Understanding Dad Training

Our Understanding Dad Training will help you adapt your service to make dads and partners feel involved and welcome - making a big impact from small changes.

Understanding Dad Training

Why is understanding dad important?

We all benefit when dads are empowered as caregivers: women, children, families and society as a whole. 


The evidence tells us just how important the role of dad is to the life chances of any child. 

Growing up with a supportive father helps children do better at school, form good friendships, feel more confident and have a better sense of self esteem. Unfortunately services for families and children often focus on engaging and supporting mum but tend to overlook dad, despite the fact that supportive father child relationships are equally important for boys and girls. So if our services are to be designed with the interests of children truly at the center, we must adapt so that all dads feel involved, welcome and engaged.

To find out more or book a date, contact our trainer Chris Miezitis: 

[email protected]

Who is Understanding Dad Training for?

Web_images_600x31560.jpgThe interactive workshop is aimed at professionals working with families with children - from pre-birth to young adults under 18. It can be tailored for delivery within a variety of contexts: team; organisational; sector; mixed. 

What should participants expect?

Participants will experience a dynamic learning experience, using a mixture of large and small group discussion, interactive exercises and individual reflection (with no role play!).

Learn about:

  • the compelling research which shows how both parents’ involvement improves children's wellbeing and life chances 
  • Common barriers to paternal engagement in family life and with service delivery.


  • Positive alternatives to cultural stereotypes  around parenthood and masculinity
  • How individuals, teams and whole services can easily adapt current practice, and adopt new approaches, 
  • How to share new knowledge and positively influence colleagues.

By the end of the course participants will have:

  • Identified specific, small changes to practice and policy that will ensure a more father inclusive approach to service delivery.
  • An improved understanding of the messages children, young people, families, practitioners and services give and receive about parenthood, families and the role of the father
  • Improved knowledge, skills and confidence to better engage male parents, carers and whole families successfully
  • Improved value and understanding of the role of the father and father figures in ensuring positive outcomes for children and families. 

How will the work be delivered?

  • Optimum number of participants: 6-14 (flexible)
  • Flexible time appropriate to your needs, either via Zoom or in person (dependent on current restrictions)
  • Participants will be supplied with the Understanding Dad Workbook and accompanying materials.
  • A 'Training the Trainers' session is available to help ensure local sustainability.

What difference does it make?


Our experience is that collectively, small changes in practice can result in a significant cultural shift towards consistently father-friendly services - whether that means tweaking publicity materials, auditing customer walk-in experience or simply asking dads for their feedback.

Fathers Network Scotland has been training professionals in Understanding Dad since 2018.During that time we have successfully trained over 1,500 professionals across Scotland including midwives, health visitors , teachers,mental health professionals, paediatric services,, early years professionals, social workers, prison officers and family workers.

When participants were asked to rate how valuable they had found the course, over 95% of participants highlighted the course as “extremely valuable to my role”. And 100% of participants could identify changes to make their services more father-inclusive.

Participants told us:

"Attending the Understanding Dad training has hugely changed our practice"

“This has made me aware of my own practice and realise how excluded dads can feel”.

“I’ve learned how a small change in practice can encourage dads to be involved in contacts we have with families”

“This training has had a positive impact on my engagement with dads. I think I now try to involve dads more” 

In 2021 the Scottish Government commissioned an external assessment of the impact of our training To read an executive summary of our Impact Assessment Report, click here. [Add link]

Next Steps

To find out more or book a date, contact our trainer Chris Miezitis: 

[email protected]