Leeds Trinity University and Daddilife – Written evidence (PSC0037)



Dr Carmen Clayton (Leeds Trinity University) and Han Son Lee (DaddiLife)



Contained in the following submission are key relevant findings from the ‘New Pathways for Young Fathers’ study, a Research England funded project investigating the lived experience of British young fathers in 2020 led by Leeds Trinity University and undertaken in collaboration with Daddilife and Leeds City Council. This submission outlines different examples of vulnerabilities experienced by young fathers (defined as fathering a child aged 25 or under) and shows that professional support can be extremely beneficial for young fathers and their families in addressing and overcoming different aspects of vulnerability. Despite challenges arising from past and present circumstances, young fathers are known to be highly aspirational and demonstrate great commitment to their children and their children’s well-being. However, being a marginalised and forgotten group, the availability of appropriate service provision for young fathers is limited and under-funded. In response to the needs of young fathers and their children, and based on our research findings, several policy and practice recommendations have been made in order to consider their needs, support the betterment of their futures, and help avoid negative outcomes.




  1. Vulnerabilities




  1. Being ‘Good’ Fathers


“A dad should just be there regardless. A dad just needs to be there in the child’s life consistently. I always tell my kids, like, when I’m not around, or if you’re ever by yourself and start thinking about stuff, just know that I always love you.  And if you need to ask me anything, ask me.  Don’t hesitate, and stuff like that.  I always tell my kids from a young age, and I drill it into their heads constantly.” (Tarrell, aged 30)




  1. Difficulties Concerning Education, Employment and Training


“I think for anyone who’s a young father, whether they’ve come out of education now, looking for work, or whether they’re looking into further education, I think that support is needed. There’s a lot of career support needed and the financial element. There’s definitely that kind of team needed. There should be something there.” (Tommy, aged 31)



  1. Health and Well-Being


“My brain doesn’t stop.  I have anxiety and depression, like, I’ve got severe anxiety problems, so my brain does not stop worrying about everything.” (Adam, aged 26)



  1. Professional Support


“I felt like the professionals were just more focused on the fact that she’s pregnant, and I’m stood there in my school uniform. You know, it just made me feel a bit awkward at times. It was just a case of like they were smiling at her but then looking at me and not smiling.  When they were looking at her, they were speaking to her in a comforting way and then when I tried saying something it just got brushed off. I feel like there could be more understanding.” (Robert, aged 19)




Policy and Practice Recommendations:


  1. Policy



  1. Practice



March 2021