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Evaluating a community-led project for improving fathers’ and children’s wellbeing in England

Robertson, S, Woodhall, J, Henry, H, Rowlands, S, Esmée, H, Livesley, J and Long, T 2016, 'Evaluating a community-led project for improving fathers’ and children’s wellbeing in England' , Health Promotion International . (In Press)

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Although under-research compared to other settings, there is potential for the family setting to be harnessed to support the development of healthy children and societies and to reduce health inequalities. Within this setting, the role of fathers as health facilitators has yet to be fully understood and considered within health promotion. This paper draws on a two year evaluation of a community embedded intervention for fathers and children in an area of multiple deprivation in North West England. The evaluation integrated a variety of qualitative methods within a participatory evaluation framework to help understand the development and impact of a programme of work co-created by a social enterprise and fathers from within the community. Findings suggest that allowing fathers to define their own concerns, discover solutions to these and design locally appropriate ways to share these solutions can result in significant change for them, their children and the wider community. Key to this process is the provision of alternative spaces where fathers feel safe to share the substantial difficulties they are experiencing. This improved their confidence and had a positive impact on their relationships with their children and with significant others around them. However, this process required patience, and a commitment to trusting that communities of men can co-create their own solutions and generate sustainable success. We suggest that commissioning of services delivered ‘to’ people could be replaced, or supplemented, by commissioning appropriate organisations to work with communities to co-create solutions to needs they themselves have recognised.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Health Promotion International
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0957-4824
Funders: Unlimited Potential
Depositing User: Professor Tony Long
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 08:36

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