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Fathers' involvement in youth protection intervention: Opposing discourses and a practices

Eve Pouliot, Marie-Christine Saint-Jacques

For some years now, writers in a number of fields have been affirming that paternal commitment needs to be facilitated by making available social services that are adapted to the needs of fathers. Although the paternal role has become much clearer, researchers and many clinical practitioners remain far from convinced of the usefulness of the father in the equation. Given the issues linking this problematic to that of child protection, the present paper is focused on the following question: «To what extent do the various intervenors involve the father in child protection practices?». To answer this question, in this paper I will first chart available empirical data on the extent to which services are made available to fathers, stressing the specific context of child protection. I will then present and discuss the results of a survey of 229 practitioners working within the area of child protection.