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August 4, 2011

Boys who want to be dads – Sunday News

Brendon was interviewed for a story on teenage dads published in the Sunday News last weekend.

Boys who want to be dads

Father & Child Trust spokesman Brendon Smith said some young men wanted to have something they had never enjoyed themselves.

And shutting them out could make them suffer an intense form of separation anxiety that could even lead to self-harm.

He said Work and Income, Housing NZ, the family of the girl, and even entrance criteria for teenage mum units could work against teen dads living with the mother, preventing them from providing or participating as a parent.

“My experience is that the young mum often then welcomes other men into the house and they are often not `father material’.”

He said that could lead to unsafe situations for the child and frequently fuelled conflict with the child’s father.

“When the young dads try to report their concerns to agencies or relatives, they are not listened to. They are unable to be a protector of their child.”

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