July 2005 Email Newsletter

3 August 2005

The Fathers Direct Network Newsletter: July 2005

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THE CONTENTS (Click the links to go to the details!)













The Big Fatherhood Debate: prepare to contribute!

Fathers! FatherWorkers! Your chance is coming to take part in a national debate on fatherhood, based on a major BBC series. The debate will highlight to Government the huge lack of information for fathers from ante-natal onwards.

On Saturday 20 August at 7pm on BBC ONE, Davina McCall (formerly of C4’s Big Brother) will present the first episode of He’s Having a Baby – a 10-week series following nine men as they become fathers. Davina’s weekly BBC ONE programme will show how the nine men cope (their preparation includes ‘Dad Assignments’ which ‘mentor’ dads help them with – from changing nappies to teaching a teenager to drive). Meanwhile, additional nightly BBC THREE programmes catch the drama from the day’s events ‘in real time’, from contractions to birth and bathing.

There’ll be new forums on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk and opportunities to express your views – we’ll point you in the right direction when they’re open by the time of the next monthly email.

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Fathers Direct Job Opportunity: Publications Editor

Fathers Direct seeks a Publications Editor. The successful candidate, who will be a key member of our team, will edit and partly write our quarterly ‘trade’ magazine (FatherWork), our monthly email newsletter, and our website – as well as working with our team to develop innovative information for fathers. The post can be part-time, and offers opportunities to work from home. Salary appropriate to experience, which should include magazine editing, writing, experience in delivering information to parents and an understanding of the different approaches needed to deliver information to fathers. Fathers Direct is an Equal Opportunities Employer. Send CV to: jobs@fathersdirect.com

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Child Support, ‘Paternity Establishment’ – and dads and their kids

To identify dads and have them pay child support, the US has pioneered a policy of ‘paternity establishment’ in hospitals: officials approach unmarried fathers on maternity wards, and ‘encourage’ them to put their names put on their babies’ birth certificates. Research now shows that this policy is paying off – for children. Not only do they know who their fathers are (and are more likely to receive child support from them) but they are also more likely to have close relationships with them.

When researchers interviewed the dads one year later, those whose paternity was established in the hospital were more than twice as likely to have seen their child recently than fathers whose paternity had been established outside hospital. And even these were 7% more likely to have recently seen their children than fathers whose paternity had never been officially established. Since many of these dads were young and poor, this is particularly good news, since these fathers are among the least likely to maintain contact with their children, yet are probably the most important to their children – given that highly disadvantaged children suffer most from ‘father absence’.

When will vigorous ‘paternity establishment’ for unmarried dads become policy in the UK? Currently the UK government tells unmarried mums it is ‘up to you’ whether the child’s father’s name goes on the birth certificate, and provides minimal information to dads as to how to achieve this. Take notice, UK policy makers! "We believe that increasing fathers’ involvement very early in the lives of their non-marital children may prove to be beneficial for their children’s long-term well-being, and we plan to examine these relationships in future work," the authors of this fascinating article conclude.

Ref: Mincy R, Garfinkel I & Nepomnyaschy L (2005) ‘In-Hospital Paternity Establishment and Father-Involvement’ in Journal of Marriage and the Family. Vol. 67(3):611-626

Dr. Mincy is available for questions and interviews. Contact: Jill Yablonski Journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net tel: UNITED STATES: 781-388-8448

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Exciting events for the Autumn

Our Diary of Events (www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=0&catID=6) and our Training Listing (www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=0&catID=7) contain lots of fascinating events, but we’d like to bring just a few to your attention. 

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Muslim Fathers/Communities Projects (for Fathers Direct)

In partnership with the Muslim community, Fathers Direct is developing materials which organisations can give to new young Muslim fathers. We are interested in hearing from projects working in Muslim communities (or developing work with Muslim fathers) who feel they can help us get these materials right. Please send details of relevant projects/individuals to Kathy Jones: k.jones@fathersdirect.com or 01604 638538.

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Pregnancy discrimination at work (for BBC2 TV)

BBC2 TV’s ‘The Money Programme’ is investigating discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace and how their partners and children are affected. For example, a father who had hoped to play a caring role with his baby finds he has to go out to work, or work much longer hours, when his child’s mother loses pay, status – or even her job. The programme urgently seeks examples of individuals or families who have suffered in this way. Please call or email in confidence: Amanda Austen, 0208 752 6032 amanda.austen@bbc.co.uk

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Dads who work flexibly or employers who encourage them (Equal Opportunities Commission)

Do you work flexibly/part-time? Or are you an employer who supports this? Has this been a positive or negative experience? The Equal Opportunities Commission needs ‘real life’ experiences to help build up a picture of the modern workplace – what it is, and what it could be, so it can lobby effectively for work-practices to support the lives people want and need. You must be willing to share your experiences (perhaps anonymously) as a media case study. Call the EOC Media Office: Claire Hibbitt (020 7960 7441, claire.hibbitt@eoc.org.uk) or Sarah Jackson (020 7960 7409, sarah.jackson@eoc.org.uk)

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FREE! Places in ‘Working with African Caribbean Fathers’ Seminar

