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The Dad Factor - Fathers Reading Every Day Creating Father-Inclusive settings.

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Presentation on theme: "The Dad Factor - Fathers Reading Every Day Creating Father-Inclusive settings."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dad Factor - Fathers Reading Every Day Creating Father-Inclusive settings

2 Creating Father-Inclusive Settings Why does father-inclusive practice matter?

3 It matters because… family life is changing and Policy and Legislation must keep up with CHANGES WITHIN FAMILIES and because fatherhood is changing: time, satisfaction and “absence”

4 Fatherhood is changing TIME More Fathers and Mothers want to share caring and working Higher involvement –UK fathers carry out 25% of childcare related activities during the week, and one-third at weekends. More where both parents work full-time (EOC 2003) Broader expectations –70% of men & women want fathers to be more involved (Twenty-first Century Dad; EOC 2006) –58% of men and 62% of women reject the male breadwinner role (Dads and their babies; EOC 2005)

5 Fatherhood is changing SATISFACTION In Sweden, high take up of parental leave by fathers is linked to lower rates of separation and divorce, as is parents’ more equitable sharing of earning and caring roles (Olah, 2001) The most stressed parents tend to be parents who operate traditional and unequal family and work roles (Cowan & Cowan, 2003)

6 Fatherhood is changing MOST FATHERS ARE PRESENT AT THE BIRTH At the time of the birth of a baby, 86% of couples are married or living together and 93% of these dads attend the birth Among the 14% of couples who live separately at the time of the birth –10% of the fathers attend the birth; –25% sign the birth certificate –25% are still in touch with mother/infant 9 months later (Kiernan & Smith, 2003)

7 Fatherhood is changing ABSENCE In the UK, 1 in 10 couples share the care of their children almost equally after separation; and among the rest 1 in 3 children see their fathers AT LEAST weekly (Peacey & Hunt, 2008)

8 Government Policy and Legislation …explicitly requiring engagement with fathers 1.The Children Act (1989, 2004) 2.The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DH, 2000) 3.The National Service Framework for Children, Young People & Maternity Services (DH/DfES, 2004) 4.Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) 5.Routine postnatal care of women and their babies (NIHCE, 2006) 6.The Equality Act (2006) 7.Maternity Matters (DH, 2007) 8.The Children’s Centre Practice/Planning/Performance Management Guidance (DfES, 2006; 2007) 9.Every Parent Matters (HM Treasury, 2007)

9 Government Policy and Legislation …explicitly requiring engagement with fathers 10.Aiming High for Children (HM Treasury/DfES, 2007) 11.Teenage Parenting Strategy & Guidance (DCSF, 2007; 2008) + Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group Annual Report (2008) 12.The Children’s Plan (DCSF, 2007) Children and Young People’s Workforce Strategy (DCSF 2008) 14.The Child Health Promotion Programme Update (DH, 2008) 15.SCIE guidelines for supporting parents (2008) 16.The Welfare Act (2009) 17.The Childcare Strategy (DWP, HM Treasury, DCSF, Cabinet Office, 2009) 18.Healthy lives, brighter futures: the strategy for children and young people’s health (DCSF, DH, 2009) 19.Getting Maternity Services Right for teenage mothers and young fathers (DH, DCSF, 2009) 20.Support for All (Green Paper on families) (DCSF, 2010)

10 The Equality Act (2006) I.Requires public bodies including health, education and those that commission children’s services to publish an action plan for promoting gender equality II.At the point of commissioning, a gender impact assessment is required, assessing the differential impact of the service on women and men III.Services must also gather information on how their services impact on men and women respectively, and consult with men and women who use them, in ways they find accessible

11 Ofsted: Outstanding Schools and Dads Equality of Opportunity “The school places the promotion of equality of opportunity at the heart of all of its work and its aspirations are understood and acted upon consistently at all levels. Consequently, the outcomes for pupils and their experience are positive and any unevenness between different groups is minimal or reducing rapidly Monitoring and evaluation are sophisticated and highly influential in maintaining and improving the school’s effectiveness. There is no evidence of discrimination and where there has been any evidence of inequality this has been tackled exceptionally well.”

