Fathers and Child Welfare: Conceptual Frameworks, Theoretical Foundations, Empirical Approaches, and Innovations in Research and Practice
Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., PhD, and Harold E. Briggs, PhD, Guest Editors


Updated Abstract Submission Deadline: March 15, 2024

Child Welfare journal announces a call for papers to appear in a juried special issue, Fathers and Child Welfare: Conceptual Frameworks, Theoretical Foundations, Empirical Approaches, and Innovations in Research and Practice. Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., PhD (University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice) and Harold E. Briggs, PhD (University of Georgia School of Social Work) will serve as guest editors.

We are seeking conceptual, theoretical, and empirical manuscripts that center fatherhood and paternal engagement across racial, ethnic, developmental, socioeconomic, gender, and/or sexual identities. Manuscripts that examine fathers’ household, legal/documented, and environmental statuses and fathers’ social identities, including concepts of masculinity and impacts on child well-being outcomes. We seek descriptive, intervention- and policy-focused manuscripts that examine how the above identities affect fathers’ parenting identity, engagement, behavior, and performance. Similarly, we welcome manuscripts that examine the intersection of fatherhood and parenting practice, child welfare practice, and child well-being.

Manuscripts can address, for example:

  • Empirical research and research-informed practice, as well as practice-informed policy frameworks that yield (a) practice-informed scholarship; (b) innovative intervention, policy, and practice exemplars; and (c) best practices in father and child welfare engagement and provision.
  • Scholarship that addresses structural racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity, disproportionality, and disparities representation across parenting contexts and within the child welfare and other institutionalized systems that affect fathers and children.
  • Conceptual, theoretical, empirical, and practice-informed scholarship that leverages understanding and explanation of how the social determinants of health impact father engagement and child well-being.
  • Empirical and research-informed practice approaches that examines the use of culturally responsive parenting and child welfare practice strategies and enhance father-child engagement to offset institutionalized racism and disparities in the criminal justice, housing, educational, employment, and economic sectors.

Papers submitted for publication in this special issue should emphasize family engagement, family voice, and collaboration with families where applicable. Papers that propose modification in practice, education, and policy related to fatherhood poverty governance, family surveillance, and asset limitations frameworks are a priority. Manuscripts should provide a theory of change and a well-defined behavior change approach that intervenes across ecological systems (macro-, exo-, mezzo-, micro-, and intra-biosocial psychological individual functioning).

Prospective authors should submit abstracts of up to 750 words to Child Welfare’s managing editor, Rachel Adams, at radams@cwla.org by March 15, 2024. Abstracts should identify the topic, methods (including data sources for empirical papers), findings, and practice and policy implications. Authors should use person-first language in abstracts.

Authors will be notified of their abstract selection by March 25, 2024. Publication of this special issue is slated for fall 2024.