Fathers in the frame: protecting children by including men in cases of violence against women
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This thesis will uncover how law and policy, as well as how social workers speak to their practice, shape how the Manitoba child welfare system intervenes in cases of violence against mothers. By searching for the dominant themes of "invisible fathers" and "mothers failing to protect", this project substantiates how these themes contribute to the failure of the current system to hold the perpetrator accountable for his violence. I set out to confirm the argument that men need to be included as both risks and assets in the frame of our child welfare lens when assessing risk for children, in order to realize a feminist perspective in our work with families. Discourse analysis methods from a number of sources were drawn on to reveal and analyze how the discourse of "mothers failing to protect" has emerged, and how it informs child welfare practice and policy in ways that harm mothers and children.