Briefing Papers and Reports

Briefing Papers and Reports

Our briefing papers and reports provide short, accessible overviews of our findings. These include:

  • a short, 8-part report series providing an overview of the study findings published in December 2023,
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young fathers and the professionals that support them and
  • the mental health pathways of young fathers.

You can access these findings below:

Final report series (2020-2024)

You access the full list of reports below this list.

Site image
Final Report 1
  • Report 1: Co-creating father-inclusive practice and research: Findings and innovations from Following Young Fathers Further
    • With a Foreword from Professor Anna Tarrant
    • Provides an overview of the study, its innovations and the wider report series

Our hopes are to deliver on, and advance our agenda for a father-inclusive society by expanding our multi-disciplinary networks, engaging in continued advocacy and practice training and development, working with others to establish a more cohesive and universal policy commitment to involved fathers, and doing so with and for the very people this affects the most; men who are fathers now and men who will become fathers in the future.

Professor Anna Tarrant

Download Report 1: Introductionpdf
  • Report 2: Theorising the social 'problems' and social 'engagement' frameworks of young fatherhood
    • Drawing on a recent publication by Neale and Tarrant, this report introduces the social problems framework that dominates thinking about young fathers and argues for an alternative, positive social engagement framing.

An alternative emerging narrative, the social engagement framework, identifies the capacity of young fathers to ‘be there’ for their children despite the many challenges they may navigate.

Download Report 2: Theorising young fatherhoodpdf
  • Report 3: Defining and becoming father-Inclusive: an empirically driven agenda

There’s a lot of men suffering in silence and there’s no-one helping me.

(Tarrell, aged 15 when he had first child, FYFF, wave 2)

Download Defining father-inclusionpdf
  • Report 4: Doing father-inclusive research over time: the value of sustained and purposeful engagement by young fathers qualitative longitudinal research
    • Presents on research conducted with eleven young fathers who parenting experiences we have been following for over a decade.
    • Highlights their motivations for participating in the FYFF research in the past decade.

I’ve absolutely loved taking part in [the FYFF research]. I mean coming up with new ideas and just trying to help people, it’s gratifying.It’s been lovely. It’s been brilliant. Like these little sessions are like offloading really. I get to talk to someone that I’ve known for a while. I get to go reminisce on things that have happened and yeah, it’s nice, it’s definitely nice. And hopefully you get funded for longer because like I say it’s helped me out a hell of a lot and that’s why I do it, to try and give something back

(Adam wave 3, age 26)

Download Following young dads for a decadepdf
  • Report 5: Co-creating a father-inclusive practice intervention: insights for policy and practice from the process of instigating the Grimsby Dads Collective
    • Presents on a major innovation from the study; the Grimsby Dads Collective, a peer support and professional training offer around father-inclusion.

Through our work with young fathers, we have seen how they have been excluded from fulfilling their potential as fathers. Hidden barriers shut them out of receiving the support that can help all parents understand and grow into the role they play in raising their children. Our work in Grimsby has shown the need for support for fathers to recognise and take on their role in the way they want to and that benefits their children. The peer support group shows the benefits of bringing fathers together to share common experiences and help them to overcome challenges. The training programme gives professionals the time, space and prompts to really assess their practice and how they work with fathers – and most importantly to identify tangible changes they can make. Together these are the building blocks to make change on the systemic and individual levels that are needed to help fathers to thrive. Megan Jarvie, Coram Family and ChildCare

Download Co-creating the GDCpdf
  • Report 6: Co-creating father-inclusive practice: the innovative and specialist support of the North East Young Dads and Lads
    • Sharing our collaborative work with the North East Young Dads and Lads, this report discusses the co-creation of DigiDAD, an e-learning programme created with and for young dads and a father-inclusive toolkit for professionals.

As an exemplar of father-inclusion in action, the core ethos of NEYDL is dedicated to supporting young fathers in a way that is steered by the ideas and energy of the young dads who are supported. A recently created additional service is DigiDAD, a digital platform offering accredited e-learning courses and videos, podcasts and blogs with information and advice for over 30,500 young dads, professionals, and families per year.

Download Co-creating with NEYDLpdf
  • Report 7: Father-inclusion and welfare systems in the UK and Sweden: learning from an international comparative study of young fatherhood
    • This report compares the experiences of young fathers in Sweden and the UK, highlighting the more extreme challenges young fathers navigate in the UK welfare and family policy system compared to those in Sweden.

While the UK and Swedish welfare systems differ, commitments to engaged fatherhood were apparent among both cohorts of young fathers in the UK and Sweden. As captured by a social engagement framework (see Report 1), these young men described entry into parenthood as a transformative experience regardless of their existing relational, socio-economic and environmental resources. Both cohorts expressed an understanding of gendered responsibilities around parenthood and awareness of the value of involved fatherhood for the promotion of gender equality with their co-parent.

Download Comparing young fatherhood (the UK and Sweden)pdf
  • Report 8: Conclusion: learning from co-creating father-inclusive practice and research with young fathers and multi-agency professionals
    • Our final reflections of working with young fathers to co-create social interventions that involve advocacy for father-inclusion.

Underscored by our findings and co-creation work in the past four years, we propose a third framework; the social participation framework. Where the social problem and engagement frameworks seek to explain young fathers’ experiences in relation to their familial lives, the social participation framework captures their familial engagement, as well as the more comprehensive social participation of young fathers beyond the family. This involves capturing their wider societal and community contributions as young fathers, as well as the mechanisms through which they are supported to participate as advocates, mentors, volunteers, and researchers (see Report 6).

Download Co-creating father-inclusive interventionspdf
A Dynamic Perspective of Young Fathers' Well-Being: Predictive and Protective factors across their mental health pathways

Presents on findings from young fathers about their mental health in social context, highlighting how ebbs and flows in mental ill-health map onto change and continuities in the resources required to parent and get by effectively such as employment, finances and relationships.