Barnardos’ Babyfather Alliance /Fathers Direct are holding exciting regional one-day seminars on Working with African Caribbean Fathers: Leeds (21 September 2005); Liverpool (13 October 2005). For further details see our website’s Diary of Events: LEEDS EVENT: http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=7&cID=281
LIVERPOOL EVENT: http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=7&cID=280  

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About our training and consultancy

We offer a wide range of public and in-house training courses (some accredited), and work in partnership to help agencies develop effective approaches to support children’s relationships with their fathers and other male carers. Our culturally diverse male and female trainers have in-depth knowledge of how to set up father-friendly services, particularly in deprived communities, and guide trainees through a range of practical approaches, backed up by detailed handouts and our ‘Working with Fathers’ Six-Step Guide. Clients include maternity and early years services, child and family support services, child protection agencies, schools, Connexions, CAMHS teams, teenage pregnancy teams, YOTs, YOIs, prisons etc. There are courses for beginners, and courses for managers; general courses, and specialist courses; 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day courses. We also offer audit, consultancy and project management, and external evaluation; and can help you organise an Awareness-Raising Conference in your district, to explore key issues for local families and services.

Read more about our training and consultancy and see course outlines http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=0&catID=7

For an exploratory discussion about in-house and local support contact David Bartlett on 01422 847825 d.bartlett@fathersdirect.com

For enquiries or to book a place phone 0845 6341328 or download a PDF price list and booking form http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/download.php?pID=1235.8

To read PDF price list and booking form download ADOBE ACROBAT here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Fatherhood Quality Mark IconAbout our Fatherhood Quality Mark (FQM)

The Fatherhood Quality Mark (FQM) is a kite-marking process by which a body shows that it is serious about understanding and strengthening children’s relationships with their fathers. It is both a way of validating what an agency is already doing, and developing more effective strategies for the future. The FQM is available to service providers in a range of social care sectors and can be obtained at two levels.

Read more about the FQM http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?nID=41

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All FD publications can be purchased on line http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?nID=shop or by telephone on 0845 634 1328

FatherWork MagazineFatherWork Magazine

The latest edition of FatherWork profiles an outstanding project that helps dads keep children drug-free. The magazine showcases support for refugee fathers and a unique venture: Who Let The Dads Out? We prelim a major new BBC series on fatherhood, question Government plans on leave policies and offer ways for fathers and children to understand each other and play better. And of course there’s the usual great writing and images, and the three detailed case studies you now find in every issue highlight ‘lessons learned’. These case studies also support our accredited ‘Working with Fathers’ trainings as well as our six-step booklet Working with Fathers: a guide for everyone working with families by enabling you to build up a bank of 12 ‘best practice’ case studies per year when you take out a subscription to FatherWork,

We’ve designed FATHERWORK not just to give you INFORMATION but to act as an ATTRACTIVE RESOURCE. Don’t file your copy away – leave it lying around: colleagues and service users will read it, and its presence will act as a ‘welcome’ to dads. And if you want material to give to fathers, think about ordering back copies of FATHERWORK.

Annual Subscription: £33 (for an additional £10 you get another whole year’s subscription for someone else in your organisation) – subscribe to FATHERWORK http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=8  

FatherWorld MagFatherWorld Report

There’s never been a publication like FATHERWORLD: it’s a special 28-page one-off international edition of our quarterly FatherWork magazine. Double the usual size, packed with stunning images and gripping fathers’ tales, it introduces projects from Siberia to Sweden, Brazil to Cameroon, South Africa to Australia, and reveals the extent to which fatherhood is a growing area of concern all over the world. Read about the Aka Pygmies from Central Africa (the international stars of paternal involvement), South Korea’s national ”Dads Club’, the work done with rival Latino gangs in the ‘third world’ streets of Los Angeles – while not forgetting the ‘best of British’ . It’s a MUST for your reception area – and everyone at home will read it, too. Price: £5.99 Order ‘FatherWorld’ Report http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=14 

Working with FathersWorking with Fathers: our Six-Step Guide (for everyone working with families)

This unique user-friendly 32 page guide is full of practical tips and strategies and sets out a six-step process for engaging effectively with fathers and other male carers, in both dedicated and mainstream services. (Attendees at our training courses receive a free copy.) Price: £6.95. Order ‘Working with Fathers’ http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=5  

Inside FatherhoodPrison Briefing (‘Inside Fatherhood’)

This Fathers Direct FatherFacts briefing paper, INSIDE FATHERHOOD, details latest research and best practice in supporting relationships between children and convicted dads, both in and out of prison. Price: £5.95 Order ‘Inside Fatherhood’: Prison Briefing http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=12  

FatherPhotos packPhotopack and Posters

Three full size quality posters of positive images of fathers and children for display purposes, together with a pack of 20 high quality A5 laminated images of fathers, children and mothers for use in individual and groupwork with dads. Each A5 image is accompanied by a key research fact showing the importance of fathers in child development.
Price: Photopack £19 + VAT Order ‘FatherPhotos’ http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=1  Posters £12 + VAT Order ‘FatherPosters’ http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=6  

Fathers in Maternity ServicesWorking with Fathers in Maternity Services
Our Maternity Services Briefing Paper – ‘How to Build New Dads" – is of particular interest to midwives and anyone involved in maternity and post-natal care. This paper deals with the research on the impact of fathering behaviour and attitudes on maternal and infant outcomes: case studies of good practice relating to fathers in the maternity services; recommendations for practice in maternity services. Order ‘How to Build New Dads’ http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=13

What Good Are DadsWhat Good Are Dads?

