"The report provides a useful guide with a self-evaluation checklist..."
Many organisations are looking to improve their ability work with men as fathers, with varying levels of success.
This report offers an incisive summary of an effective approach towards building a health service that is better equipped to accommodate fathers' needs.
The report takes into account four major factors that services need to consider when structuring themselves to target men and effectively meet the needs of both males and females:
- Environment: this is about shaping the service in its visible forms to indicate that it is welcoming and prepared for men to use it. It is well-known in service sectors that people use visual cues to assess the readiness of a service as soon as they walk in such as the cleanliness of facilities, approaches of staff and the ease with which the service can be used.
- Language: this relates to some of the basic assumptions some services may bring and how those assumptions can be projected onto even positive and willing fathers. Such assumptions include expecting fathers to resist learning about their children or that fathers are not interested in effective relationships. Services need to be mindful of these potential barriers.
- Initial contact and marketing: does the service even have provision for the father's details? A service that directs its communications to focus on mothers and children will by default be excluding fathers from the start. There are some easy-to-implement, basic principles that can provide a significant boost in engagement and reponse from mothers and fathers.
- Service provision: this relates to the structure of the service and how it communicates its offering in a clear, confident way that instils trust in its targets.
The report provides a useful guide with a self-evaluation checklist for organisations to better shape their offerings to meet the needs of men.
- Report and Checklist For Services To Better Work With Men -76 KB
Andrew King and Ross Fletcher developed this checklist for organisations working with men in 2004, and it remains relevant today to enable better service provision.