20 young dads have 18 months to make London more young father-friendly.
Media for Development has been funded by Trust for London to reduce the poverty and isolation experienced by young fathers below 25 years of age in London in an exciting new project.
Research shows that young men overwhelmingly want to be good fathers but that systems designed to help parents are geared towards mothers. Sadly, this means that even the most motivated young fathers can feel pushed away from their children:
-> many young fathers are unaware of the statutory support available to them: in a typical London borough, only 1 in 10 young fathers makes use of the government’s ‘Sure Start Children’s Centres’
-> young fathers that do connect with statutory support services they report feeling like a secondary parent
-> young fathers feel isolated from each other but value the support and guidance they can provide to each other.
Media for Development has created a national ‘Council of Young Dads’ who acted as steering group for the award-winning Young Dads TV project. Trust for London’s funding will help to create a London Bureau of the Council of Young Dads that will reduce the poverty and isolation experience by young dads in the capital.
Twenty young dads will be recruited, trained and supported to improve the services for young fathers in their area. They will be paid a London Living Wage (£8.55 per hour), receive support to cover the costs of travel and childcare, and will be supported by an Engagement Officer – a new post created exclusively to help the young dads run the London Bureau.
Scott Colfer, manager of the Council of Young Dads: London Bureau, said:
“Becoming a young dad makes all the normal challenges of life a lot more difficult. Research shows that men who become fathers before the age of 25 are more likely to be living in poverty aged 30 than men who become fathers after the age of 25. The Council of Young Dads: London Bureau is a chance for young dads to change parent services in London for the better.”
Joe, a young dad involved in developing the Council of Young Dads, said:
“Young dads are ‘experts by experience’. I didn’t do that well at school but being a father is something I’m really good at. I want to be the best dad I can and want to help other young dads too. The Council of Young Dads: London Bureau helps young dads to be role models to their children and to each other.”
If you’d like to find out more about the London Bureau then get in touch.
We’re looking for an Engagement Officer to lead the project, see the Media for Development website for more information (deadline for applications is 9am on Monday, 1st July 2013).