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Dads Direct event

Dads Direct Formal Shot For Web

Did you know 95% of parents are in a 'couple relationship' at the time of the child's birth? That's one of the stats presented by The Fatherhood Institute's Adrienne Burgess at the Dads Direct event on 18 June. 
The event, held in Parliament Buildings, brought together a wide range of those with an interest in the roles of fathers, including Dads Direct forum members, government departments/agencies, local politicians and charities. 

Adrienne's take-away point of the day was when we are designing policies, services and interventions for parents, we must ensure we specifically mean mothers AND fathers.

In her keynote presentation, Adrienne also spoke about the impact of fatherhood on men, both mentally and physically, the significance of absent fathers and some good practice examples from her work in England. 

The following discussion covered a wide range of topics - just a few of them were:

Unconscious bias (we all do it!)

Role models

Educational attainment

Making services easier for dads to access - don't patronise or pigeonhole

Earlier interventions and the complementary roles of intervention and prevention

Mental health

Co-design of services

Gender culture 


Anne-Marie McClure, CEO of Start360 and Dads Direct forum member, said, 

'Having this 'round table' event was a great format for discussion and Adrienne was a really inspiring speaker. The onus is on us all to give more thought to how we speak to and engage with dads - we look forward to following up on the discussions started today.' 

Participants left the event with their own actions to take forward - such as being more father-specific when developing services and being more inclusive in language used. 

The Dads Direct event was compered by Alex Kane, sponsored by Steven Agnew MLA and funded by the Public Health Agency.

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