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Bringing Fathers In: resources for advocates, practitioners and researchers from the Fatherhood Institute

Bringing Fathers In is a series of smart, punchy, evidence-based information sheets backed up with a series of online research summaries. The information sheets, developed by the Fatherhood Institute in collaboration with Men Care and supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, are designed to print in A3 format for use as posters – or in A4. They, and the supporting research summaries, are intended for an international audience of health, education and social care professionals, policy makers, programme managers and designers, researchers and evaluators. Here are some examples of the nuggets contained within:

  • Pregnant women eat and live more healthily when their partner supports them, so don’t give health messages only to women – make sure the dads ‘get the message’ too.
  • Men who understand the risk of pregnancy complications will support their partner’s use of appropriate services, so make sure fathers, uncles, brothers and community leaders understand why professionally-supported childbirth is the safest option.
  • In Sweden, an increase in fathers’ share of parental leave countrywide over time was paralleled by a downward trend in children’s injury rates (age 0-4 years).
  • Five-year-olds with two supportive parents score higher on language development than those with one or no supportive parents.

4 topic sheets focus on ‘why’ to engage dads, 5 topic sheets focus on ‘how’ to engage dads effectively and all topic sheets are backed up by free online research summaries and a resources list

Engaging and supporting fathers to promote breast feeding: a concept analysis

Empirical evidence demonstrates that fathers have a strong influence on a mother’s decision to initiate and continue breast feeding. However, no clear delineation of what behaviours and attributes constitute father support or differentiate it from other kinds of support is provided in the current literature.

All Babies Count: The Dad Project- NSPCC

Through the Dad Project, NSPCC looked at how they could strengthen the relationships between dads, their child and his or her mother, and the services that work with them during pregnancy and the year after a baby is born. The project was run by the NSPCC, with support from the Design Council and funding from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. Our goal was to explore how we could improve information, advice and support for dads in order to promote their emotional wellbeing and help them to achieve better outcomes for their families.

ENGAGING FATHERS

This is systematic review authored by Adrienne Burgess, Joint CEO and Head of Research at Fatherhood Institute, and colleagues at Yale University,  which identifies programmes that have engaged fathers, either on their own or within the couple.  Just because some interventions in the Table in this review are father-only, it does not mean that engaging with fathers separately from mothers is the best option.  On the contrary, this can be as problematic as engaging with mothers alone. But they are cited in this review because some of the evidence derives from such programmes.