About 'Caring Dads'
Caring Dads is a group intervention programme aiming to help fathers improve their relationship with their children. It helps dads learn how to spend time with children in healthy ways, and understanding the impact on children of controlling, abusive and neglectful actions, which include witnessing domestic violence. The programme is evidence-based, was developed in Canada and has been refined over the last 10 years.
Staff at St Michael's trained to deliver the Caring Dads programme and conducted a pilot between March and October 2015 for young fathers in Lambeth. St Michael's offered one to one support with both fathers and mothers, which has enriched our understanding of the potential of this intervention with younger participants.
A report on this pilot and next steps can be downloaded below.
Building on this experience we now run a Caring Dads programme for both young and older dads.
Being a Caring Dad
A father talks about the impact of the programme on his relationship with his daughter
There are fathers out there twice my age that can’t do the things that I have learnt to do
I’m 18-years old, one of the fathers at the Caring Dads project and the father of a one-year old daughter. What we mainly learn is how to be a better father; we learn things such as how we can play with our daughter and how we can help them expand on their cognitive skills with educational toys.
My experience of playing with my daughter was sitting her on my lap and letting her watch me play on the Playstation but this wasn’t a correct way to play with her because I wasn’t teaching her anything.
At Caring Dads I’ve become aware of many things people my age aren’t aware of and has been a great positive impact on me as I used to be quite a negative person. But now I have learnt I need to meet my daughter’s needs and how I can improve on this.
Every word that the project worker says in our sessions is always constructive towards me being a better parent instead of being lectured on what we’re doing wrong. I can tell you that every other parent that goes to Caring Dads enjoys the sessions and the knowledge they gain.
There are fathers out there twice my age that can’t do the things that I have learnt to do and it makes me feel so well prepared for when I see my child. I know what I should and shouldn’t be doing.
Inspecting St Stephen's Church of England Primary School & Children's Centre in Stockwell in May 2015, Ofsted inspectors talked at length to a Caring Dad and member of St Michael's staff delivering the programme about the process and impact. In their report, they stated:
"St Michael's Fellowship programmes strengthen parenting for vulnerable young parents and safeguard their children exceptionally well. The work is extraordinarily powerful in changing young men and women's attitudes to gangs and offending; it improves their relationships and helps them to sustain the care of their children safely."
We can also offer organisations acredited Caring Dads training so their teams can deliver the Caring Dads programme. For more information contact Elaine