‘Any d*** can make a baby, but it takes a real man to be a dad’: group work for fathers

Lucas, S. E., Mirza, N. and Westwood, J. (2021) ‘Any d*** can make a baby, but it takes a real man to be a dad’: group work for fathers. Qualitative Social Work, 20(3), pp. 718-737. (doi: 10.1177/1473325020909431)

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This article contributes to debates about fathers in social work by examining a group work intervention for fathers in Scotland. We present findings from observations of a ‘dad’s group’ and interviews with seven fathers and staff members. Participating in the dad’s group was found to be an expanded perception and expression of masculinity and fatherhood. The group provided a platform for the men to define and challenge understandings of fatherhood in which they developed a sense of expertise and self-belief as individuals and as fathers. We provide examples of the way that the men manoeuvre against societal barriers, in the context of disadvantage, unemployment and persistent mental health difficulties and prevailing gendered stereotypes and allow the fluid expression of manhood through engaging with non-masculine activities. In consideration of policy and practice implications, we argue that parenting support such as group work for fathers is crucial to improve parenting skills and wellbeing and positive outcomes for children.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by the Big Lottery.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mirza, Dr Nughmana
Authors: Lucas, S. E., Mirza, N., and Westwood, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Qualitative Social Work
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-3117
Published Online:12 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Qualitative Social Work 20(3): 718-737
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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