2 March 2017
Simon Danczuk has called for a UK-wide year of the dad to raise awareness of the important role that fathers play in the life of their children, following the example set in Scotland in 2016.
Fathers Network Scotland campaigned to make 2016 unforgettable as Year of Dad, highlighting the importance of a strong relationship between fathers and their children, and in the process dispelled some of the myths about fathers and celebrated the positive role that they have in their children’s lives. Simon Danczuk has called on the UK Government to build on the momentum by rolling it out not just in Scotland but in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Simon said: “What I have studied of the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. That businesses, charities and public sector organisations are all coming out to promote and celebrate the role of fathers is to be appreciated”.
Research shows that both mothers and children benefit from the fathers’ healthy involvement in family life.
Unfortunately, more support needs to be offered to fathers to help them build a strong relationship with their child. Commenting on the shockingly low number of men who take up parental leave, Simon said: “we have a lot to do to change the culture so that men feel more comfortable in approaching their employers to be able to take time off to support the children and mothers”.
Simon added: “we have to look at changes in legislation to make access for fathers easier and simpler when a separation has occurred. Another particularly important point is parental alienation, where, following a separation, one or indeed both parents psychologically harm the child—it is effectively child abuse—by convincing the child that the other parent is not doing a good job”.
Matt O’Connor, the founder of Fathers 4 Justice, has spoken about several tragic cases where fathers who have lost contact with their children have thrown themselves under trains or off bridges. He has also highlighted Department for Work and Pensions data showing that parents who leave their children are almost three times more likely to die earlier than the average.
Simon said: “Even in the best of circumstances, separation can cause and exacerbate problems for the individuals involved. I welcome the success of Scotland’s Year of the Dad campaign, which should be rolled out across the country. It would particularly help fathers who are separated from their children, and we should build on its successes”.