Giving every dad the support he needs to be a great dad at every stage of fatherhood will help us transform the ways our city works for everyone.
In 2011 we will launch a Fatherhood Taskforce – which we hope to do in partnership with the city’s existing Supporting Fathers Network. The overriding objectives of the Supporting Fathers Taskforce would be:
- To identify where the word parent occurs in every local strategy and policy and help the city begin to relate to and identify the distinct needs of male parents and female parents
- To ensure that all dads have equal opportunities to access all relevant services for parents, to identify the barriers that dads face and to take action to address these barriers
- To support and develop initiatives to help boys grow up to be excellent fathers/partners (and girls to be excellent mothers/partners)
- To promote shared parenting from the earliest stages of pregnancy (and before) in line with the Government’s new equalities strategy
- To help and support separated dads to be involved in their children’s lives
Ensuring that fathers can be involved throughout their children’s lives is the foundation of building a society with strong male social capital. In simple terms, children with involved fathers live safer, happier, healthier lives. When a dad is involved their sons and daughters will do better at school, be less likely to be involved in crime and be more likely to provide stable family relationships for their own children. All of this is particularly true for boys, who are the next generation of dads.
Our intention is to actively include fathers in every strand of our work so we can create a city that is proudly positive about dads. We will do this with the help of our emerging Dads Connect project to help fathers of all backgrounds and at all stages of fatherhood to be more involved with their children’s lives and be more connected to other dads.
Our ulimate aim is Brighton & Hove to become the world’s most dad-friendly city and make it the place to go” for Fathers’ Day in the way that, Lewes is “the place to go” for Bonfire Night and Lourdes is the “the place to go” for religious healing.
The ten objectives we’d like the Supporting Fathers Taskforce to consider delivering are:
|Develop Dads Connect a year round initiative providing dads with a calendar of opportunities to connect with other dads and their kids|
|Developing a Dads In Schools network that ensures every school has an ambassador who can act as a liaison point between schools and dads|
|Develop drop in services for dads that can signpost to a variety of services|
|Work with fathers’ groups and the family law sector to develop an advice and support service for dads|
|Work with maternity services and other partners like NCT to develop services for new dads|
|Create a peer to peer support group for separated couples to support and mentor couples going through separation|
|Develop a “Dadvocates” mentoring and support programme for dads to help other dads at all stages of fatherhood|
|Develop the Homes For Fathers project to provide support to separated dads and their children who have housing issues|
|Develop the provision of men’s groups for dads|
|Develop support services for young fathers, in particular those connect with the Teenage Mothers targeted by the council|