By Frank Young
Almost half of British fathers feel undervalued and they increasingly feel unsupported and unprepared for fatherhood according to new data published by the CSJ and Bheard.Com this week.
Our YouGov poll found that fathers from low incomes are almost twice as likely to ‘have little or no support or information’ prior to becoming a father compared to those from middle income households.
Parenting and antenatal classes are increasingly becoming a ‘middle class preserve’ with only a third of low income fathers attending them, a figure which increases to well over two thirds for higher earning fathers.
This matters, as research has shown that a child growing up in a low income household with a positive father figure does better at school, is happier and is more likely to live a life free from poverty. Supporting fathers should be at the heart of the Government's drive to improve children's life chances.
In response to this poll we are calling on the Government to appoint a new Fatherhood Champion to be given responsibility for helping to roll out successful, father-friendly, parenting programmes aimed at fathers, work with NHS bosses to support expectant fathers and promote effective mentoring programmes where they are making a difference.
This would make a crucial impact in the Government's attempts at improving the life chances of the most vulnerable in society.
CSJ Report: Annual Fatherhood Survey 2016
Conservative Home: May's social reform agenda must not forget fathers
The Telegraph: The nappy change gap: how parenting preparation for new fathers is becoming a middle class preserve