Jonathan Alschech, PhD. Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Faculty of Human and Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia
Studies have been consistently showing that children of highly involved fathers (frequent and consistent provision of primary childcare in two-parents’ families from infancy) are more cognitively competent and are more likely to have higher levels of economic and educational achievement, career success, occupational competency, better educational outcomes, higher educational expectations, higher educational attainment, and psychological wellbeing. Children of involved fathers are more likely to be securely attached to them, are more resilient in the face of stressful situations, and have greater overall social competence, social initiative, social maturity, and capacity for relatedness with others. There are however multiple barriers for greater and better father involvement in early childhood parenting. Structural factors constraining and discouraging father involvement include gender, racial and class inequities and systems of oppression, while micro-level factors include discord and conflict between the parents, lack of co-parenting competencies as well as personal inhibitions and poor decision making. Multiple evidence-based interventions and tools are currently available for families as well as social services and health professionals wishing to support and enhance father involvement in early childhood parenting.
- Know and understand how involved fathers contribute to early childhood development
- Know and understand the main barriers for greater and better father involvement in Canada’s North
- Be familiar with evidence-based interventions for supporting and enhancing father involvement in early childhood
- Supporting and enhancing fathers’ involvement in early childhood parenting greatly benefits children, families and communities
- Supporting and enhancing fathers’ involvement in early childhood parenting promotes gender, racial, and social justice
- There are evidence-based, easy to implement, interventions and tools available for fathers, families and social services and health professionals working with families
Resources for further information
- Dad Central
- The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
- Aboriginal Father Involvement Programs
Dr. Jonathan Alschech holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Toronto as well as a Ph.D. in History from Tel Aviv University, Israel. Dr. Alschech’s research interests and publications include the transformative memorialization of genocide and apartheid, racial, sexual and gender violence and inequality, and unstably-housed men experiences of fatherhood and precarious parental involvement. Dr. Alschech has practice experience with incarcerated men and Palestinian political prisoners in Israel, young men experiencing racial discrimination and violence in South Africa, and street-involved youth and convicted sex offenders in Ontario, Canada.