Circle and The University of Edinburgh held a seminar pomoting the positive involvement of fathers in vulnerable families. Research was undertaken by Neil gentlemen, Circle’s Development Manager, and the report concluded that a positively involved father is likely to:

– have a positive perspective on the role of a father

– have a mutually respectful relationship with the mother of his children

– spend ‘quality time’ with them

– take an active role in his child’s interests

– receive support from his extended family

Research also found ways in which practitioners can support fathers’ positive engagement. When working with vulnerable families where fathers are not positively involved in the upbringing of their children, the focus of our efforts should be:

– To establish and maintain a positive relationship between parents

– To promote the ‘salience’ and ‘centrality’ of the ‘father’ identity – this will involve helping fathers to make sense of his experiences, how this influences the way he acts now and the impact his actions have on his children

– To encourage and support the development of shared interests increasing the opportunities for ‘sole care’ of the children.

– To provide individual and group opportunities for peer support

Many thanks to all those who attended, and contributed to the discussion.

Download the full report here.