Rock painted by kids leaning against tree
Dan Burton
06 October 2022Update

Now published: a co-authored article with the North East Young Dads and Lads

On 6th October 2022, Sociological Research Online published their inaugural issue of ‘Beyond the Text’, a new submission format by the journal which provides a space for non-traditional multi-modal research outputs. The inaugural issue is titled ‘Rethinking Visual Arts-Based Methods of Knowledge Generation and Exchange in and beyond the Pandemic’ and features a collection of visual arts (animation, creative and fine art, film, photographs, and zines) produced by children, young people, families, artists, and academics as part of co-created research studies that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Following Young Fathers Further team (FYFF) are delighted to have a published in this issue with a co-authored article titled: Cocreating with Young Fathers: Producing Community-Informed Training Videos to Foster more Inclusive Support Environments.

Our contribution, which is co-authored with young dads and lads from the North East Young Dads and Lads, draws upon our collaborative project, ‘Diverse Dads’, which ran between October 2020 and April 2021. This collaborative project involved a team comprising of members of North East Young Dads and Lads, advisors from support organisations that champion inclusivity, and the Following Young Fathers Further (FYFF) research team. ‘Diverse Dads’ sought to identify and address gaps in service provision for young minoritised dads in the North East of England, and to promote cross-sector conversations concerning inclusive support for young dads from diverse communities. The FYFF team provided research training to three young men from NEYDL so that they could interview young fathers from minoritised communities, as well as professionals who champion inclusive support.

Showcasing one of the project’s creative outputs as a part of ‘Beyond the Text’, we discuss the continued value of coproduction and cocreation with young fathers and the value of using creative, digital methods to support productive discussions between young fathers, professionals, and researchers.

You can read more about the Diverse Dads project here.

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


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