12 The role of the father in child development

13 Fathers affect children “ GOOD ENOUGH DADS ” Some people say like father like son. But I think they are wrong. Like father like daughter. I’m exactly like my Dad. Not in looks – in personality. We both like fishing and picnics (Emma, Yr6) (DfES/Fathers Direct, 2003) You are my teddy at night (Naomi, Yr4) (DfES/Fathers Direct, 2003)

14 Fathers affect children “good enough dads” Children with highly involved fathers tend to have: –better friendships with better-adjusted children –fewer behaviour problems –lower criminality and substance abuse –higher educational achievement –greater capacity for empathy –non-traditional attitudes to earning and childcare –more satisfying adult sexual partnerships –higher self-esteem and life-satisfaction (for reviews see Flouri 2005; Pleck and Masciadrelli 2004)

15 Fathers affect children “ DIFFICULT DADS ” My dad... make me feel bad, (is) strict, not happy, frightens me, don’t care about me (12 year old) (Russell et al., 1999) I love my dad: loveable, fun, mean, unkind... I hate it when my dad comes home drunk that’s when he starts fighting with my mum (11 year old) (Russell et al., 1999)

16 Children tend to do badly when their father’s parenting is poor Behaviour problems in children are strongly associated with father-child conflict, or with the father being harsh or neglectful (Flouri, 2005; Phares,1999) Harsh parenting by fathers is linked with more aggression in children and adolescents than is harsh parenting by mothers (Flouri, 2005; Phares,1999) When fathers have been clinically depressed in the post-natal period their children (particularly boys) still tend to exhibit behaviour problems and other difficulties many years later (Ramchandani et al, 2005/2008)

17 “ NO DADS ” Dear Dad, I only see you once a week … Some small things I ask of you: please come to my school plays and come to parents’ evening to see how I’m getting on (12 year old) (DfES/Fathers Direct, 2003) Dear Father, I don’t say dear dad, because you have not been a dad to me, have you? My name is Daniel I am Rebecca Buck’s son. You might not remember my mother, but I think about you all the time (11 year old) (DfES/Fathers Direct, 2003)

18 “ NO DADS ” When children rarely or never see their fathers, they tend to –demonise or idealise them (Kraemer, 2005; Gorrell Barnes et al, 1998) –blame themselves for their absence (Pryor & Rodgers, 2001) –suffer substantial distress, anger and self-doubt (this is still found in young adults who ‘lost’ their fathers years before) (Fortin et al, 2006; Laumann-Billings & Emery, 1998)

19 The impact of father engagement on attainment, behaviour and wellbeing Schools and Early Years settings who have made a conscious decision to involve fathers more in their children’s learning and in the life of schools have seen striking results/impacts on the achievement, behaviour and wellbeing of children “In the UK, systematic inclusion of very vulnerable fathers in an Education Action Zone primary school resulted in some remarkable turnarounds in father-child relationships, including among non-resident fathers, accompanied by substantial improvements in some children’s school behaviour, interest in school and school achievement” (Mantle et al, 2006)

20 The impact of father engagement on disadvantage Children who live in poverty are very significantly affected by their fathers’ interest in their learning and this is particularly true for boys In 1992, British sociologists Dennis & Erdos found unemployed fathers’ support for their children’s education strongly connected with those children’s escape from disadvantage Blanden (2006) found low fatherly interest similarly predictive – in the other direction: a father’s low interest in his son’s education, for instance, reduces his boy’s chances of escaping poverty by 25%

21 Fathers impact on disadvantage Low interest by fathers in children’s education has a stronger negative impact on their achievement than does contact with police, poverty, family type, social class, housing tenure and child’s personality (Blanden, 2006)

22 Engaging Fathers in Learning Bashir Elmi, who has five children at Stag Lane school in North London.” “Before the project (with the school) I wasn't involved and I didn't know the level of my children's education. I didn't know the teachers well. Now when my kids come home from school we come together, eat, and do homework.”

23 The impact of fathers on reading Offer programmes of activities focused on fathers and children learning together Get fathers involved in reading and work with dads and children to revise the books in the library so they are appropriate for boys and girls British children say their fathers are the second most important people in their lives to inspire reading - second only to mothers (Clark et al, 2009)

24 Separated Families Fathers who are involved in their children’s early education have a significant impact on attainment and on future aspiration High father-involvement with 7-11 year olds is linked with better national examination performance at age 16. (Lewis et al1982)

25 Small changes settings can make Develop a rigorous registration and data-collection process which identifies the names and contact details of both parents including those in separated families Build excellent links with other provision (Health Visitors etc.) so that you establish relationships with children and their mums and dads before children join your setting Induct new mums and dads into to the life of the setting and give them specific ideas about what they could do to support learning and development

26 Small changes settings can make “Dear Dad, I only see you once a week … Some small things I ask of you: please come to my school plays and come to parents’ evening to see how I’m getting on. 12 year old (DfES/Fathers Direct, 2003)” Address all letters to children’s families “Dear Mum and Dad” and ensure separated families receive all correspondence and information too. Arrange parental consultations at flexible times to fit with the work patterns of working parents and to ensure that separated families were offered different appointment times.”


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