ScotlandOur local Home-Starts across Scotland support over 3000 families and nearly 6000 children very year. Our local community network of over 1000 trained volunteers work with families from before birth through to school age offering compassionate, confidential help to parents when they need us most. Our focus is on enabling parents and carers to be the warm, consistent and nurturing adults they want to be so that their children get the best possible start in life. Starting in the home our approach is as individual as the people we are helping – on most days of the week you will find teams of great parent to parent supporters involved in activities as diverse as offering one to one support around perinatal mental health problems, increasing breastfeeding through local support groups, getting children outdoors through gardening and messy play days, tackling the attainment gap in partnership with schools, bringing lonely or isolated parents together to forge new friendships and getting dads involved in antenatal workshops. Home-Start in Scotland brings the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to life by bringing family support to the parents and carers who need it most because childhood can’t wait. volunteer our work Contact us in Edinburgh BBC mum retake has us laughing, but should have us asking “what about dad?” Did you see the BBC Dad interview that went viral, showing the delightful predicament of lecturer-dad Robert Kelly being interviewed live while his children stole attention by running amok in shot? Now a New Zealand comedy television programme has created a 'what if that was mum?' skit for us to enjoy. It's easy to have sympathy and feel for dad's discomfort at managing the tension between responding professionally, maintaining his composure and still, just barely, being a dad in his own home. In the skit, we smile then laugh at the precision with which 'mum' pulls in the child (which was my instinct when watching the real dad) then segues into feeding, pacifying the child, checking the roast, ironing a shirt, cleaning the loo and closing the interview to head off on quest for a lost sock! We may smugly think dad has no idea, skewed priorities, or the confidence to get in touch with his inner dad at this given moment. Before we laugh dismissively at the status quo, we should think about dad's response and the conflicted state he finds himself in. At work here are the socio-cultural messages regarding entitlement to parent. Dad may as well be sharing these thought bubbles: what should I do? The professional is in contact with the personal: this should never happen! Can I include my child? Do I permit myself to pick the child up? I wish I didn't have to deal with this blurring of the lines! We should take a moment beyond the humour. The incident engenders - if we let it - more understanding about the constraints that masculinity imposes on readily accessing emotional connections. In the face of dad's two worlds colliding, the default is to do what's familiar, be in the place where socially we feel 'seen' and this goes for all of us. These reflections compounded after attending Father's Network Scotland's conference in Edinburgh last week on Strengthening Father-Child Relationships. A discussion amongst academics and practitioners alighted on the social crises of dads to gain confidence to be the best dad they can be and throw off received status as second class parents. In the room there was resounding acknowledgement that we have a collective responsibility to carry this message forward and live it by ignoring the barriers and historic assumptions in public arenas and legitimising dads' involvement. Neither the world nor dad will break down if dad claims the entitlement to blur the lines. So that he can be man, worker and dad (not necessarily in that order!) and not be afraid to show it. Home-Start UK is committed to working more effectively with more dads and male carers in Scotland. Since 2016's Year of the Dad, the programme is expanding and helping men to gain insight and confidence in parenting through support and to find ways,that are right for them, to be fulfilled dads. To find out how and where we are working with Dads: https://www.home-start.org.uk/working-with-dads Annie Woodman is Programme Development and Communications Manager for Home-Start UK in Scotland. Annie volunteered with Home-Start North East Edinburgh and Leith for three years whilst her children were in their early years. She has a background in film and visual arts marketing and PR.