Understanding Dad


A workshop that aims to enable participants to consider the implications of their practice on the role of fatherhood.

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

[email protected]


Fathers have an important role to play in their children’s developmental outcomes. A consensus is emerging that we now need to move from having to prove the value of fathers to designing services that include rather than exclude them.

Our successful and well-evaluated three-hour workshop, originally created and piloted by Fife’s Improving Dads Engagement Partnership – is designed to help practitioners and services identify a more inclusive approach to their practice and service delivery.

Our experience is that collectively, small changes can result in a 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.

Participants have said:

"Attending the Understanding Dad training has hugely changed our practice" - read case study!

“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”

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will have:

  • Developed their ability to identify aspects of their practice they intend to change to be more father-inclusive
  • An improved understanding of the messages children, young people, families, workers and services give and receive about parenthood, families and the role of the father
  • Improved knowledge, skills and confidence to better engage male parents and carers successfully
  • Improved value and understanding of the role of the father and father figures

What to Expect

Understanding Dad is an interactive workshop that can be tailored for delivery within a variety of contexts: team; organisational; sector; mixed.

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

Participants will have the opportunity to explore their own practice, share ideas and good practice with others using a variety of approaches.

Participants will learn about the evidence, research and policy context of the importance of fatherhood in the development of children.

Group exercises will actively explore applying these principles to current professional roles and sharing the experience in the workplace.

The Understanding Dad Training invites you to ask yourself

  • Why do I want to engage dads and male carers?
  • How do I know how to successfully engage dads and male cares?
  • Do I engage dads in a meaningful and purposeful way, responding to their strengths and abilities, needs and own experiences?
  • Do practitioners, managers and services understand and value the importance of the role of a father?
  • What does family, parenthood and fatherhood mean to me?
  • What is my influence, responsibility and role in ensuring a more father inclusive practice?

How Delivery will work

Target Audience: Anyone working with antenatal, children, young people, families or communities.

Optimum number of participants: 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.


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

Health Visitor, Central Fife Team, 2016, six months after participation in Understanding Dad.

Training Evaluation

When participants were asked to rate how valuable they had found the course they had attended, over 95% of participants highlighted the course was “extremely valuable to my role”. To read an executive summary of our Impact Assessment Report, click here.

Next Steps

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

[email protected]