Scheme to help dads re-build relationships with children affected by domestic abuse expands

Credit: PA

A scheme on Anglesey which helps fathers re-build relationships with their children that've been affected by domestic abuse is now being extended across into other parts of North Wales.

The Caring Dads programme claims it has stopped a number of children going into care.

The scheme is expanding to help dads in Gwynedd develop healthy father-child relationships, so their children can continue to live safely at home within the family.

The programme is run by the domestic abuse support service Gorwel, and De Gwynedd Domestic Abuse Services, partnered with Caring Dads Canada.

Gorwel is managed by housing association GrŵpCynefin.

The Gwynedd programme launched in Penrhyndeudraeth at the end of July and will run weekly for 17 weeks.

The dads come from across the social spectrum. Participants have included a homeless man and a university-educated, professionally-qualified father.

Paul Jones, programme leader and therapeutic social worker

Caring Dads aims to increase participants’ awareness of attitudes and behaviours that form father-child relationships.

The group says that research indicates that effective engagement with fathers increases the positive contribution they have on their children’s lives.

This in turn results in a range of emotional, physical and cognitive benefits for their children.

So far, dozens of children have been removed from the Child Protection Register and have not needed to be placed in local authority care. Families have stayed together. Obviously the safety and welfare of the children is paramount but you can not ignore the fact that it can cost £1,000 per week to keep one child in care, and for a child with special requirements it can be between £3,000 and 4,000 per week. This is taxpayers’ money via the local authority. > >

Paul Jones, programme leader and therapeutic social worker

Caring Dads are publicising the programme’s arrival in Gwynedd among health visitors, midwives, social services and GPs.

Fathers can also refer themselves to the programme.

Watch Rob Shelley's report here.