If you’ve found engaging dads difficult you're not alone. Lots of practitioners and service providers have tried and failed, and some have just given up entirely. But making meaningful connections with dads is a lot simpler and more beneficial than you might imagine.
It's now widely accepted 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 close friendships, feel more confident and have a better sense of self esteem. And when dads are empowered as caregivers it’s not just children that benefit but women, families and society as a whole.
Whilst mums currently shoulder the bulk of childcare responsibility, we are in the midst of a quiet childcare revolution. More and more dads are putting family first and sharing the care with mum. In 2023, almost half (46%) of the 1,000 dads we surveyed were spending 25 hours per week playing with their children or helping them learn. A far cry from the 35 minutes per week by fathers in the 70s… and each year the numbers keep growing!
Despite this significant change, outdated stereotypes of dad as breadwinner and mum as caregiver stubbornly persist, meaning dads are often unintentionally overlooked and ignored by services. Yet far from adding to the load to overstretched practitioners, these positively involved fathers offer a fantastic opportunity. These dads can not only add an extra layer of support within the family unit but can also lighten your workload and become a valuable asset while doing so.
GET TO KNOW YOUR DADS
Join our Head of Training and Community Scott Mair for a FREE 1 hour session as he guides you through:
- The unique role positively involved dads play in supporting their children as they grow-up.
- The paradigm shift happening in childcare right now and the importance of engaging dads in service delivery.
- Some of the difficulties dads can face when engaging in family life and service.
- How an asset based approach to dads can help lighten your workload and improve your service.
If you are a professional working with families & children in Scotland...
Book your FREE slot now:
MAKE DADS FEEL MORE WELCOME & INCLUDED
We guarantee that by the end of this dynamic learning experience you will:
- Have learnt how you can make a big impact from small changes and be ready to start making dads feel more welcome and included in your practice or service.
- Feel more confident about connecting with the dads and the whole families.
- Have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role of fathers and father-figures in ensuring positive outcomes for children and families.
Our Team Half-Day Training costs just £550 per session.
With the kind support of the Scottish Government we are able to offer a number of FREE Bursaries to public and third sector organisations in Scotland.
These sessions will:
- Be tailored to meet your specific service or organisations needs.
- Be delivered to groups of between 6-14 participants, either from a single organisation, service or a multidisciplinary group based in one specific health board or local authority area.
- Take place at a time that suits your needs via Zoom (other video communication platforms and face-to-face training can be provided upon request).
Every registered participants will:
- Be supplied with a workbook to support their individual journey and accompanying materials in advance.
- Will receive a follow up email with useful links and tips relating to discussion.
Who will be training me?
Scott Mair is one of the UK’s leading lived experience specialists in paternal mental health. His drive to support new dads was ignited after his own mental health was impacted by several traumatic births and an absence of support when it was needed. His rich personal experience and depth of understanding gained from years of working with academics, practitioners and dads make these sessions unmissable for all perinatal professionals who want to get it right for every child.
To find out if you are eligible for a bursary, to discuss the training further or book a date, contact Scott:
What should I expect?
During this course Scott will step you through:
- Defining ‘dad’ and the new biological research which reveals the different and complementary parenting roles mums and dads play.
- The evidence showing the effects of positive father involvement and dad deprivation on children's wellbeing and life chances.
- How fathers and whole families fit into our National Policy to improve children's lives and outcomes.
- The positive difference involving dad has made to services and staff like yours.
Then through group discussions, interactive exercises and individual reflection you will have the opportunity to explore:
- Cultural stereotypes surrounding parenthood and masculinity.
- Common barriers to paternal engagement and how they might be affecting the dads you want to connect with.
- What small changes would help dads feel more included and welcome in your service.
- How individuals, teams and whole services can adapt their practice, and adopt new approaches.
- How to share new knowledge and positively influence colleagues.
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