Welcome to Dads House
There are currently over 2 million non residential dads in the UK and over 200,000 raising their children alone.
In London alone there are 20,000 dads who are the main carers for their children.
We have seen a huge change in society and these figures are expected to rise dramatically in the next 5 years.
After raising his own son from an early age, William realised that there was very little support for fathers.
Although there was a number of organisations available to help parents, there was no support for the practicle side, no one to meet up with for a coffee and chat, people that would have an understanding on their struggles.
It was Billy's dream create a charity that could offer the support needed by single dads.
Since Dads House launched in 2008, our reputation has grown within many organisations, local authorities and the UK Government, who often contact Dads House to help with various topics.
In 2013 Dads House launched in Kent. Our 5 year plan going forward is to have Dads House branches accross th UK, enabling us to help and support as many single fathers as possible.
Where I am in Wales with my son, it really feels like spring has come a little early, with sunshine, blue skies and even some early daffodils. However, I am still looking at this screen as rather a busy bee!!!
One thing I have been doing has been some research into social work and single fathers. While it would clearly be boring for me to go into this in too much detail, a couple of points are hopefully interesting.
Firstly, the research that is out there suggests single fathers have not really been included within research into how social work is experienced by children and their parents and families. Does this reflect single fathers’ relative invisibility in welfare debates more generally? None of the research I found was from the UK!
Secondly, the research that has been done suggests that social workers did not effectively understand the needs or strengths of single fathers, and did not effectively engage with them. The research portrayed that the views of social workers towards single fathers were at least partly based on common gender stereotypes and that they most likely unintentionally alienated single fathers from suitable social work support.
Engagement with single fathers was not great and supported offered tended to follow gendered lines, with single fathers assessed as needing support to return to work for example. The research painted a picture that single fathers experienced challenging systems and practices when engaging with social work and could experience social work as alienating and unattentive to their needs. Having stated this, it is important to say that pockets of more inclusive practice were found!
As single fathers, we sometimes stray from the norms of society, which still places the burden of care for children on mothers. This means we can sometimes be othered and seen as different as men and as parents, leading to alienation and being left out. Have you experienced this, in life or in your contact with social work?
Social work with single fathers is clearly an area that needs to be researched further. Such research needs to look into how social workers can be supported to effectively work with single fathers and how single fathers can effectively engage with social work support. Any future research should ask questions of what changes can be anticipated if it is undertaken and how can these changes be taken forward for the benefit of single fathers and their children.
Do take care all and please do share your views and experiences on this important topic.
- Plan ahead.
- Don't put pressure on children to choose between their parents.
- Listen to the children.
- Be positive about children spending time with both parents.
- Communicate in advance with your ex.
- Involve the extended family where appropriate.
- Look after yourself.
Dads House Dads & Kids Breakfast club is held every Saturday 9am to 11am
Worlds End Under 5's Centre
18 Blantyre Street
Come along and meet other dads, Let the Children play and take part in many of our fun activities whilst enjoying breakfast and a hot beverage, Since we relaunched the breakfast club in Jan 2018, we have welcomed over 100 Dads and their children.