New Father-Friendly resource published

Date: 1st June 2016
Category: Parental responsibilities

What does father-proofing mean in practice? As part of Year of the Dad, two major new papers have been presented showing exactly how organisations often unconsciously exclude dads - and the huge growth in those who have turned 'father-friendly'.

Research has shown that the vast majority of services do not offer a specific service for fathers. In 2007, of a sample of 382 Scottish services for parents, only three services were adapted to suit the needs of fathers. Less than a decade later, however, there's been a marked increase in awareness.

Here's Dad

Fathers Network Scotland carried out a survey which found a more than 900 per cent increase to more than 80 services, projects and agencies that in one way or another are either for dads, are dad-friendly or reach out to include dads. The range and variety of aims is large and includes not only national charities and councils but also local projects and self-help groups.

In late 2015, Fathers Network Scotland set out to establish and publish the first comprehensive picture of resources for dads.

With the assistance of Scottish Government researcher, Robert Little, FNS canvassed children and family services in the local government, health and third sector services throughout Scotland, along with other services known to them. The results are cause for celebration - and available to everyone through the 'Here's Dad' paper.

Where's Dad Too?

However, FNS have found that getting dad in the picture continues to be a challenge, which is why they have also published Where's Dad Too? - a new and revised edition of Where's Dad?, which for more than two years has helped FNS campaign for more father-inclusive practices.

This new and revised edition includes examples of success in the campaign to get dad in the picture, along with a renewed clarion call for more father-inclusive publicity, policy, education and practice in Scottish children and family services including the Scottish government, local councils, the health services and the third sector.

Father-Proofing Our World

FNS have also put together a new Father-proofing toolkit with guidance for Marketing and Communications, and suggestions about how to make changes to ensure that family services welcome both mothers and fathers. That means encouraging positive attitudes among staff (men and women) and a dedication to father-friendly provision - but the importance of image projected by services cannot be underestimated.