The Father’s Role by Armon R. Perry, Ph.D., MSW
Being a father is the highest calling that a man can have here on Earth. Given that I believe this whole heartedly, I have dedicated my professional life to creating positive change for families. I also believe that strong families are needed to build strong communities and that fathers should be the cornerstones of those families. Therefore, all my work focuses on helping fathers increase their capacity for taking more active roles in their children’s lives. To do so, I manage a fatherhood program called 4 Your Child https://www.facebook.com/4YourChildKY/ and I conduct studies that seek to determine the effectiveness of fatherhood specific interventions. I also partner with social services agencies to help them develop strategies for becoming more father friendly. My interest in this work stems from my days a Child Protective Services Social Worker. In this role, my job required me to conduct assessments with families that had children in foster care. The results of the assessments would determine the types of services we provided to the families that we served in an attempt to help them overcome their challenges and barriers. In doing this work, I became concerned that as an agency, we were not doing enough to reach out to fathers. Over time, this concern grew and led to feelings of skepticism and disillusionment about my agency’s interest in working with fathers. I found myself at a professional crossroads, so I decided that I would quit that job in pursuit of an academic career that would create space for me to continue to do community engaged work, but would also position me to train the next generation of social workers as a way to contribute to efforts aimed at bringing fathers into the mainstream of family practice and research. Below are links to several organizations that are also dedicated to highlighting the importance of fathers’ roles within the family.
Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse https://www.fatherhood.gov/
Fatherhood Research and Practice Network http://www.frpn.org/
Fathers and Families Coalition https://www.fathersandfamiliescoalition.org/
National Fatherhood Initiative https://www.fatherhood.org/
Armon R. Perry, PhD, MSW https://twitter.com/Armon_R_perry is an Associate Professor in the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Perry is also the co-editor of Fatherhood in America: Social Work Perspectives in a Changing Society https://www.ccthomas.com/details.cfm?P_ISBN13=9780398091378. Dr. Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, https://twitter.com/Armon_R_perry or 502-852-3234. More details about his research can be found at http://louisville.edu/kent/about/faculty-1/bios/dr.-armon-perry