The Following Young Fathers Further team have been researching with young dads, aged 25 and under, since 2020.
Eleven of the young fathers we have interviewed have been involved in young fatherhood research for over 10 years!
Young dads like you have told us:
We share what we learn with others to show how important young dads are and to create a more positive parenting experience for all.
Your experience of being a young father really matters.
Want to share your story or find out more about being involved? Click here.
This briefing paper explores the dynamic mental health pathways of young fathers in their transition to fatherhood. We argue that they navigate a well-being spectrum over time as they adapt to their new identities and responsibilities where young fatherhood can be source of joy and pride. However, the struggles associated with young parenthood may tip some young men into periods of mental ill-health.Download Briefing Paper
The Following Young Fathers Further team conducted an evaluation of the North East Young Dads and Lads' new digital offer for young fathers called DigiDAD.
DigiDAD is a unique, pioneering e-learning parenting platform made by and for young fathers. First created during the COVID-19 pandemic, DigiDAD features evidence-informed content designed to support the informational requirements of young fathers.
The Diverse Dads team launched two open access reports based on the outcomes of the research as the ‘Diverse Dads Collaborative. These include key research findings and recommendations for good practice, as informed by the young fathers and professionals who participated in the study.
The pandemic has prompted many social scientists to rethink their research methods and adapt to researching in ways that accommodate social distancing rules. Telephone interviews offer a remote route to fieldwork but their value for researchers extends beyond the pandemic. This toolkit considers the role of telephone interviewing in qualitative research and the advantages and challenges of this method and attendant practical and ethical questions. We provide practical reflections around how to address the challenges associated with telephone interviews and draw on examples from current research.
Two open access reports were developed from this Leeds Social Science Institute funded project, which was led by Dr Anna Tarrant between April 2016 and April 2017. The first is an evidence review of existing research about practice support for young fathers. The second reports on the Responding to Young Dads in a Different Way project and its key findings.
The Think Dad! Toolkit, co-created with young fathers and developed with professionals and services in mind who want to improve how they work with 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
“[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.”
“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.”
“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... ”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“...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 ”
“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. ”
“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.”