Download Mental Health Briefing Paperpdf
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and policy change on young fathers and professionals: reporting from wave one of our interviews

Read more about how young fathers negotiated ‘earning’ and ‘caring’ through the COVID-19 crisis, how they received and engaged in support and how services adapted their support offers to support young fathers.

Featured briefing paper

Wave One: Exploring the impacts of Covid-19 on young fathers

Early analyses of our findings from Wave One of interviews from the study. We explore the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on young fathers and the professionals who supported them.

Briefing Paper One: Negotiating ‘earning’ and ‘caring’ through the COVID-19 crisis: change and continuities in the parenting and employment trajectories of young fathers

Briefing Paper Two: From social isolation to local support: Relational change and continuities for young fathers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis

Briefing Paper Three: Supporting at a distance: the challenges and opportunities of supporting young fathers through the COVID-19 pandemic

Toolkit front cover

From our partners and young dads

[daughter]'s almost two-year-old. She came up the house and she actually really liked it. Preferably my house is the best place for her to, for the contact to be, if I’m honest, 'cause we just buy toys for her all the time. We’ve got a lovely garden that she can play in, lovely, big, and we’ve got a sandpit in there. We’ve been buying loads of things for her to play with to keep her occupied.

Nathan, 21
I was 17 when I had my child

[Speaking about support of young fathers] We’ve done a lot of kind of advocation and representing them, a lot of the time there’s involvement with statutory services. They don’t have the care of the young person, the care’s provided by the state or the mother, so we’ve attended lots of meetings with the young person to offer additional support and facilitated contact where necessary and offered just general emotional wellbeing, support, improving robustness and resilience, encouraging them to have as amicable relationship as possible.

Housing Charity

And I suppose it goes back to what we were saying before about behaviours, maybe the education side of stuff and the fact that men aren’t involved in those early conversations, you know, whether it is, I know they’re invited to come along to bumps to babies but I don’t know whether we go into the detail around some of that brain development side of stuff and things like that. Maybe that is the thing that really would change things. You know, if you were given all of that information about what happens to a child as they grow, in a scientific way, as easy to understand as possible, could be the thing that impacted on behaviour in the home.

Children's Charity

If your child’s with the mother, like your relationship with her depends on your relationship with the child, innit. That’s what I realised a lot, like you can try and be bitter, you can try and be this, be that, but it’s just gonna push you further away from your child, innit.

Jackson, 21

I wanna fight for more stuff for dads. Like I do wanna have that extra support for new dads or even existing dads that we don’t get now 'cause we’re still important too although obviously the mum does need the majority a’ the care because obviously of the after care and the birth. But like the dads take it extremely hard as well. And obviously with having no support I think it increases the rise of mental health.

Simon, 31
I became a father for the first time at 20. I am now a dad of 3.

I think both a mother and father combined, it’s communicating and both being on the same page of what’s best for your child or children, and for both, it’s just being there 100% for them and not, like, putting yourself first, it’s, you know, putting the child’s interests first...

Jock, 33
I was 23 when I had my child

We need to be including, we need to not [just] be focusing on mum and child […] That’s a great focus but dad … dad’s not invisible, dad needs to be in the picture as well because there’s research that shows you the effect it has on children and families as a whole when dad isn’t in the picture, so services need to be changing the way in which they work so it’s more inclusive.

Children and Families Support Organisation

Cause I think a lot of the time, some of young people who end up having children have been through the care system or support systems and they can feel quite judged or labelled by organisations and it’s breaking the cycle and breaking them out of that to feel empowered to be able to take stuff back, that’s the real interest to me. So, it’s about getting support right, as in being there and giving advice and guidance and all them things that we can do, but also making sure that we are doing with people as opposed to people.

Children's Charity

One of the most successful projects we ever did was an informal dads’ group, and it used to be on Saturdays […] they did what they wanted, they used to do things like breakfast, and they would have breakfast together and talk about dad stuff and where they were taking their kids. And that group was always really well attended because there was never an agenda. They were never judged. They were just there together.

Children and Families Support Organisation

...the whole stay at home dad thing is not something to be ashamed of, you know, if you’re a dad and you wanna take your daughter out for the day, or you wanna take your kid out for the day on your own, well why is that frowned upon, why can’t you take your child out for the day

Toby, 26
I was 24 when I had my first child.

Oh…patience…compassion…tolerance, a whole boatload a’ that!  Honestly, I like a whole lot of life.  Sacrifice…compromise, yeah I think, yeah I think they, they would be the, the big, the five, I feel, I think that was five, they would be the main. 

Ben, 31
I was 20 when I had my child

We’re currently in touch with social services for two [dads] because they don’t understand why they can’t see their children because they haven’t been informed by social services, their partner. So there’s a massive communication breakdown with those young men, so that’s the main focus of what we’re dealing with at the minute.

Young Fathers' Support Organisation

it’s still…the…sense of judgement I get from other people when they find out that I have a child.And they say, ‘oh how old is she’.I say, ‘oh she’s ten’. And they say, ‘oh how old are you?’. Like you don’t need to know that....I know exactly where that thought process is going, you know. It’s like, ‘oh you look really young and you’ve had a kid’. It’s like, ‘yeah I know, I was there!’

Ben, 31
I was 20 when I had my child


North East Young Dads and Lads LogoCoram Family and Child Care LogoYMCA Humber LogoTogether for Childhood LogoSwedish Researchers Logo

Stay up to date

Add your email to our newsletter
Your details are safe with us. We will never share them with anyone else, and it’s easy to opt-out at any time. Check out our privacy policy here.