Welcome to Dads House
There are currently over 2 million non residential dads in the UK and over 200,000 raising their children alone.
In London alone there are 20,000 dads who are the main carers for their children.
We have seen a huge change in society and these figures are expected to rise dramatically in the next 5 years.
After raising his own son from an early age, William realised that there was very little support for fathers.
Although there was a number of organisations available to help parents, there was no support for the practicle side, no one to meet up with for a coffee and chat, people that would have an understanding on their struggles.
It was Billy's dream create a charity that could offer the support needed by single dads.
Since Dads House launched in 2008, our reputation has grown within many organisations, local authorities and the UK Government, who often contact Dads House to help with various topics.
In 2013 Dads House launched in Kent. Our 5 year plan going forward is to have Dads House branches accross th UK, enabling us to help and support as many single fathers as possible.
But onto more serious matters, this time money and finances. Lone parents have not done well financially under the current government, although obviously we all are in different financial situations, with some struggling more or less than others.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals that over 2 million lone parent families are living on incomes below what they need for a decent standard of living and that in fact almost three quarters of lone parent households live below that standard. This is saddening, staggering and surely must be challenged and changed as a matter of priority?
Further research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation proposes that a lone parent with a preschool child has to earn £28,450 to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in the UK. This is a significant wage! Just one more damming statistic, this is that a lone parent working full-time on the minimum wage in 2008 with help from tax credits had a disposable income just £520 a year short of their needs. Following almost a decade of tax credit cuts under the previous coalition and current governments lone parents in this situation are about £3,640 a year short of their needs. This is a lot of money to be short of a basic living standard with your child(ren). Frustratingly, there is enough money in the UK as a whole to easily rectify this.
Living in poverty or struggling financially can have many affects for families, be they two parent, lone mother or single father families. This includes beyond the obvious and demanding issues of trying to get enough food to eat, pay the rent and afford the basics. It can stimulate feelings of shame, powerlessness and alienation that can make a parent feel like they are failing their child(ren) and socially inferior. When you add in that being a single father or mother can come with stigma, feeling different and social exclusion, this can be so very difficult to cope with each and every day.
DadsHouse are currently doing some fantastic work, with food banks, support with accommodation and a buddying service. But without taking away from this fantastic support is this a sticking plaster for a much bigger wound? What do you think needs to change so that all of us as single parents can be financially safe and secure and our children can have enough to flourish and blossom?
Finally, do you worry about money and wonder where you can get help? If the answer is yes please come forward for support, as at DadsHouse you will not be judged or made to feel ashamed.
Thank you for reading and take care everyone!
I am writing this blog with the sun shining down in sunny Wales; I hope that you are getting a bit of sunshine too wherever you are! My son is adoring this weather and we agree that cycling in the sun is fantastic.
So, I have been doing what is called a literature review for an article that I am writing on social work practice with single fathers. Without getting too boring, this is basically looking around for what other people have written on this subject, which is very little.
As part of this, I have come across some research from the USA that I would like to briefly talk about. There is no equivalent research here in the UK. This research looks at demographic data about single fathers, so for example ethnicity, age, income etc. They found that the number of single father households in the USA has increased about ninefold since 1960, to more than 2.6 million in 2011.
I found one area really interesting and feel it would be great to have views on this. This is what a single father is and who describes this? Single fatherhood is not a straightforward term, rather its definition is used in different ways by different people in different contexts. The research article from the USA sees single fathers as fathers who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married and are living without a partner; or some fathers living with a partner they are not married to, or some fathers who are married but living apart from their wife. This all seems very complicated and a little confusing.
They found that about 60% of single fathers in the USA are not living with a partner, meaning that about 40% are. What do you think? Does this fit with your views of who single fathers are? What defines us as a group?
In the UK, official definitions of single/lone parents focus on parents who care for a child or children with no husband, wife or partner living with them. This is quite different as some 40% of single fathers counted in the USA research would not be counted under this definition. Again, rather confusing and unclear.
For me, this is all quite important. The point is that for single fathers to be recognised and supported there needs to be some agreement about who we are as a group, and our collective and individual strengths and needs. Until this happens, our unique identities and needs may be missed or not fully acknowledged. Please let me know what you think.I am writing this blog with the sun shining down in sunny Wales; I hope that you are getting a bit of sunshine too wherever you are! My son is adoring this weather and we agree that cycling in the sun is fantastic.
Take care all
Dads House Dads & Kids Breakfast club is held every Saturday 9am to 11am
Worlds End Under 5's Centre
18 Blantyre Street
Come along and meet other dads, Let the Children play and take part in many of our fun activities whilst enjoying breakfast and a hot beverage, Since we relaunched the breakfast club in Jan 2018, we have welcomed over 100 Dads and their children.
Willmott Dixon the UK's leading independent construction and property services company has launched their first ever Charity Partnership and have chosen Dadshouse to be one of their partners. Dadshouse is very proud to have the support of a huge company like WDI.