Rob Williams joins Fatherhood Institute as Chief Executive

13 May 2009

Former Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England to lead UK fatherhood think tank

‘Helping fathers to connect with their children is one of the best ways to improve their experience of childhood’, said Rob Williams, who is returning to work after seven months spent looking after his children at home to become new Chief Executive of the Fatherhood Institute this month.

‘I know from my own experience the difficulties of balancing the twin demands of work and fatherhood. And yet research carried out by the Fatherhood Institute and others shows how important it is to get this right – children benefit greatly when they have close, positive relationships with their fathers’.

‘I stood down from my role as Deputy Children’s Commissioner last year in order to reconnect with my own family and look for a more balanced life. My new role at the Fatherhood Institute, where everyone works from home, will allow me to do that.’

About the Institute

The Fatherhood Institute collates and publishes international research on fatherhood and offers Government and local authorities’ advice about policies and services which support father-child relationships and enable families to share childcare more equally.

Previous Chief Executive, Duncan Fisher, was a co-founder of the Institute; previously known Fathers Direct, and led the organisation from 1999 to February 2009. Two of his co-founders continue as senior members of the Institute: David Bartlett as Deputy Chief Executive and Adrienne Burgess as Director of Research.

Rob Williams said; ‘This is a very exciting time to join the Fatherhood Institute, as more fathers look for ways to increase their engagement with their children, and benefit from increasing government interest in making this possible. For example, the Government’s new child health strategy, published in February, recognised strong evidence that early involvement of fathers has significant benefits for children’s social, emotional and intellectual development and wellbeing.

As a result, the strategy provides for fathers to be included in the health check reviews that are currently only carried out with mothers, and selected PCTs will pilot a new Antenatal Education and Preparation for Parenthood Programme which will emphasise including fathers.’

‘As interest grows in improving the outcomes of children growing up in the UK, I look forward to leading the Fatherhood Institute as it continues to further understanding and influence policies to give fathers and mothers the best chance of fulfilling their vital roles as parents.’