Abstract

Aim: The successful embedding of father inclusive practice (FIP) in parenting and early childhood organisations is relatively new and therefore challenging to assess. The purpose of this study was to describe the process of adapting an existing tool, the Knowledge about fatherhood checklist (KAFC), to suit the parenting service context and apply the modified survey to establish a baseline of attitudes and practice of all staff at an established parenting and early childhood service in Western Australia, Ngala.

Method: Following the application of the KAFC at Ngala in 2016, feedback provided by the staff led to a reflective and iterative process of review to adapt the KAFC. In 2018, all staff were asked to complete the adapted survey – the 23-item Father inclusive practice survey (FIP survey) – in order to assess the attitudes and behaviours of everyone in the organisation. The FIP survey covers aspects of competency as well as knowledge and attitudes in relation to fatherhood or father engagement.

Results: Results indicated generally high levels of appreciation of the fathering role by Ngala staff. However, a number of areas for improvement in staff knowledge and attitudes were identified, including the benefit of reflecting on personal experiences of fathering, the awareness of the gendered stereotyped view of men, and the importance of the influence fathers can make in the context of attachment and breastfeeding.

Conclusions: The implementation of this FIP survey informs improvements to staff orientation and training in FIP, and provides insights into staff attitudes, beliefs and practice regarding acknowledgement of the important contribution fathers make to the development and wellbeing of their children.

Keywords

assessment, father inclusive practice (FIP), parenting and childhood organisations, Ngala, Western Australia

Link to Publisher Version (URL)

https://doi.org/10.33235/ajcfhn.16.2.3-10

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