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Entries in equal opportunities (1)

Tuesday
Feb252014

Call to recognise the contribution of fathers after separation

FNF Scotland has submitted its contribution to the Scottish Parliament Equalities Committee enquiry into Fathers and Parenting.

We are calling for equal recognition of the contribution that fathers can make in parenting their children after separation.

Examples are included, drawn from the experience shared at our groups or through direct contact with the office in Edinburgh of institutional and professional obstructions placed in the way of non resident fathers in schools, health services, policing, family court proceedings and child maintenance.

We wrote: "We believe Scotland has drifted into a situation where the contribution of fathers, including non-resident fathers, is undervalued. Individual fathers are subjected to suspicion and resistance that is undermining and disempowering to them and disadvantages their children. In attitudes and practice non-resident fathers in particular are subjected to questions about their motivation and worth as parents that are discriminatory."  

The submission makes five recommendations:

1) Legislative change, including a review of the Children (Scotland) Act;

2) Political Leadership that can speak up unequivocally for fathers; 

3) More inclusion, especially in the practice of health providers and social workers in keeping fathers involved in the information they hold/withhold about their children;

4) Better school engagement with fathers, including non resident fathers, in terms of their obligations set out in the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act;

5) Action on abuses of the joint Police/Crown Office domestic abuse protocol that has lead to the 'doorstep ambush'. Wilfully breaching of agreed and court ordered contact arrangements should be a recordable incident of domestic abuse.