Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

FIRA: What Social Science Tells Us About Fathers and How To Work With Them

Father Factors This resource from Canada was published in 2011. It offers a useful review of the role of fathers and their approaches to fathering and how services can become better placed to meet the needs of families. 

 "We need to understand the factors that support or interfere with men’s ability to effectively assume the evolving role of father..." 

This resource provides a useful review of father-involvement in the Canadian context, with many principles valid to Australian services.

This resource is directed at services who wish to better understand the roles of fathers and the diverse influences that now shape modern-day fathering and raising of children.

Chapter Summaries

External Influences on the Fatherhood Role: fathering needs more than being a motivated dad - there are other factors that hinder or promote engaged and active fathering including the partner relationship, workplace flexibility and other contexts.

The Mother of All Influences: The extent to which fathers are able and willing to take an active role is dependent on the roles of those around him - this chapter examines the roles of the mother/spouse in creating a setting where the father can become confident and competent in his role.

Attachment Research and Fathers: fathers bond with children in important ways and the role of play, establishing barriers and types of father-child attachment are examined.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Mom: Services are now better understanding the supportive and coparenting roles played by fathers especially around breastfeeding and early days' support.

On the Margins: The needs of vulnerable and marginalised fathers are important. There are too often basic assumptions and stereotypes that hinder the ability of services to engage with fathers, and such assumptions can even alienate fathers from being actively engaged.

Programming For Fathers: Some good practice case studies and principles for promoting a positive approach to fathering.


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