Diverse Dads

With additional funding through the University of Lincoln QR Strategic fund, the Diverse Dads co-research project (conducted between October 2020 and April 2021) involved a partnership between the ‘Following Young Fathers Further’ research team and the North East Young Dads and Lads (NEYDL), based in Gateshead, UK. Supporting a collaboration between a small team of young men and fathers as peer researchers, NEYDL professional staff, the FYFF team and an advisory group of local and national experts, the initiative comprised four key activities:

  • Producing a demographic profile of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in the Tyne and Wear region, including the prevalence of young fatherhood,
  • Establishing new alliances with services who work with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and young parents to enable outreach, updated training, and the embedding of inclusive forms of support,
  • Generating evidence about how and why services should engage with a wider constituency of young fathers, especially those from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds,
  • Co-disseminating evidence to professionals and policymakers.

The peer research captured and analysed service provision for young fathers in the North East region and produced recommendations for practice with relevance to family policy and practice support for young fathers and their families that are sensitive to the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation.

The peer research team

The research was conducted by Adam, Dylan and Will (NEYDL). Adam says of the project:

“I feel really privileged to be part of this research. It is something so new and close to me to explore. I myself am part of a minority ethnic community and being able to give people like me a voice about what kind of support we would like to see through things like parenthood. I have always been interested in cultures and what it is like for them day to day. This project is a great way for me to do so.”

Dylan says:

“I’m really interested in this research as I myself would like to know what there is for the Black, Asian and minority ethnic young dads as I’ve not heard of anything that involves them and I feel really proud to be part of these findings. I really enjoy doing research work in general as it is very fascinating to understand and explore certain things”

Findings and Outputs

Watch our video about the project to learn more. We have also produced a range of project videos and accessible reports that present our findings and recommendations for practice that you can access via the links below.

Download ReportpdfDownload Recommendationspdf

On Wednesday 28th April 2021 the Diverse Dads launched findings and recommendation for practice at a webinar:

We also co-wrote a peer reviewed academic article with the peer research team from the North East Young Dads and Lads!

Download Diverse Dads articlepdf
Back to projects

From our partners and young dads

[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

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


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.