Dads of disabled children feel under huge pressure to earn more and need more support from colleagues and bosses, according to a survey by Scope.
The survey found the vast majority worry about money and many feel they are seen only as the breadwinner. Dads of disabled children say they do not get support from colleagues or bosses. Some15% say their workplace does not even know they have a disabled child.
Dads were also unaware of their right to request flexible working – four in ten did not know this was an option and many do not fully understand their child’s condition. The survey found four in ten did not fully understand their child’s disability and a third were not confident in caring for their child.
Two thirds say their relationships are suffering and eight in ten feel alone but only about four in ten get help from support groups or professionals.
The survey also asked dads about how the situation could be improved and what could be changed to ensure they have the support they need.
They highlighted the following:
– The need for appointments outside working hours. Dads said meetings, medical appointments, courses and support sessions were often held during the working week and if they worked they found it difficult to get time off. If more of these could be held at evenings and weekends, dads could have more involvement. This also applies to things such as coffee mornings, social clubs or play sessions to allow dads to interact with other families.
– Forums for dads
– Help and advice on day-to-day issues targeted at dads, perhaps in a forum or one-to-one basis. In particular, dads want suggestions that are based on their situation, not hard and fast rules that might not work for them.