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YOUNG FATHERS Who they are . . . Why they matter. . . – and what you need to do about them Adrienne Burgess Brighton October 2010. “You’re not taught anything at school about it. I’ve only actually been a father for like two & a half
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Who they are . . .
Why they matter. . .
– and what you need to do about them
I’ve only actually been a father for like two & a half
years. I’m still a kid myself basically because I
have just turned 21 years of age. I still feel it’s hard
to be a father because there are lots of things to
be done; you have got to take them to the doctor’s,
things basically that are just so hard to learn,
it’s unbelievable. It’s equally as hard for me to
bring up my child as for my partner because we
live in separate homes . . . . but it’s absolutely,
it’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened
in my life and that is all I have got to say.”
BUT YOUNG FATHERS ARE VIEWED NEGATIVELY (and more negatively than young mothers)
• Quinton et al (2002) found young fathers ‘mostly ignored, marginalized or made uncomfortable’ by services, despite desire for information, advice and inclusion
• Bunting (2005) found health visitors perceiving young mothers’ parenting capacity as average to good, and the young fathers’ parenting capacity as poor – even though they knew very little about the young men (e.g. had not met them)
YOUNG FATHERS ARE MORE, NOT LESS, IMPORTANT TO THEIR CHILDREN THAN OLDER FATHERS BECAUSE . . .
A ‘good-enough’ father-child relationship is a
PARTICULARLY significant protective factor
in the face of other disadvantage, most noticeably
in vulnerable families – e.g. when the mother is young.
This is true, whether or not the parents live together
because we got more money
that way. Why would you
want to claim as a couple
and get less money?
It makes no sense!”
• Some gangs will leave a young man alone, once he becomes a father – especially if he moves away
• A young father’s involvement is likely to be LOW when his baby’s mother lives with her mother or gets lots of support from her
• A young father’s involvement is likely to be HIGH when
_ His own parents support him as a father
_ His girlfriend’s mother/father like/support him
_ His girlfriend gets on well with his family
_ His relationship with his girlfriend is stable
_ His girlfriend is good at relationships (empathic, accepting, a good communicator
WORKING WITH YOUNG FATHERS
Option A: Standard
A 2-day training
Option B: Accredited
A 3-day training .
Option C: Introductory
A 1-day training
You will find the references in the Fatherhood Institute’s FREE
Research Summary on YOUNG FATHERS at: