A father figure is defined as an older man who is respected for his paternal qualities and may be an emotional substitute for a father. Examples would be uncles and grandfathers.
The father figure can be any man in a child's life (excluding his or her own biological father). Many studies have given indications that positive father figures promote healthy child development, in both girls and boys. The lack of the real father is not a requirement for the presence of a father figure, but the importance of the latter is indeed more emphasized when the father is not present or not nearby.