Struggling dads are being offered help.
The idea is to give them the best chance of giving their children the best possible chances in life.
Fathers in Falkirk who are bringing up kids on their own or share access can now get extra support if they need it thanks to a new service.
The Braes Children and Families Centre in Maddiston now has a lone fathers and children’s worker in place.
Paul Robson has been working with local dads from across the district for the past two months who, for one reason or another, have needed a little extra support with a range of problems.
These can include unemployed dads who want jobs or training for a job; men who are working hard to rid themselves of past problems; dads struggling to bring up children with behavioural difficulties on their own following a break-up or family death; or dads needing advice about access to, or benefits for, their children.
Men with issues that could affect their children can be referred to the service. But most are dads who are experiencing some hardship, but want the best upbringing for their kids, who volunteer and seek the help they need, however big or small.
“I work with eight fathers at the moment and everyone comes here for a different reason,” said Paul.
“There is no template for the dads we support and we cover the whole spectrum from those who need help with parental rights, benefits or education.
“One father I’m working with wants to go back into higher education and has specific goals in mind to start building a better life for his children.
“We can help point people in the right direction and help them with parental routines, boundaries, school attendance issues and behaviour problems.
“There’s no compulsory element to it. It’s a voluntary service and people have to buy into it. But when they do it can really help them turn things around.”
The centre, two former council houses joined together in Forgie Crescent, is run by One Parent Families Scotland and is part funded by Inspiring Scotland.
It has helped all lone parents for the past 20 years through early years education, parenting advice and outreach services.
Poverty is a major issue for lone parents and many single adults with dependent children are often ‘unseen’ in this respect as they can come from backgrounds where poverty doesn’t usually exist.
Falkirk Council figures show that six per cent of all district households are inhabited by lone parents who can face isolation and poverty through difficulties managing their finances.
The centre can help with both. Manager Carrol Wilcox said: “We work with fathers and mothers on the practical skills of parenting such as routine, discipline and budgeting to help them provide a supportive and structured family life for their children, as well as to encourage social inclusion at all levels.”
For more information on the centre contact it on (01324) 711271.