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Focus on Fathering

Focus on Fathering by Robin Sullivan
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As the canvas of our society continues to change the implications for the family are far-reaching. This is particularly so in relation to the make-up of the family and the subsequent challenges facing it. The rate of marriage breakdown remains high with the result that, in Australia alone, almost one million children live with only one natural parent. We also know that the challenge of balancing work and family responsibilities is becoming increasingly difficult, while the gap between the economically affluent and the battlers in our society continues to widen. The implications for our children cannot be underestimated. More than ever, children are presenting with behavioural and psychosocial problems at a very early age. We are seeing a range of developmental epidemics in children – such as attention deficit disorders and learning disabilities. We also know how important the early years are for helping establish strong social, emotional and neurological foundations that underpin the child’s future development. It is evident from the research, as well as commonly understood, that children need to be nurtured effectively from the very beginning. The role of each parent in this is critical. Within this context, the publication of Focus on Fathering is timely, opening discussion about the important role that fathers have in children’s lives. The idea for this book developed from the Forum for Fathering organised by the Queensland Commission for Children and Young People in 2001. This forum brought together a range of practitioners and researchers with expertise in working with fathers. It was based around the research the Commission had undertaken, asking men their views on fathering and the challenges they experienced. The book consists of a range of contributions by practitioners and academics working with fathers, children and families. It attempts to bring together a range of diverse and even contradictory views to provide a basis for debate and reflection about the role that men play as fathers in their children’s lives.
Australian Council for Educational Research; November 2003
245 pages; ISBN 9781417505289
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Title: Focus on Fathering
Author: Robin Sullivan