According to Rob Williams – who will be a key speaker at the First National Conference for Men and Boys to be hosted in Brighton & Hove in November (click here details), public services are fostering a culture of fatherlessness in the UK by failing to engage with fathers.
“David Cameron has identified fatherlessness as one root cause of the riots in August. He’s got a point – children who do not get support from their fathers are much more likely to get into trouble with the law in their teenage years and to misuse drugs and alcohol.
“Public services communicate almost exclusively with mothers. They don’t even ask about the dads, let alone see it as their role to engage with him. We treat children as if they only have one parent thus fostering the very culture of fatherlessness we claim to abhor.
“Who challenges GPs, schools, children’s centres and other family support services to have more than the mothers’ details on their registration forms? Nobody.
“With the notable exception of the Child Support Agency, no publicly funded service will ever suggest to [separated fathers] that they have something to offer their children – in the CSA’s case, of course, that something being money. No-one asks fathers to stay involved. Quite the opposite – fathers are often the last people services look to when seeking to support a child.
“Right now politicians might find it convenient to blame ‘fatherless’ families for social unrest but unless they change the system that pushes fathers away, it won’t be long before Ministers need to start pointing the finger at themselves.”
To read Rob’s full statement on fatherlessness visit the Fatherhood Institute blog by clicking here.