Trust for the Study of Adolescence

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Supporting Young Fathers Network

Home » Reaching Young Fathers » General - Learning Points

'At the start of a project offer bite-size projects or activities so that there isn't an expectation that the young dads have to commit forever.'

Learning points:
  • Building networks is essential - these can be formal (e.g. through local agencies) or more informal (e.g. meeting mothers picking their children up from school). Amongst others, projects and agencies in Bradford, Lewisham, Norwich, Halifax, Leeds, Rotherham, Brighton and Hove, Sunderland, and Hull all report that accessing young fathers through their female partners, has been a successful recruitment strategy.
  • Agencies are an important source of referral but care needs to be taken to ensure referrals are appropriate and fit with the services being offered. Practitioners need to be able to explain clearly what the benefits of the young fathers work are, and for whom (e.g. the young father, the child, or both?).
  • 'Word of mouth' is probably the best means of recruitment but relies on at least some young fathers having positive experiences and then passing on that information (Featherstone, no date). T-BAG in Halifax has relied on this almost exclusively as young parents pass on their experiences to others.
  • Material (flyers, booklets, posters, packs etc) should explain clearly what the benefits of the services being offered are for young fathers (and their children) i.e. why they might want to get involved. The Great Yarmouth Young Men's Project and the Mancroft Advice Project in Norwich have developed a comprehensive information pack for young fathers (the Norfolk Young Fathers Fact Pack). The pack details the support available and how to access it, and provides clear information and advice on a number of varied topics (e.g. legal, paternity tests, child-care, relationships, benefits etc).

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