Supporting black and minority ethnic fathers in their parenting role

22 September 2005

Background
Beyond the economic contribution fathers make to the up-bringing of their children, evidence suggests that children whose fathers play an active and positive role have greater self-esteem and are happier; are likely to do better in education and this may be particularly so for boys, and are less likely to be involved in risky behaviour. The past 20 years has seen a growth in the number of services set-up to support fathers in their fathering role, but evidence continues to show limited provision and under-use. What evidence there is, also suggests that black and minority ethnic fathers do no better. In addition theY may face other barriers in securing support: institutional and direct racism, the operation of stereotypes, including that some are uninterested in their fathering role and limited knowlegde of where to turn to for support.

Aims
The aim of this project is the development of effective support for black and minority ethnic fathers in their parenting role. This will involve:
• developing a guide to best practice by collecting and collating national and international examples of best practice in working with black and minority ethnic fathers;
• establishing a network of organisations to share and promote best practice;
• disseminating best practice, by producing and distribuTing a best practice guide and a regular newsletter, as well as presenting what works and why in conferences and network meetings.

How and when will this be achieved?
This collaborative project between REU, Working With Men, the Boys2Men project of Coram Family and the Children’s Society will take three years to complete.

We are likely to be working in all the major urban areas where the majority of black and minority ethnic communities continue to live. This will include Birmingham, Bristol, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

For further information, please contact Tracey Bignall at REU on 020 7619 6225 or email tracey@reunet.demon.co.uk.

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