Since launching in 1999, we have worked on many fronts – and have successfully navigated the shifting sands of social policy and funding opportunities – to advance the inclusion of fathers in research, policy and practice, in the UK and overseas.
Throughout our history we have sought to challenge the political, social, economic, and cultural narratives that keep men, no less than women, ‘in their place’ – arguing that everyone needs to behave differently if men are to play a greater role in caring for children.
There is much work still to be done.
Foundations (the What Works Centre for Children & Families) funded us to run a randomised controlled trial of ISAFE, an intervention we developed with CASCADE (Cardiff University Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre), in seven English local authority children's social care departments
The Department of Education commissioned us to provide evidence to inform the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's Inquiry into non-accidental injury of infants by fathers and other male caregivers
UK evaluations of FRED and Family Foundations - interventions we imported from the US - reported positive outcomes
The European Union funded us to run a four-country project to improve child safeguarding through better father-engagement (in the UK, Czech Republic, Romania, and Finland)
We received special permission to relaunch as the Fatherhood Institute, in recognition of our new strategic focus as a centre of research and innovation in father-inclusive practice
We worked with the then-Labour Government to introduce statutory paternity leave for employed UK fathers
We launched as Fathers Direct, carving out a new space to acknowledge the importance of involved fatherhood, and advocate for better support for fathers in UK policy and services