This Fact Sheet is out of print, so we let you download the text in pdf format for FREE – http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/download.php?pID=1202.4

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Online Events Listing

We keep an up to date DIARY of EVENTS http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?id=0&catID=6  listing on our website, laid out month by month. We only include events that contain at least a fatherhood or gender-awareness ‘thread’. 

U Tell Us

We are keen to hear about other fatherhood events – or events with a clear gender-awareness element – scheduled for 2005/6. Email us at diary@fathersdirect.com

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N.E. Regional Resource Centre for Fatherhood: Celebration 2005 – Fatherhood Past and Present

Celebration 2005: Fatherhood Past and Present will be the largest ever celebration of Fatherhood in the UK. Over the weekend of 1st and 2nd October, 6,000 men, women and children from all over the UK will come together in County Durham to celebrate Fatherhood. Fatherhood events will take place at the Beamish Open Air Museum (where the past comes to life – this is no ordinary museum); the Fatherhood Village (exhibitions, presentations and performances from father groups and practitioners; the launch display of the forthcoming, first and only UK Museum of Fatherhood, and much more. Check out http://www.fatherwork.org/c2005/ or Children North East Regional Resource Centre for Fatherhood on ask@workingwithfathers.com.

ContinYou: I’m a better dad now

‘I’m a better Dad now’ is a report that looks at ways of improving support for young fathers. It draws lessons from two pilot projects, which ran from 2000 until 2003 in Wolverhampton and Rotherham, and which aimed to support young fathers to enable them to keep in touch with their children. This well-written and well-laid-out report takes us through the experiences of these projects, thoughtfully and intelligently drawing out lessons learned, all the way down the line. Many of these lessons emerge as much from what ‘didn’t work’ as from what did. This report is an excellent introduction to working with young fathers, and can be obtained from ContinYou: 024 7658 8440 or from www.continyou.org.uk/catalogue_detail.php?pid=177  

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NFPI: ‘Fathers’ Involvement in their Children’s Education’

NFPI Education ReportRebecca Goldman’s Fathers’ Involvement in their Children’s Education is the best document ever written on this fascinating topic, thoroughly grounded in research, yet full of lively and fascinating case histories that will inspire anyone thinking about trying to engage fathers in schools or in family learning. Ms. Goldman begins by describing fathers’ involvement – how much of it is there? what forms does it take? She then looks at the ‘why’s’ of involving dads: how are children affected? and how do fathers, mothers and schools benefit when dads do their bit? The next part of the report looks at the barriers to fathers’ involvement, followed by a substantial section on practice – first the general principles, then thirteen inspiring case studies. This report is a must-read for researchers, policy makers and practitioners, and will have international relevance. Don’t miss it. Order from: the National Family and Parenting Institute, price £21 www.nfpi.org/data/publications

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Who Let the Dads Out?

At Hoole Lighthouse Community Family Centre in Chester, fathers’ work grew from the mothers’ wishes: they wanted the men to receive encouragement and support in their parenting role, so they might become more involved at home. A classic ‘taster’ event to stir up interest and identify recruits was decided on – a dads-and-kids get-together at the Centre on the Saturday morning before Mothers’ Day. Children and fathers would eat bacon butties and ‘make mum a present’, while she had some time off. This gave the event a clear, time-limited purpose, and was attractive to everyone who might influence the men’s attendance – the mothers, the children, and the fathers themselves. The title, which neatly reflects the fact that men, more than women, tend to have anti-authority leanings, proved a winner: when WHO LET THE DADS OUT? opened its doors that Saturday, twenty-two dads walked through . . . Today, more than thirty men attend the monthly sessions . . .

For a full report on this project look out for the July 2005 edition of FatherWork Magazine: this case study is one of three detailed case studies we now include in each issue to help you develop your own practice.

Annual Subscription: £32 – subscribe to FATHERWORK http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=8 

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Communicate with us

We have a central phone number: 0845 634 1328, or can be contacted on mail@fathersdirect.com. We look forward to your comments on this website, and are delighted when you notify us of anything you’d like publicised such as events, employment opportunities, relevant books, journal articles or reports, and details of work with fathers – all over the world. We can often publicise these in this email newsletter, or in our other publications.

Search for other network members
Fathers Direct has an extensive database of fatherworkers and people interested in working with fathers. We are able to email a post-code-based-section of our database on your behalf, for a fee of £20. We send an email that you yourself write, and recipients can choose whether or not to respond. This way, full confidentiality is maintained. We are, of course, unable to guarantee a response. Price (Incl. VAT): £20.00. Contact us to purchase a search. http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/index.php?prodID=15  

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