Recruiting fathers to family support services

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Summary

Family support services are tasked with promoting the wellbeing of children by providing support to them and their families. However, services often find it difficult to recruit fathers and therefore miss opportunities to involve important people in the child’s life. Dr Symonds investigated this in his doctoral research by collecting recordings of telephone conversations between practitioners and parents who had been referred for parenting support. His findings concluded that there were systematic patterns to what practitioners said in successful calls and which he developed into a conversation tool for practice.

With this IAA award, Dr Symonds will combine his findings with CARM, an innovative training method developed using Conversation Analysis. By working in partnership with a local authority family support service, he will explore whether this practice tool can make a difference to practice in recruiting fathers in order to improve the lives and wellbeing of children.

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