Fathers’ narratives on support and agency : a case study of fathers in a Finnish child welfare NGO
Mykkänen, J., Eerola, P., Forsberg, H., & Autonen-Vaaraniemi, L. (2017). Fathers’ narratives on support and agency : a case study of fathers in a Finnish child welfare NGO. Nordic Social Work Research, 7(3), 236-248. https://doi.org/10.1080/2156857X.2017.1356350
Published inNordic Social Work Research
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
In Finland, one of the Nordic countries, shared parenting is widely supported through, e.g. family policies and legislation. This is also evident in daily parental practices, as fathers’ share in childcare has increased notably since the late 1980s. Unfortunately, this is not the whole picture of Finnish and Nordic fatherhood: practitioners in child welfare also encounter many fathers with various problems in parenting and life management. In this article, we examine the narratives of fathers who have sought and received support from a Finnish nationwide child welfare NGO. Our research question is: What types of narratives on seeking and receiving support and on their agency do fathers produce? The narrative analysis is based on interview data with 16 fathers (aged 24–50 years) from diverse backgrounds. We identified four narratives: the hero (increasing agency), the victim (decreasing agency), the outsider (stable agency) and the fortunate (stable agency). In spite of the fact that fathers are typically perceived as creators of welfare problems in child welfare, we conclude that they also have the need and desire to be seen and heard as human beings with sensitive and personally organized help. ...