By Kate Harris, CFF Project Manager
We have had the privilege of working with a number of young fathers to be through our antenatal work with young parents, delivering the Bumps to Babies programme.
What always strikes me is their thirst for knowledge. I get a real sense that they want to learn all they can in order to get it “right” for their babies and partners. Often feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility and pressure.
Young fathers tell me they sometimes feel a little left out. Their perception is that services appear to be aimed at the pregnant woman. Over the last year this will definitely have been exacerbated. As women had to attend appointments, scans etc. on their own due to the understandable restrictions to keep us all as safe as possible. But this has meant fathers have felt even more excluded.
A recent workshop I attended focused on how services can support young fathers and we were shown these videos of men sharing their experiences of being a young father:
We are really proud of the number of young fathers to be who have accessed our antenatal sessions, reporting they felt welcome and at ease. But we can always do more. We have a real opportunity to actively seek out and invite young fathers to be to the sessions. Making it explicitly clear it’s a service for them to gain knowledge and build their confidence in practical and emotional parenting skills. We are going to grab that opportunity with both hands, so watch this space!