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Father's Day 2018

 Father’s Day Message – 2018

Father’s Day is our opportunity to celebrate fatherhood. It is a chance for all dads to be reminded that they are loved and needed by those who they have cared for and loved throughout their lives. It is a recognition of the unique and vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives.

Tragically, at Families Need Fathers, we all too often work with dads whose children will not be able to celebrate Father’s Day with them. Many of them will have in their possession an order from the Family Court to say that their children should be seeing them regularly, not least on Father’s Day, but the order will not be obeyed.

Other fathers will have no hope at all of seeing their children on Father’s Day, because they have been “awarded” indirect contact. So all they can do for the child who needs them and whom they love is to send them a letter a few times a year – in the hope that it reaches them.

Worse still, many of their children will feel pressurised to reject their much-loved dads. Sometimes this will happen through coaching, but more often it will be because their main carers make coldly clear to these young minds their feelings towards their ex-partners. Why do they do this – could they have valid reasons? More often than not it is because they would not accept that the relationship had ended, because they started a new one of their own, because they were upset that their ex has started a new relationship or because they fear that their ex’s new partner will somehow usurp or diminish their role as a mother. Of course, these reasons are driven by adult emotions and it is harmful to burden the children with them. Children have more than enough capacity to love both their parents and extended families whether they live together or apart. Parents collaborating can do so much to help children to get over their parents' divorce or separation.

It is amazing that in 2018 there are still Cafcass Family Court Advisers, judges and social workers who don’t recognise alienating behaviours or appreciate their effect – putting a child in a position of having to suppress and deny their love for their father - a love that dare not speak its name. Over the last year or two Cafcass have accepted that parental alienation is child abuse and they are beginning to develop pathways and tools for identifying it and hopefully for dealing with it too.

That said the message has not reached all of them yet. Only last week we heard from an entirely reasonable, good dad whose child has been turned against him - yet neither the Family Court Adviser nor the judge showed any interest in why this might be. Incredibly, the judge and Family Court Adviser described the father as arrogant and naive for challenging the professionals' views when they had considered the wishes of his brainwashed child. The judge’s decision was horrifying – condemning a father simply for loving their child above all else – for wanting to remain part of the child’s life. They should do better. They need to be better trained. They need to have a far better understanding of recent research into child psychology and the long-term impact on a child of having to keep secret or trying to destroy their own love of a parent in order to protect themselves from the fear of loss of the other parent. It is amazing that, despite alienating behaviours being recognised by Cafcass nationally and by many experienced judges there are still those who look out to the horizon and conclude that the earth is flat. ‘Professionals’ who ignore all the evidence from those who have sailed those seas and yet when challenged don’t even show the slightest curiosity. Why for example might a child phone and say "I really wanted to see you on Father's Day, but mummy said no" and then a few weeks later, having not seen him, say "I never want to see him again"?

Of course, there are abusive men and women and a small minority will seek to hide their abuse with claims of alienation. This does not mean of course that alienation does not happen and experienced professionals can easily tell the difference. The earth is round, and no amount of denial will make it flat.

Today our thoughts are with all the good dads out there, but most especially with all those children and their dads who are needlessly apart, failed by their main carers and failed by a broken family justice system that is behind the times. Those dads will continue to suffer every single day, as will their children, many of whom will grow up living with the effects of the daily guilt of having to deny their love for one parent in order to hold on to the love of the other.

It will be very hard for these children and their alienated parents to forgive the Government and the courts for their obstruction and inaction. But if we all work constructively together, for the sake of all those children of separated families, progress can and will be made.

We wish everyone a Happy Father's Day.  If you are a father, and you are in touch or with your children - have a great day. If you are a father and for whatever reason you cannot be with your child or children, we hope that they will be happy and much loved and appreciated in your thoughts throughout the day and in the future.

17th June 2018

 

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  • Families Need Fathers - because both parents matter. Tickets are available for FNF's conference on Domestic Abuse - Get tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/domestic-violence-and-child-… More information is here: https://fnf.org.uk/index.php…
  • Families Need Fathers - because both parents matter. Tickets are available for FNF's conference on Domestic Abuse - Get tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/domestic-violence-and-child-welfare-tickets-49914248862?aff=ebdssbdestsearch More information is here: https://fnf.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=476:domestic-violence-and-child-welfare-workshop&catid=2:uncategorised&utm_source=newsletter_188&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fnf-newsletter-25th-september-2018&acm=_188
  • A Sheriff in Scotland found that a father was prevented for a year from seeing his children, because of false allegations of rape compounded by damaging support service interventions. #BelieveMe needs to re replaced with timely investigation. Findings of Fact should take place within three months - even that is an age for a young child to be needlessly deprived of a loving and much loved parent. There also need to be consequences to the making of false allegations. Link to full transcript of judgement in second comment below. https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20181017/282149292282550 To support Families Need Fathers, please like and share our posts, follow us, register for free, become a member or make a donation.
  • Is Misogyny about to be Classified as a Hate Crime in UK Legislation? What about Misandry – or are men not Worth It? Last month, it was announced that a review by the Law Commission would look at whether offences driven by misogyny - dislike, contempt or ingrained prejudice against women - should be treated as hate crimes. And now it's emerged the same review will also consider the opposite - crimes motivated by misandry - hostility towards men. This is a potentially pivotal issue when the new matriarchy are pressing so hard in all walks of life for special treatment of women. We are living in a fair and egalitarian society in which men and women should expect to be offered equivalent support and protection under the law. Surely it’s a no-brainer to treat all gender hate crimes fairly, regardless of gender? Unless the law is fair and has effective checks and balances to avoid it being abused, it risks being used as a weapon by some parents with less than honourable motives. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45870948
  • False allegations are commonplace in family justice disputes and since legal aid changes in 2013 these have been encouraged by providing Legal Aid in family disputes to just one side when alleging domestic violence. Non-Molestation Orders have become the most favoured route to this and have gone up by 37% since. The figures were boosted by legislation in 2017 designed to stop thousands of people languishing on police bail for months or years without charge - as these orders have the same effect, but are easier to obtain. The Guardian's report on our analysis today. The full report can be downloaded from our website - (link in first comment posted). https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/oct/15/parents-weaponising-domestic-violence-orders-claims-charity To support us, please share this, Tweet it, like it, comment, follow us, register for free, become a member or make donation.
  • FNF have advocated for more involvement of fathers with care of their children from day one, not least as it benefits children. New research at University of Manchester now demonstrates that fathers caring for babies alone also promotes relationship stability. Meanwhile, the Government rejected recommendations of the Select Committee for Women and Equalities to extend 'use-it-or-lose-it' paternity leave. State support for paternity leave is approximately 4% of that for maternity leave for parents on similar incomes. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/30/hands-on-fathers-less-likely-to-break-up-with-partners-paternity-leave-childcare Please support FNF by sharing, liking, following, registering for free, becoming a member or making a donation.

FNF HSSF Kite Mark Award

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel

 

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