Seeing Young Fathers in a Different Way: Lived Experiences, Policy Challenges, Practice Developments

  • Date: Wednesday 30 September 2015
  • Location: Great Woodhouse Room, University House, University of Leeds
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One Day Conference

The notion of ‘feckless’ young men who are assumed to be disinterested in ’being there’ or, worse, regarded as a potential risk to their children, continues to hold sway, particular in popular media and some political discoursed. However emerging research evidence counters such viewpoints and demonstrates that young fathers do care about and want to ‘be there’ for their parenting; and there is mounting evidence to suggest that where they are positively engaged in these ways, this is beneficial to them, their children, the mothers, and the wider families.

This major counterbalance to the rhetoric surrounding ‘deadbeat’ dads and ‘problem’ youth has been slow to gain ground, but the potential for young fathers to make a positive contribution to their children’s lives, and to improve their own life chances is slowly being realised.

This conference will set out to put young fathers firmly on the map and to enable policy makers and professionals to see these young men in a different way. Through presentations and workshops the conference will explore the varied trajectories of young men, their fathering journeys across time and their support needs, with policy and practice implications as a central consideration.

Alison Hadley (Director of Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange will be providing the keynote address. New research from the ESRC funded Following Young Fathers study (2012-2015) will be presented and a range of professional workers and local champions for young fathers will share practice and insights into what works, for whom and under what circumstances.