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Entries in Equal Opportunities Commitee (2)


Equal Opportunities Committee publishes report on fathers and parenting

Families Need Fathers Scotland welcomes the Equal Opportunities Committee report on Fathers and Parenting in Scotland. The report may in time be recognised as a notable milestone in challenging some of the institutional and attitudinal obstacles placed in the way of both fathers and mothers who want to share parenting of their children.

It is our experience that the obstacles the Committee has identified become steeper for fathers when the marriage or relationship breaks down. The acknowledged advantages for the children of the full involvement of both parents while the parents are together somehow gets sidelined on separation.

There is a raft of research that demonstrates children do better in all aspects of their life and emotional involvement when both parents are involved even after separation.

It is estimated that in the region of 30% of children in Scottish schools have parents who live separately.

It is evident that parents themselves are some way ahead of many professionals and politicians in establishing genuine shared parenting after separation. Perhaps that is as it should be. Unfortunately it is also our experience that even the phrase “shared parenting” still induces passive resistance or active hostility among some professionals and some family court sheriffs. While parents should lead, professionals should not be so far behind.

The Committee noted a “data deficit” in the extent of shared parenting. FNF Scotland will write to the Committee to offer our assistance in finding ways of gathering statistics and case studies that will present a fuller picture for future policy development.


Equal Opportunities Committee considers single fathers

The Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee is keen to hear about the experiences of single fathers and fathers with shared residence of children. They wish to identify the key challenges they face in day-to-day life and the quality of support currently available to them. 

Amongst the members of the Committee are John Mason MSP who supported the member's debate on Families Need Fathers Scotland last year, and Christian Allard MSP (pictured) who raised his children after becoming a widower.

The committee have expressed particular interest in the provision of services and support groups, societal attitudes towards lone / unmarried fathers, and issues around parental responsibilities and rights for fathers.

Submissions should be made in writing, by Friday, 21 February 2014 to equal.opportunities@scottish.parliament.uk or by post c/o the Clerk, Equal Opportunities Committee, TG.01, The Scottish Parliament, EDINBURGH, EH99 1SP.  When preparing a submission, remember that details of an ongoing court case or other personal information should not be included - if in doubt about this or how best to get your pint aross FNF Scotland are happy to advise.

Families Need Fathers Scotland will be submitting evidence, and we would be very interested to hear your views and receive copies of your submissions.