How the Budget will affect Young Fathers
The changes outlined in the Autumn Statement last year and what we expect on Wednesday in the full budget will have a significant and disproportionate impact on young fathers.
We already know that the welfare spending cap will cut support for all low income families. The freeze on Child Benefit will mean two child families will lose more than £1,000 by 2015. Tax credit cuts have already lost some families over £2,000. It means the poorest 10% of all families can expect to see their incomes drop by 4.9%. With 100’s of Sure Start Centres already closed down and closure of free places to take children such as libraries non resident fathers with limited . The impact of the change to housing benefits and the general squeeze on housing is forcing some young fathers to move further away from their children.
The impact of these changes will be felt the most by young fathers, who have already faced struggles in getting specific services and a change in attitudes, only to find these services taken away.
WWM has worked directly with young fathers for more than two decades and our experience has shown that young fathers need specific and targeted support to strengthen and increase their engagement with their child, whether they are with the mother or not. Young fathers need long term support, not short fixes to move them forward and benefit themselves as well as wider society. We need to invest now in these young fathers, their children and their futures. Research has shown that the more positvely engaged a father is with their child, the better the life chances for that child, whether the parents are together or not. Putting off spending money now on fathers will only delay the problems further down the line.
What WWM would like to see in the budget
Our work has shown the importance of father’s specific services and we would urge the government to take the brave step of not reducing this important funding. Services in general are finally recognising the importance and need for fathers specific services and we are gradually seeing a shift in attitudes and what were deemed as previously mothers services are now being embraced by fathers. But more spending cuts will turn this progress around.
WWM would like to see protected, ring fenced budgets for working with fathers and designated workers in key services such as Sure Starts and Midwifery departments for engaging with and promoting the importance of fathers and their role with their children.
Separating Fathers Study
A study by WWM and DWP, Collaborative Parenting: Barriers Faced by Separated Fathers, shows how a lack of opportunities and money has an effect on fathers mental health and their ability to stay involved with their child. Fathers are less likely than mothers to access services, and there is evidence to suggest that fathers’ needs are not addressed by existing services. Young fathers are one of the least likely to access support. The report found that when the fathers are in a difficult financial situation, it feeds back into negative psychological consequences, exacerbating feelings of low self-esteem and low confidence. This increases conflict with the child’s mother and can lead to reduced contact with their child.______________________________________________________________________________________________________
WWM become Joint Secretariat for the APPG on Fatherhood
Working with Men, the charity that supports positive male engagement in families and society, has just become the joint secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood.The charity, which was shortlisted in last year’s Charity Awards, will join the Fatherhood Institute as joint secretariat for the APPG.
Good News!!! All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood
This last year has been a very good one for WWM and we would like to thank everyone that has supported us during this time. We are pleased to announce that we have been asked to become joint secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood (APPG)
We will be using this opportunity to put political parties in touch with people and organisations relevant to the future development of father inclusive practice in the UK. If you think that this is you or your organisation, please feel free to get in touch with us at:
Page 1 of 5