Family organisations join to urge more help for young dads
Young fathers need more support to help them develop and maintain a positive presence in their children’s lives, according to a new report by a coalition of family support organisations including the Fatherhood Institute.
In the report, Are we nearly there yet, Dad?, the Family Strategic Partnership (led by Barnardo’s) plus a group of voluntary sector bodies (including the Fatherhood Institute) recommended that Government should collect data on fathers systematically, local authorities should appoint lead professionals to coordinate support for young fathers, and relationship support provision should focus more on supporting father-child relationships.
The report features six case studies of young fathers’ journeys through different aspects of family services, from maternity services onwards. Common themes throughout the six journeys are that the young fathers:
• are coping with complex identity changes
• often experience significant financial hardship
• require legal advice to maintain contact with their child
• benefit from relationship support to maintain contact with the mother, and
• need parenting advice as much as mothers, but tailored to a male audience.
Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, welcomed the report: ‘It is so important that we do all we can to help young fathers, as well as young mothers, forge strong, positive relationships with their children. Young dads are among the most marginalised of parents in Britain today. It’s great that so many big organisations are now speaking out about young dads – something that would never have happened even five years ago.’
Buy Invisible Fathers, our resource pack for professionals working with young dads.
Tags: Children's centres, Drugs and alcohol, Early years, Housing, Maternity, Vulnerable families, Young fathers