Creating father-inclusive health and social services: one-day course

16 December 2011

The government’s Healthy Child programme says:

“The contribution that fathers make to their children’s development, health and wellbeing is important, but services do not do enough to recognise or support them. Research shows that a father’s behaviour, beliefs and aspirations can profoundly influence the health and wellbeing of both mother and child in positive and negative ways.

Maternity and child health services are used to working mainly with mothers, and this has an impact on their ability to engage with fathers. Fathers should be routinely invited to participate in child health reviews, and should have their needs assessed.”

Services should, for example:

  • Support mothers and fathers to provide sensitive and attuned parenting, in particular during the first months and years of life
  • Support strong couple relationships and stable positive relationships within families, in accordance with The Children’s Plan (DCSF, 2007)
  • Ensure that contact with the family routinely involves and supports fathers, including non-resident fathers
  • Support the transition to parenthood, especially for first-time mothers and fathers.

Our course shows you how to develop and implement a whole-team approach to engaging with fathers. We are the lead organisation on father-inclusive practice in the UK, and we can train your staff – and/or staff from local agencies with whom you will need to work if you are to fulfil government requirements – to deliver this agenda.

The format for the course reflects the national policy agenda and our extensive knowledge of what works.

Read the University of Worcester’s evaluation of this course.

Who is the course for?

Practitioners in Health, Social Services and related services, who work with fathers, or plan to make their practice more inclusive of fathers.

Aim of the course

To help managers, front-line workers and volunteers working with families and children develop their practice in engaging with fathers.

Trainees will:

1. Explore and develop strategies to engage with fathers

2. Begin to develop the confidence, knowledge and skills to work effectively with fathers

3. Discover a ‘whole team’ approach to engaging fathers.

The course includes exploration of:

• The unique influences that fathers have on nutrition, obesity, brain development and mental health.

• What children need from their fathers.

• Barriers and bridges to positive father-child engagement in services.

• The personal and cultural issues which shape our perceptions of men and our beliefs about gender roles.

What do people learn from our courses?

“How to engage fathers in the lives of their babies right from the start and get them to do more with their babies and support their partners” (Community midwife)

‘How to effectively engage fathers with our children’s centre – and how we can support the children centre staff to do this’ (Children’s Centre Manager).

“The kind of simple but effective strategies can be introduced to make our contact with fathers during home visits better.” (Health Visitor)

“How to engage fathers from Antenatal and how to adapt systems with dads in mind; to be systematically inclusive – even a small change can be dramatic” (Health Visitor)

“The whole day was a very good time to reflect on the roles of men/dads” (Health Visitor)

For more information and to book this course contact our National Practice Development Manager Jeszemma Garratt by email or tel 07917 864 130.

Download a PDF of the Healthy Child Programme.

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