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Response to Centre for Social Justice's report on lone parents So mum, why don't I have a daddy?



Father’s Day is almost with us. The marketing machine drives forward the card, mug and tee-shirt industry’s push for sales of ‘No.1 Dad’ merchandise. But a report (1) from the Centre for Social Justice highlights that for the majority of children in parts of the Welsh capital they’re wasting their efforts.  

The report shows that 62% of households in the Trowbridge area of Cardiff are headed by a lone parent. That puts the area in the Top 20 of the highest rates for single households in England and Wales.



When you look at single mother households across England and Wales Trowbridge jumps to number 7 with a staggering 59% figure, and is joined in the Top 10 by Ely with the same percentage showing - that a clear majority of children in these deprived areas lack the influence of a male role model - let alone their natural father - in their lives.

Cardiff Council’s Green Paper on Building Communities (2) also shows that in the east of the city – where Trowbridge is located - ‘parents not taking responsibility for their children’ was seen as the biggest problem in their local area with a staggering 60.5% of respondents to a survey identifying it as their number one issue – higher than vandalism or littering. It’s hard to see that the statistics on single parent households and parents not taking responsibility for their children aren’t linked in some way.

National Manager for the charity FNF Both Parents Matter,
Paul Apreda said:

‘We have been highlighting the importance of support for both parents to remain involved and engaged in the lives of their children to both the Council in Cardiff
and the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government have a legal duty to support BOTH parents in their child raising obligations.(3)

We are working with the Welsh Government to map the existing participation and engagement of fathers in parenting support programmes across Wales, but from existing data we know that much more needs to be done to support fathers. Only two years ago Children in Wales highlighted to the Assembly’s Children’s Committee the lack of engagement with fathers.(4)

In Cardiff the flagship early years initiative Flying Start stated that only 1 parent in
20 that they worked with was a dad. Other children’s charities such as Barnardos and Action for Children also recognise the lack of engagement with fathers. We are certain that the new Parenting Strategy being developed by the Welsh Government will put measures in place to protect the right of the child to contact with both parents.





         – Articles 9 and 18 in particular

         - paragraphs 37 & 38, 41 & 42

PAUL APREDA – FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru – 07947135864

Read more about: Consultation responses, Fathers Matter. Engage with them, General

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