General Article More support needed for teen dads, charities warn

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting
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We need to stop treating fathers like optional extras and help teen dads play a bigger part in their children’s lives, leading family charities have said today.

Are we nearly there yet, Dad? (1), a report by the Family Strategic Partnership (2), warns that a culture shift is needed in ‘mother-centred’ family services which often treat dads as invisible. Currently services across the board, from pregnancy care to housing support, are driving fathers apart from their children through a ‘culture where fathers are not valued’.

Issues include:

  • a failure by maternity services and children’s centres to even ask about fathers (3),
  • local authority housing benefit rules that prevent dads from accommodating their children (4),
  • a widespread lack of basic local authority data on the numbers and profile of teen fathers (5).

The report, which has been funded by the Department for Education, calls for an ‘attitudinal shift’ in statutory services such as prisons, schools and health service...

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