UK – Research Information from the Fatherhood Institute

UK research papers highly relevant to practitioners – and research-participants wanted


Research papers . . …

1. African Caribbean fathers and Primary Care Services (University of Birmingham)

There is an increasing emphasis in health policy on PCTs engaging fathers in primary health care services. This qualitative exploratory study conducted on behalf of the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust examined the views and experiences of 46 African Caribbean fathers.

While few make use of preventive health services (many are simply unaware that they exist), the study found that these African-Caribbean fathers are not a ‘hard to reach’ group. The fathers were keen to be involved and proved passionate about the health and well-being of their children (including their mental well-being) – and the researchers identified a range of opportunities for improving engagement with them.

Summary report downloadable by clicking here.

For copies of the full report contact Dr Robert Williams.


2. Fathers of children with a learning disability (Foundation for People with Learning Difficulties)

In 2006, the Recognising Fathers project published its first report – Recognising Fathers: understanding the issues faced by fathers of children with a learning difficulty. That ground-breaking document, based on in-depth interviews with 20 fathers, is now followed by Recognising Fathers: a national survey of fathers who have children with learning difficulties (2009), written by Christine Towers, with 250 fathers surveyed.

This new report covers fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives, the impact on their relationships with families and friends, how support services interact with them, their need for employment support and the impact on their own health. Towers finds that while, in comparison with research from previous decades, some services are developing more opportunities for fathers to attend and participate in meetings, policies and practices in health and social care, as well as in employment, do not always acknowledge their ers’ caring responsibilities. The findings have implications for education, health and social care practitioners and policy makers for children with disabilities, as well as for employers and health workers, such as GPs, who have a role to play in supporting fathers as carers.

To download the report and access other information about fathers click here or contact Christine Towers.


3. Young fathers (University of Sussex, with Hove YMCA)

Starting from the position that young dads are not a ‘problem’ but are experts in their own experience, the Talking Dads project explored the views of a diverse group of nine young dads (25 yrs and under) in Brighton and Hove. Three of the young fathers helped decide the questions to be asked, and were trained to do the research interviews. Key findings from this very rich report include the diversity of the young dads’ experiences, the challenges they face (e.g. lack of resources, relationship pressures) and (as has been found in other studies) their powerful emotional responses to becoming fathers even at a very young age – and their commitment to fatherhood. The young men wanted more support from services, although many reported positive interactions with individual practitioners.

The project was funded by the Brighton and Sussex Community Knowledge Exchange, and the report should be of great interest to young fathers themselves, and to practitioners and policy makers.

To download the report click here.


Research participants wanted . . .


1. Stresses on couple relationships (Newcastle University, for DCSF)

We first told you about this study in May. Fathers have participated via the online survey we mentioned then – but the researchers are still looking for fathers (and mothers) to come to MEETINGS to discuss the support families need when parents are splitting up or living apart.

If you already run a group (either of dads, or of dads/mums) which the researchers could attend, or if you could set up a one-off event, the researchers would love to hear from you. The meeting would last about 2 hours. This might make a great discussion topic for an existing parents’ or fathers’ group; or maybe a Children’s Centre or a school or nursery would be happy to host such a meeting. No-one will be asked to identify themselves unless they choose to, or to talk about their personal circumstances.

To contact the researchers click here to email, or telephone 0191 222 7963 and talk to Jane, the project administrator. To find out more about the study click here.


2. Fathers who have experienced domestic violence (Bristol University)

A researcher at Bristol University School of Policy Studies, is looking for fathers who have experienced domestic violence, to share their views on services to support them and their children. The research is being supervised by Professor Gill Hague and John Carpenter. The questionnaire is completely anonymous (name and address are not required). Home Office research states that one in five men will be victims of domestic violence and two men every three weeks are killed by their partner.

By kindly sharing your experiences you will assist research to demonstrate the support that is needed to support fathers. The findings of the research will be shared with Children and Young Peoples Services and voluntary organizations to demonstrate fathers’ experiences of domestic violence.

To take part in the research you can either complete the questionnaire
online – click here – or simply write an account of your experiences of support that you have received or support that you are looking for – and either email this (click here) or post your answers to: Professor Gill Hague, 8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ.



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