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Open Access Publications from the University of California

African American Fathers with Children Involved in the Child Welfare System and the Perspectives of their Paternal Engagement

  • Author(s): Graves, Alan-Michael Scott
  • Advisor(s): Howard, Tyrone C
  • Christie, Christina A
  • et al.

The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives and lived experiences of African American fathers who were previously involved in the child welfare system and to gain insight into the extent and rationale of their engagement and involvement with their children.

Through focus groups and semi-structured interviews of 25 African American previously involved with the child welfare system, this qualitative study involved fathers' perceptions of fatherhood and factors that facilitate and inhibit father engagement and father involvement with their children. The findings are discussed in light of current literature about father involvement in child welfare, and African American fathers in particular. Implications of the findings are discussed for the field of fatherhood and future research and practice. It is my hope that the information obtained from this study will help inform current practices within child welfare to more effectively engage African American fathers in the child welfare system thereby improving outcomes for African American children. Recommendations are provided for child welfare policy, practice, and research.

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