Information for dads and other male carers

Information for dads and other male carers.

The relationship between fathers and their children is very important for children's development. Dads have a vital role to play in bringing up children whether they live with or apart from them.

There are various services and sources of support available for dads, stepdads and granddads throughout Oxfordshire which we have listed here.

For further information about other sources of support please contact us.

Why dads matter

Watch a video that contains interviews in which members of the public and a fatherhood champion, Matt Buttery, explore the role of dads and why they matter.

Becoming a dad

You can make an appointment to register your baby's birth online.

You can go along to local baby cafes with your partner for breastfeeding support.

Do you run a group for dads?

If you run a group for dads we can advertise the group (free). Just register at

Parenting support

Being a parent can be one of the most challenging jobs. All mums, dads and carers may need support from time to time to do it as well as they can and there are various sources of parenting support. Most parenting programmes/groupsare mixed but there are some which are specifically for fathers.

For tips and information on how talking to your baby makes a difference visit the Dads - Talk to your Baby website.

Play and leisure

Playing with your child is great fun, helps children’s development and strengthens the relationship between parent and child. Some of the best play is completely free: water painting, scrap modelling and treasure hunts are just some ideas - the Oxfordshire Play Association can give you plenty more. 


All babies and young children can get free books through Bookstart.

Non resident dads

The Why Dads Matter video contains interviews with a non-resident dad and fatherhood champion, Matt Buttery from Dad Talk. It includes tips on keeping in touch and how to get through living apart.

Separation and divorce

Family separation and divorce can be difficult and there are various sources of support and advice available for all the family from virtual contact centres to family mediation and counselling.

Oxfordshire Family Mediation (OFM) is a local charity affiliated to the national Family Mediation service who can provide mediators to help families find their own solutions when relationships break down. For more information search the Family Information Services Directory.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support parents provide for their child when they separate. It can help towards a child's everyday living costs and give them the best start in life. It is a legal requirement but many children benefit from an arrangement that their parents have agreed between themselves.  See the Child maintenance options website for more information.

Finding childcare

To look at different types of childcare to help you decide and search for childcare providers.

Paternity rights and pay

When your partner has a baby you may be entitled to paternity leave and  paternity pay.

Flexible working and time off

It may be important to change working hours to accommodate changing family circumstances. All employees can now request a change in employment hours.  This can include to work part time hours, flexi-time, job sharing, term time working and working from home among others. For further details see the working families website.

Parental leave

Parental leave is additional leave from work for employees to look after their child's welfare. This may be unpaid or paid.

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility is a legal term and replaces the term 'custody'. The Family Rights Group has produced an advice sheet (pdf format, 100Kb) to explain this.

Financial support

If you are looking to find a job or return to work, Job Centres have a range of jobs.

Also your local children and family centre can also provide useful information

Help with paying for childcare

Video information

Videos and other information from are licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. Enquiries regarding the use and re-use of this information resource should be sent to