Child & Family Services
The needs and rights of children are at the forefront of our work at Fathers Network Scotland, and we know that in order to best support children we must support whole families.
Child and Family Services across Scotland use the National Practice Model: Getting it Right for Every Child – GIRFEC, which is underpinned by the UNCRC. The model makes it clear that practice must be focused primarily on the health and well-being needs of a child. It also states that where one parent is not fully engaged, then positive outcomes for a child can be limited. GIRFEC doesn’t place any more importance on one parent or another, or the role or the gender of a parent, therefore supporting the whole family around the child is critical.Yet dads and other family members too often remain invisible or ignored when it comes to children and family services, childcare, education and health.
In February 2020, with cross-party support, a Promise was made to make sure that all Scotland’s children grow up ‘loved, safe and respected.’ The Promise provides a clear and simple starting point: “where children are safe in their families and feel loved they must stay – and families must be given support together, to nurture that love and overcome the difficulties they encounter”.
We champion father-inclusive practice and a whole family approach and pledge to #KeepThePromise. By providing resources, training, events and collaborating with services across Scotland we aim to improve children's lives through sustained behavioural change within policy, practice and parenting.
As women rightly claim equality in the workplace we believe men should share the load at home. Progressive employers have an important role to play in this cultural transition which can benefit both staff and employers.
Most workplaces have policies to support employees to manage their work and home life. However, outdated gender stereotypes often persist, with the assumption that mum is the principal caregiver, and dad is the principal provider. When fathers want to become more active caregivers this can lead to them encountering difficulties accessing family-friendly policies, or fearing that they will be penalised as a result.
And yet more and more modern dads are putting fatherhood in front of careers and are taking action to ensure they are an involved present parent. A recent study of millennial fathers found that nearly a third had changed jobs to improve the work/life balance and a further third were actively looking to change jobs. Employers who fail to offer better work/life balance to all parents risk losing their talent or being unable to recruit.
Ensuring that all parents and carers can access family-friendly working is accessible is a key tenet of our work. That is why we provide expert advice on the needs of dads and families, and support improvements to workplace culture.