‘Fathers need more support’ when it comes to looking after their children

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New fathers are not getting enough support and more should be done to ensure no parent is “left out” when it comes to looking after their children, a leading charity has warned.

Action for Children said almost half of Yorkshire parents, 46 per cent, agree that services for new and expectant parents do not offer enough help and support specifically for fathers.

A poll for the charity also showed more than over a quarter of parents across the region, 26 per cent, say they have a stronger relationship with their children than their other partner.

The charity runs 200 children’s centres across England including sites in Mirfield and Dewsbury.

Action for Children’s director of children’s services John Egan said: “Building relationships takes time and despite their best efforts bonding doesn’t always happen naturally for parents and children. Many families would benefit from specialist support and we know from our services that dropping in for a chat and attending support groups can help parents learn how to better connect with their children.”

One father of four from Ravensthorpe in Dewsbury, told the Reporter that he felt isolated and too embarrassed to seek help after winning sole custody of his children five years ago.

But after being supported by the Dewsbury East Action for Children centre, he has been helped to develop his parenting skills and now feels confident as a single dad.

He said: “When my marriage broke down after 18 years, and I eventually won custody of my children, it was a very difficult time.

“There was a lot to do, in terms of putting boundaries in place, but that’s where the Children’s Centre came in and helped.” Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk