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The importance of engagement: Men in children’s lives Facilitator: Beki Horton Children’s Centre Team Leader Co facilitator Jo-Ann Perry –Straker Children’s.

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Presentation on theme: "The importance of engagement: Men in children’s lives Facilitator: Beki Horton Children’s Centre Team Leader Co facilitator Jo-Ann Perry –Straker Children’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 The importance of engagement: Men in children’s lives Facilitator: Beki Horton Children’s Centre Team Leader Co facilitator Jo-Ann Perry –Straker Children’s Centre assistant

2 Background Worked in Children Centres for 12 years Developed Father’s groups, Parenting groups Child Protection, CAF, Triple P, working with fathers and step fathers

3 Headlines ! Khyra Ishaq aged 7 starved and beaten by mother and step father: SCR found a catalogue of missed opportunities, better assessments and more effective communication could have been stopped. Aalihya Jordan – Fellows suffered severe head injuries, uncle convicted of manslaughter, flaws found in assessments carried Baby P died in August 2007 after months of abuse and a series of failings by Haringey Council. His mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and their lodger have all been jailed. Murder of newborn baby killed by his mother’s partner SCR in progress Tia Sharpe aged 12 killed by her grandmother’s partner Keanu Williams aged 2 his mother and partner beat him to death

4 Barriers to engaging fathers In small group exercise, 5 minutes, what do you think are the barriers or difficulties to engaging and assessing fathers and father figures? Feedback

5 Research Engaging with fathers, step fathers and males in families where children are at risk is serious business, and is central to saving lives!! “Serious case reviews repeatedly find that although men around a child who died had posed a risk, this had not been identified upon: and that men who could have been a resource often had information which agencies would have found helpful in understanding the child’s situation, if only they had been in touch or had been listened to” (OFSTED,2011 Brandon et al,2011) Baby P lessons are STILL not learned: Medical staff failing to spot signs of child abuse Ofsted says doctors and nurses often place too much emphasis on the mother's needs Report says role of abusive fathers has been ignored

6 Research “Government guidance in working together (chapter 5 paragraph ) says the assessment should look at the parent’s capacity to meet the needs and what support, if any, they require from the local authority to do this. The aim is to provide support which will help the whole family to care for the child, therefore whether or not the birth father or a father figure has Parental Responsibility, he should be involved in the assessment and planning process and be told what is happening.” “Some of the men who pose the greatest risk to a child and /or who can be a resource to the child are men who are playing a fatherly role in that they have day to day access to the child but do not have Parental Responsibility. These men should NOT be ignored, they should be taken seriously as birth fathers.”

7 Parental Responsibility What is parental responsibility? Does a birth father automatically have parental responsibility for his child? Can a non-biological father figure acquire parental responsibility? What difference does it make to the father if he has parental responsibility? What if there are objections to the father acquiring parental responsibility? What difference does it make to Children’s Services if a father has parental responsibility? Why should social workers engage in routine practice with men who do NOT have parental responsibility

8 Professional practice How do we engage effectively to assess Importance of seeking views early enough and identifying needs Parental status Importance of engaging with men who don’t have parental rights Engaging in assessments at all levels Co-ordinated approach for all professions Discussing with mothers the importance of engaging Managing risk Ask those difficult questions Observe what you can see and what you can’t Be confident Ensure fathers are invited to meetings The impact on children

9 Tools for assessing Identify early enough Co-ordinated approach Talking Listening Observe and record Using genograms and eco maps Look at the wider picture

10 Genograms and Eco map Group activity With information given start to build a picture for the child Female Male Married Unmarried relationship Divorce Separation Conflictual relationship Strong bond Relationship broken Death Pregnancy Adopted Miscarriage Gender unknown Twins Member of household – living away (prison, school)

11 Useful websites and-duties-of-local-authorities.pdf parental-responsibility d/ dom-en.pdf


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