Fathers – resources for practitioners

Fathers matter a great deal to children; they play a significant role within the family, whether or not they are resident, and increasingly want to be fully involved in their children’s upbringing.

Despite this, many children and family services are still predominantly mother-focused and often struggle to engage with fathers as a result. Services need to look at how they can change this or they will fail to meet the needs of children and families.

The ‘Dad Test Guide’ aims to help health, family and children’s services, schools and third sector agencies identify how they can engage more effectively with fathers. It explains why supporting father involvement is crucial to the well-being and educational development of children.

It contains a simple ‘Dad Test’ to help managers and practitioners start to assess how father-inclusive their service is, with ideas for small changes they can make to meet the needs of both parents more effectively.

Professionals know that mothers are important. What is less well understood is that when dads are positively involved, children do better in all sorts of ways.

The Fatherhood Institute has produced a series of ‘Why dads matter’ five-minute digests which can be downloaded and shared:

Bringing Fathers In is a series of smart, punchy, evidence-based information sheets backed up with a series of online research summaries.

The information sheets are free to download, and designed to print in A3 format for use as posters – or in A4. They, and the supporting research summaries, are intended for an international audience of health, education and social care professionals, policy makers, programme managers and designers, researchers and evaluators. Topics include:

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