190-7409
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:41

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