Confidence & Understanding
There are over 1000 Young Dads (aged 16-25) in Edinburgh yet we are one of only two organisations that directly support this group. Our aim is to give the young men the skills and confidence to enjoy the experience of being a father.
Each young man has different skills and needs. Our Young Dads program is a 1:1 service tailored to the individual. First we get to know the man and his situation, then develop a program with them to build their confidence and range of skills. Some of the support package is direct from Dads Rock, other aspects may be provided by external organisations with specific expertise.
The sort of areas we cover may include looking after their own physical and mental health, supporting Mum, feeding babies and young children, looking after babies and toddlers, help with how and why to play with their children, econmonic management, being an organised Dad, and how to seek help. For some much of this will be new and will help them to cope with an enormous change in their lives. Others may already have such understanding but want help in other ways.
We want our Young Dads to become mentors in their own right to the next generation of Young Dads. Building on a key point highlighted by Barnardo's in a 2012 report, that said: 'Young Dads are more likely to access information to support their transition to fatherhood if services are recommended by word of mouth (for example by other fathers). In addition they will respond well to advice from other fathers their own age.'
You can self refer to our Young Dads support, we also take referrals from other organisations.
We helped Ben find parenting classes to attend and with our support Ben had his time with the boys extended to include unsupervised time over the weekend and overnight visits.
We also supported Ben though an extremely difficult time when he was accused of domestic abuse from his ex-partner. The charge had no effect on the social work review that recommended that Ben would get full access to the children.
Our project worker attended the Children’s Panel to support Ben and his family. The main decision made during this meeting was that Ben was awarded the title of ‘relevant person’ for Craig. (After Ben split up with the boys’ mother it was discovered that Craig is not Ben’s son but he still considers him as his own child). This means that it is now a legal requirement for Ben to be present in any hearing involving Craig. Before this, the decision on Craig’s custody could be made without Ben being present.
Shortly after this meeting the children went to stay with Ben on a trial basis for just over a week. It was then agreed at a second Children’s Panel meeting that Ruaridh and Craig would live with him full time.
Dads Rock has supported Bens family including many phone calls with Ben’s Mother who has struggled throughout. We have supported her, and in doing so supported Ben.
At the time of writing, we have been working with Ben for 5 months and will continue to support him through this period and beyond so he has the skills and confidence he needs to enjoy the experience of being a Dad and help give the boys the best possible start in life.
(The names in this case study have been changed, but the case remains the same).
Ben is a 20-year-old young Dad currently living with his mum and stepdad near Edinburgh. His two children, Ruaridh (3) and Craig (2), now live with him full time.
The children’s mother suffers from poor mental health and has been diagnosed with bi-polar so she is often in and out of hospital. Social work became involved after an anonymous phone call was made on the wellbeing of the boys and they were sent to live with their grandfather. Ben had no access to his children between the break up and the involvement of the social work team who then arranged for him to attend a one hour supervised visit a week with both boys.
Dads Rock became involved in the case after a phone call from Ben’s mother. She felt he needed support to get through this difficult time and struggled to find anyone to help.
When our Dads Rock project worker first met Ben, he and the boys’ mother were to undergo a parenting review from the social work department. The result of which would be taken to the Children Panel to help them decide what should happen to the boys.
Ben really wanted to get full access to both his children. Our Dads Rock project worker attended the parenting review meetings with Ben in a supportive capacity. We helped him make sense of the feedback from the parenting review and how he could implement the advice given to him.