Father Involvement in Early Intervention: Exploring the Gap Between Service Providers’ Perceptions and Practices

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Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine early intervention (EI) service providers’ perceptions of the roles played by fathers in services, as well as their perceptions of the barriers that limit fathers from being engaged in the services provided for families of children with disabilities. A total of 511 EI service providers participated in an online survey. Findings revealed a significant gap between EI providers’ perceptions of the impact fathers can have on their children with disabilities and their perceptions of how useful it is to target fathers for involvement in EI services. In addition, several barriers were identified by participants that limit their ability to successfully engage fathers in the services they provide to their children and families. Results are discussed in terms of implications for future training needs of EI providers.

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