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Theory, policy and practice

Since 1997, child welfare services have been faced with new demands to engage fathers or develop father-inclusive services. This book emerges from work by the author as a researcher and educator over many years on the issues posed by this agenda for child welfare practitioners in a variety of contexts.

In locating fathers, fathering and fatherhood within a historical and social landscape, the book addresses issues seldom taken up in practice settings. It explores diversity and complexity in fathering in different disciplines such as psychoanalysis, sociology and psychology and analyses contemporary developments in social policies and welfare practices. The author employs a feminist perspective to highlight the opportunities and dangers in contemporary developments for those wishing to advance gender equity.

A key strength of the book is its inter-disciplinary focus. It will be required reading for students, graduate and postgraduate, of social work, social policy, sociology and child and family studies. Academic researchers will also find the book invaluable because of its breadth of scholarship.

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Researching Everyday Lives

In this exciting book, leading fatherhood scholars from Europe and Scandinavia offer unique insights into how to research fathers and fatherhood in contemporary society.

Outlining research methods in detail, including examples of large scale studies, online research, surveys and visual and aural methods, they explore how each approach worked in practice, what the benefits and pitfalls were, and what the wider and future application of the chosen research methods might be.

Covering a wide range of subjects from non-resident fathers to father engagement in child protection, this major contribution to the field also critiques and addresses the notion that fathers, especially young fathers, can be ‘hard to reach’. Essential reading for both students and policy makers in a fast-growing area of interest.

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Authors: Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande

PART II Caregiving: Fathers in Transition

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155 NINE Working with fathers introduction This chapter and Chapter Ten focus on practice issues, drawing from a range of research and evaluation projects that the author has been involved in over the last decade. This chapter concentrates on a piece of research in a neglected and difficult area, that where families come to the attention of services because of concerns about violence and neglect. While the findings confirm some well-known issues, some, hitherto unidentified, tensions and dilemmas are explored. Setting the scene Service development and

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Authors: Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande

191 TWeLVe norway: the making of the father’s quota Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande Maternity leave1: there is no separate maternity leave except for pregnant women who must stop work because of chemical, biological or physical hazards (‘pregnancy leave’). Part of parental leave is reserved for women. Paternity leave: 2 weeks. Any payment is made by employers and depends on collective bargaining. Parental leave: 44 weeks at 100% of earnings or 54 weeks at 80% up to a ceiling of 6 times the basic national insurance benefit payment, NOK421,536 (€48,455)2. Nine

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Authors: Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande

169 11 Workplace Support of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use1 Introduction How employed fathers experience their workplaces’ reactions to parental leave is the topic of this chapter. The aim is to understand how the Norwegian policy regime contributes to workplace practices and cultures that can promote active fathering. In Norway, the father’s quota has become a mature institution. Internationally, fathers are increasingly becoming the target for government incentives to encourage their involvement in the family, father-specific leave from work being one such

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Authors: Berit Brandth and Elin Kvande

105 7 Fathers Experiencing Solo Leave: Changes and Continuities1 Introduction This chapter explores men’s actual practices of caring when they stay home alone on parental leave. While the avoidance of care has traditionally been seen as a feature of ‘being a man’, fathering has undergone many changes since the 1980s. Researchers seem to agree that change has taken place, although not on the magnitude of the change, as there is a great variety in relation to the circumstances of fathering. Parental leave offers an opportunity for fathers to spend time

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An International Comparison of Policy and Practice
Editors: Marina A. Adler and Karl Lenz

Fatherhood is in transition and being challenged by often contradictory forces: societal mandates to be both an active father and provider, men’s own wish to be more involved with their children, and the institutional arrangements in which fathers work and live. This book explores these phenomena in the context of cross-national policies and their relation to the daily childcare practices of fathers. It presents the current state of knowledge on father involvement with young children in six countries from different welfare state regimes with unique policies related to parenting in general and fathers in particular: Finland, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, the UK and the USA.

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The need for change
Author: Lynne Harne

Current family policy approaches emphasise the significance of paternal involvement in children’s lives, yet there has been a silence on violent and abusive fathering in these discourses. This is the first UK book to specifically focus on violent fathering discussing original research in the context of domestic violence and emerging practice literature to address this problem.

The book examines fathers’ perceptions of their domestic violence and its impact on children, their relationships with children and their parenting practices. It will be of interest to academics and professionals in family and child welfare policy, socio-legal studies, social work, criminology and other disciplines with an interest in domestic violence and child protection.

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Author: Lynne Harne

117 FOUR abusive fathering introduction This chapter discusses the author’s own exploratory, qualitative UK research with 20 domestically violent fathers. Overall the study aimed to look at fathers’ own perspectives on their violence, its impact on their relationships with children and their parenting practices. The need for such research was highlighted by the fact that there were no other UK studies that specifically interrogated violent perpetrators’ views of themselves as fathers. The policy context also demonstrated a lack of questioning of

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