Talking Dads - 2006-2008

The Talking Dads Project provided a space for young fathers in Brighton & Hove to explore the experience of young fatherhood and to have their voices heard by a broad audience.

Project Outline

The Talking Dads project explored the experiences, identities and needs of young fathers (under 25) through a series of interviews and focus groups. Data collection was conducted by young fathers themselves, working alongside researchers from the University of Sussex . The community partner, Hove YMCA, through its networks, engaged and supported the young fathers participating in the project.

There is little research that asks ordinary fathers about their experiences and the day to day practices of fatherhood. The Talking Dads Project started from the premise that fatherhood in general and young fatherhood in particular as a role/identity is not inherently problematic. Yet, at the same time, we acknowledge that there is a need to gather more information about fathering practices and identities, and it is clear that doing so can challenge problematising stereotypes (University of Bristol 2006).

In focusing on young fathers in Brighton and Hove, we responded to the key concerns of policy makers, making good use of a local context where networks and positive activities around young fathers have been developed. Linking to a recent national project exploring interesting and innovative work with young fathers from a service worker perspective (Sherriff, 2007), the Talking Dads Project contributed to the debate around service provision from young fathers' perspectives. However, the Talking Dads Project was not limited to service provision issues and explored a broad range of issues - around experiences and identities - defined as important by young fathers themselves.

Project Partners

*Hove YMCA

*Sussex Institute, University of Sussex