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Jun 12, 2014 · While almost any man can father a child, there is so much more to the important role of being dad in a child's life

Parenting Style: The Role of Fathers with Daughters and …

Fathers Day 2017: History and Origins of the Holiday | Time

The role of pediatricians in working with fathers has correspondingly increased in importance
Some of these fathers would be considered “stay-at-home dads” by society’s definition. This large and increasing number of fathers as primary caregivers shows that parenting services are needed for both dads and moms.

Dads play key role in child development -- ScienceDaily

Fathers play an important role in a child's development from birth through adulthood
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specify a definition for “at-home dad” but many have used their table on “Married Couple: mother employed, not father” to determine the number of stay-at-home dads. As we have stated, employment status is NOT an accurate determination of the primary role of the parent. Many stay-at-home dads work (as many as 50% by our own estimates) and many unemployed dads are not taking on the role of caregiver.


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The U.S. Census defines “at-home dad” as a father not in the labor force for the past 52 weeks (this includes not looking for work or going to school) and who’s wife was in the labor force for the past 52 weeks (if she changes jobs and is out of work for a week or more, the father does not count as an at-home dad).

The U.S. Census reports that 32% of married fathers (approximately 7 million dads) are “a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26% from 2002.” The U.S. Census defines “regular care of children” as an arrangement that is consistent at least one day per week.

Parenting Style: The Role of Fathers with Daughters and Sons

Summary: Found that the true number of at-home dads is at least 1.4 million. This study shows how the U.S. Census significantly undercounts the number of at-home dads by only counting those who are not in the labor force (see below). Latshaw found that most fathers who, by most societal definitions are “stay-at-home dads,” do in fact work part-time or opposite shifts from their spouse.

How can the answer be improved?

To carry out their responsibilities of protecting children at risk of maltreatment, CPS caseworkers must effectively engage families that often both present and face great challenges. These can include substance abuse, mental health problems, economic stress, unemployment, separation and divorce, inadequate housing, crime, and incarceration. Figuring out how best to work with and engage these families, always with the safety of and permanency for the child as the goal, is not easy. This manual also speaks to both the opportunities and challenges presented by one participant in the family sagas that CPS caseworkers deal with everyday: the father. Working with fathers who are the perpetrators of child maltreatment is different than working with mothers or other perpetrators. In addition, fathers whose children were victimized by someone else, even fathers not living with their children, can prove to be a valuable ally as the CPS caseworker pursues his or her case planning objectives. Whether the father is the perpetrator or not, the abuse of a child can be a direct affront to how a father views himself as a man and a father. How well a caseworker understands these reactions and feelings and how effectively the caseworker can address them will make a major difference when trying to either help an abusing father become a protecting father or engaging a father as an ally in addressing the family dynamics that made the situation unsafe for the child. Effectively involving fathers in case planning and service provision presents unique challenges for caseworkers. This may explain in part why they often may not include fathers. This manual is also known as, "The Fatherhood Manual," and "The Fatherhood User Manual."

History's greatest male role model and a humbling …

Suggested Citation: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2006). The importance of fathers in the healthy development of children. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.