Karen Bateson explains the importance of engaging dads in social work practice and shares tips on how to improve the way we work with them
Last year, the Dad Network ran a #dadsforchange campaign highlighting the frustration that many dads face in not being able to access baby changing facilities in many of the UK’s top high street restaurant chains and retailers. The campaign was often met with shock, not about this gender discrimination against men but about the fact that dads actually want to change nappies.
Yes, of course dads want to change their children’s nappies and that’s not all they want to do. They also want to take their children to baby and toddler groups, be present at antenatal appointments, do the school run and generally be respected for their important role in their children’s and families’ lives.
But the Dad Network’s campaign showed how easily dads can still become side-lined. In a social work context we need to make sure that we aren’t excluding them from the work we’re doing with families.
In this blog, I will be discussing the importance of working with dads and sharing some simple ways to ensure they are included in practice whenever possible.