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Supporting dads to be the best they can be

21 June 2015

To celebrate Father’s Day, Pauline Wonders from the Tyne Gateway Trust, tells us how their Lads and Dads project is helping young fathers become confident parents and positive role models.

On Father’s Day it’s important to remember that some fathers struggle to find the support they need to improve their parenting skills and gain access to their children.

Pauline-Wonders---Tyne-Gateway-TrustWe recently received funding from the Big Lottery Fund, to help young dads in North and South Tyneside develop into the best fathers possible so that their children can grow up with a good male role model. The idea of the project came from previous work and feedback from parents in disadvantaged communities.

Many of these young dads haven’t had a role model themselves and have faced a range of difficulties, such as a lack of confidence in their parenting, the result of which is their children grow up without the benefit of joint parenting or with no dad in their lives.

David is a local father who was forced to give up work to look after his four-year old son after his partner moved out of the family home. The child’s mother has regularly missed contact visits and the little boy’s behaviour and confidence has been affected as a result. Tyne Gateway supported David with parenting skills, money management, self-esteem, boundaries and routines and also to be the link between school and home.

David felt very alone himself and lacked confidence to attend training or seek employment but with Tyne Gateway’s support he has taken positive steps to improve his parenting and take responsibility for his own future.

Scott is a local father of a six-year old. He recently moved back to South Tyneside after suffering domestic abuse from his ex-partner, who had severe drug and alcohol addictions, and having to fight for full custody of his child, which he won. He was also still grieving for his eldest daughter who was murdered a few years ago and felt isolated and helpless with nobody to turn to. With the support of Tyne Gateway he has undertaken a number of activities and services, is now confident and has developed a good healthy bond with his child.

Both David and Scott now look to support others in Tyne Gateways new project.

Academic and anecdotal research tells us that a child’s life chances improve significantly where they are jointly parented so the Lads and Dads project will support dads like David and Scott. It will help dads learn how to look after children in their care and build relationships with the child’s mother so joint parenting can be managed without stress or tension impacting the child.

Lads and Dads is currently supported by a three year Reaching Communities Grant of £424,268, to see how it can help you, please visit our website.

For more information on Tyne Gateway Trust please visit: www.tynegateway.co.uk

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