Dads make a difference too!

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Terra Association.
National Crime Prevention Strategy (Canada)
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This report summarizes findings from a study that examined the characteristics, challenges, and needs of young fathers in Canada. The study conducted a number of one-to-one interviews and focus groups with young fathers accessing its services as well as services at other agencies. This data was also compared to existing statistics collected as part of Terra Association's Young Dad's Outreach Services. Secondly, a literature review was conducted to research and highlight a number of research areas related to fathering, men's issues, and young fathers in particular. The findings of this two-fold research study were compared with an Environmental Scan of Services for young fathers in the Edmonton area, also conducted by this research project. These comparisons of research findings resulted in final recommendations for new service initiatives by Terra Association. Specifically, the study explored the needs of fathers from an Ecosystemic Perspective and Population Health approach. The research consisted of 5 focus groups of young fathers, with a total of 20 participants, and the completion of 26 one-to one surveys. Findings are reported in the five interrelated systems of the Ontosystem, Microsystem, Mesosystem, Exosystem and Chronosystem, as well as findings from the Population Health approach which looked at the relationship between social-economic indicators or characteristics and health outcomes. Findings indicate young fathers experience a great deal of stress, frustration and poverty as a result of their low levels of education and literacy. They are more inclined to emphasize finding employment than going back to school as an option. Although employment is expressed as a high need amongst young fathers, they have experienced little employment success. Recommendations for improving services to young fathers are discussed in four major areas: program development or enhancement, community development, public policy and systemic responses, and the creation of long term strategies to address identified need areas. 36 references.

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