Fathers of children with a learning disability (Foundation for People with Learning Difficulties)
In 2007, the Recognising Fathers project published its first report – Recognising Fathers: understanding the issues faced by fathers of children with a learning difficulty. That ground-breaking document, based on in-depth interviews with 20 fathers, is now followed by Recognising Fathers: a national survey of fathers who have children with learning difficulties (2009), written by Christine Towers, with 250 fathers surveyed. This new report covers fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives, the impact on their relationships with families and friends, how support services interact with them, their need for employment support and the impact on their own health. Towers finds that while, in comparison with research from previous decades, some services are developing more opportunities for fathers to attend and participate in meetings, policies and practices in health and social care, as well as in employment, do not always acknowledge their caring responsibilities. The findings have implications for education, health and social care practitioners and policy makers for children with disabilities, as well as for employers and health workers, such as GPs, who have a role to play in supporting fathers as carers.