Blog: Punching above our weight to keep fathers in the frame

30 March 2012

Jeremy Davies writes: The Fatherhood Institute is a tiny organisation which has to work hard to punch above its weight at a policy level. It’s often thanks to our measured, intelligent and persuasive lobbying and that fathers and fatherhood get any attention at all in official policies and documents.

A good illustration of this is our contribution to the Riots Commission’s Final Report, published this week. Many of our recommendations (for example, that absent fathers be actively sought out by services) are in the report – and key paragraphs from our publications are entered word-for-word (see particularly the ‘Widening inclusion’ section of the chapter on Children and Parents).

By contrast, the Framework on Troubled Families does not mention fathers. All the thinking is based on ‘households’ and there is no reference to significant figures in children’s lives who may be living elsewhere (the ‘absent fathers’ of the Riots’ Commission report) – a huge wasted opportunity.

Despite our best efforts, we did not get to meet the people who produced the Troubled Families framework. Had we done so, perhaps the outcome might have been different. We are still hoping to influence their work.

As a tiny organisation working to thrive in difficult times, we must fight hard for a place at the table. Once there, our impact can be significant – as we hope it will be when the Government digests and acts upon the Riots Commission’s recommendations.

Read more about our policy work in our most recent Annual Report, Bringing Dads into the Picture.

Support our policy work with a donation.


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