Dads Unlimited’s motto is “A Happy and healthy Dad; is a Happy and healthy Child; is a Happy and healthy Society.”
But how do we know if we are making a difference?
Well, this is how we think our success can be measured.
A Happy and Healthy Dad
We will use a scale of improvement to measure the mental health of our Dads who use our Counselling Service to improve their mental health, from their very first visit to every visit, plotting their improvement over a period.
Also by their lack of presentation at A&E Departments due to a mental health crisis or self-harming behaviour; or even improvement in their health and well-being by their interaction with Primary Care.
Further, we could also measure our success again by the lack of Police involvement in their situation. Because sometimes if a Dad is denied access to their children (where there are no welfare concerns); this can lead to an emotionally charged outburst which may result in the Police being called out. If Dads Unlimited is doing their job well, then we would hope to see and talk to these Dads to diffuse the situation, and calm them down and bring them to solve their problems through us in a calm and cerebral way. Working with the system, and not against it.
We will also look to be putting in plans in the future around Nutrition and Diet; and the benefits of regular Exercise.
A Happy and Healthy Child
We think this can be measured by the performance of a Child from an academic perspective through Dads Unlimited working with Social Workers and the School.
And there may be a possibility of gaining further understanding from again Primary Care, and/or School Nursing or Health Visiting.
Also, liaison with the Police on the incidents of either antisocial behaviour coming down, or the propensity of getting in trouble.
It will be a team effort working together in the best interests of that child or children.
A happy and healthy Child should flourish academically and in every facet of their beautiful lives.
A Happy and Healthy Society
This we believe can be evidenced through a combination of a decrease in antisocial behaviour; a decrease in Dads getting in trouble with the Police; with Schools having a better understanding of Single Dads and improving their relationships with them; Businesses understanding and improving conditions for a Single Dad (i.e. taking baby changing units out of Women’s Toilets or Seeing Products targeting Dads – like ‘Daddy and Me’ Shampoo or Bath sets); Seeing local authorities putting on more activities for Dads and their children (i.e. just like Mother and Baby/Toddler Groups); Everyone realising that the Single Dad population is on the rise and how rapidly it is growing, so seeing Employers becoming more dextrous with the way they proactively recruit their staff recognising the contribution Single Dads can make to their business.
And therefore, we now need employers who want to remain ahead of the curve, and who can attract the best talent, by becoming forward thinking and are able to normalise active ‘hands-on’ fatherhood – We need to find a way to challenge and dismiss societal and attitudinal barriers for Dads to be great employees and fathers.
All in all we are in the early days of thinking about how we are going to evidence our success – but with greater transparency and partnering for mutual benefit with other organisations, will we get nearer the granular analysis of how we are making a difference.