Spotlight on challenges for young dads

A conference exploring the challenges young fathers face is being held in Norfolk today. "Raising Young Fathers" is a one-day event held by Norfolk's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Unit and is aimed at an audience of professionals working in youth, health, and social care services.

A conference exploring the challenges young fathers face is being held in Norfolk today.

“Raising Young Fathers” is a one-day event held by Norfolk's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Unit and is aimed at an audience of professionals working in youth, health, and social care services.

The key speaker will be Melvyn Davies, from the boys2MEN project in Brent, winners of a Department of Health, Health & Social Care Award in 2005. The conference, at the Abbey Conference Centre, Norwich, will explore the challenges young fathers can face with the help of experienced practitioners and young fathers themselves.

Organiser Mark Osborn said: “There is no national data on the numbers of young fathers and because of social exclusion these young men do not usually link in with existing services.

“Two of the underlying principles of this year's Teenage Pregnancy Action Plan are exploring how services can begin to engage with boys and young men and promoting a message encouraging them to delay sexual activity.”

The conference will also launch two new resources produced in partnership with young fathers in Norfolk: the Norfolk Young Fathers' Fact Pack; and Against the Wall - 10 Young Dads Speak Out - an interactive CD Rom created by young fathers at the Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) in Norwich.

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Mr Osborn, from Norfolk's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Unit, said: “Young dads usually want to be involved in their children's lives but this does not always happen...

“When dads take part in looking after babies and children it can have a positive influence on their health and development. We want to help and support young dads to live up to their responsibilities.”