“You just have to keep pushing to get me through the door. Now I’m here I’ll never be away!

Supported dad, Fife.

We are all about better outcomes for children. Research shows children with involved dads do better. We are on a mission to help dads, grandads and other male carers connect with the children in their lives.

That starts with making sure that we know how men feel about the sort of help that’s on offer. Many men feel excluded right from the start because midwives and health visitors focus so much on mums. In the last year we’ve tried new ways of bringing men into Home-Start’s support work and we’ve had some great feedback.

We are learning to place more value on men’s experiences and changing the way we work to better reach out to them. That includes aiming to recruit, train and deploy more men to be our home-visiting volunteers, to help run play-focused groups and keep us on track as trustees.

But it also means going the extra mile. At Home-Start Glenrothes the team is still being given mums as the main contact by referrers but they have completely changed their approach:

‘Now we write to both mums and dads and this has really improved the outcome of dads meeting us at our initial visit. This has made a big difference: where in the past they’ve not been there or made themselves scarce, they now feel included in our work,’ J. Tydeman, Senior Coordinator, Home-Start Glenrothes.

This is a vital shift. It’s not just that it is good for children, many dads really want it.

“I’m finding it hard too and I don’t have anyone to talk to…Don’t tell me to support her better, help us support each other better. We’re supposed to be a team and when we’re both kind of falling apart a little bit, we need someone who is going to help us get through this together…Don’t see me as a problem, don’t make me feel like I’m not ‘good enough’. I’m just a new dad and I struggle too.

Supported Dad, Home-Start Glenrothes

If you want to help us meet the challenge of supporting more dads or want some help yourself you can find your nearest Home-Start here.

You can also help to support this work by sharing your experiences using social media.

Follow us on Facebook @Home-Start UK Scotland and Twitter @HSScotland and use #whataboutdad or share reflections of what you learnt from your own father using #dadtaughtme