Government report says young dads remain on fringes of service provision

20 December 2006

A study funded by the Department for Education and Skills’ Teenage Pregnancy Unit has found that many family services providers around the UK are failing to meet the needs of young fathers – even though in some areas good practice is emerging.

In its newly published report Supporting Young Fathers, the Trust for the Study of Adolescence says: ‘Promising work with young fathers is happening but it remains rather piece-meal and not fully mainstreamed in all areas. In some parts of the country it is limited whilst in others, the profile is high. Where promising young fathers work does exist, the findings are not always disseminated fully or developed for other organisations and agencies to learn from.’

The TSA’s research shows that young fathers, including teenage and school-age fathers are ‘not as hard-to-reach as many professionals believe’; and that barriers such as cultural issues and poor referral systems can be overcome – but that agencies all-too-often ‘hide behind the “parent” word’ and fail to think strategically about how best to involve young dads, and how to integrate father work with services for parents more generally.

The report, authored by Dr Nigel Sherriff, features details on inspiring work with young dads being conducted by a variety of projects, including the Ladz 2 Dadz initiative in Northamptonshire, B2b+ in Sunderland, Barrow Dads’ Group and Base 25 in Wolverhampton. To download the report visit the TSA website.