In my capacity as Chair of the Fatherhood All-Party Parliamentary Group I wrote a joint article for Father's Day with Jenny Chapman, Member of Parliament for Darlington and Shadow Minister for Early Years and Childcare. You can read the article in full on LabourList here.
Children in single parent families are almost twice as likely to grow up in poverty and are three mores more likely to suffer from mental health problems. These children end up with worse grades than their peers and are much less likely to go on to higher education. They are more likely to end up in a gang or behind bars, and they are more likely to end up caught up in alcohol or drug abuse.
Fatherhood is therefore an issue that gets right to the heart of social mobility and the 'life chances' agenda.
Modern society expects too much of mums, many of whom find themselves doing the 'double shift' of working and parenting, and our public services are still heavily weighted towards the idea of a breadwinner and a homemaker when this this isn't the reality.
If policy focused on a system that offered more support to fathers it would take some of the burden off mothers whilst also fostering active and engaged fathers.