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Event Tag: birth fathers

Counting Dads in: Understanding and Supporting Birth Fathers

Who this is for

Adoption Practitioners, Managers, Social Workers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and Local Authorities), Children’s Social Workers, Support Workers and Independent Professionals.


This evidence seminar draws on findings from new research on fathers and recurrent care proceedings, carried out by Dr Georgia Philip as part of a research team from the University of East Anglia and Lancaster University. Together with Debra Brady, a senior adoption practitioner at Adopt Thames Valley, we will also explore practice issues when working with birth fathers and consider what best practice could look like when supporting them.

“I thought it was very thought provoking training and helped me to think about my own practice and how I work with birth fathers.” – Attendee, September 2021

The seminar will involve sharing and discussing evidence on the scale and pattern of birth fathers’ involvement in care proceedings, and important insights about the life histories of fathers who experience child removal. It will also present key messages for developing gender sensitive practice to get alongside birth fathers and fully explore how they may be supported to retain a stake in fatherhood which benefits children.

“[I liked the…] fact information was evidence based. I liked case examples that were used. I enjoyed hearing what was identified as being helpful engaging and working with birth parents. [I liked…] networking and sharing resources to signpost birth fathers onto.” – Attendee, September 2021
There will be opportunities to reflect on and share examples from practice as part of interrogating and engaging with the research.
“I enjoyed the course and would recommend to colleagues.” – Attendee, September 2021

Learning outcomes

  • to gain an appreciation of the bigger picture of birth fathers’ involvement in first and subsequent care proceedings
  • to gain an appreciation of the early life histories and cumulative vulnerabilities of birth fathers who have experienced child removal
  • to consider the opportunities and priorities for developing practice to support birth fathers

About the trainers

Dr Georgia Philip is a Lecturer in Social Work, in the School of Social Work at the University of East Anglia, and her role involves both teaching and research. She joined the School as a postdoctoral researcher in November 2011, after completing her PhD on fathering after separation. She subsequently worked on a study on decision making for children in care and since 2014 worked as a lead researcher on two Nuffield funded projects – the first on men’s experiences of the child protection system (Counting Fathers In) and the second on the scale, pattern and dynamics of fathers in recurrent care proceedings (Up Against It). Georgia is currently working on an evaluation of the Caring Dads programme in Blackburn with Darwen, and on developing training and support for working with fathers who experienced repeat care proceedings.

Debra Brady has been working in social care for 47 years starting in 1975. Debra has worked in residential care with adolescents  in Buckinghamshire and for the London Borough Of Islington. She qualified in 1989 and moved to become a field social worker in Bucks initially in child protection and then in all other areas of children`s services. Debra has worked in Adoption since 1994 and from 2001 became a post Adoption worker and then in 2012 moved to her current post in Oxfordshire as a Birth relative support worker and letterbox co-ordinator. Debra has also been lucky enough to have a placement with PAC and complete their therapeutic counselling course. Debra has also been a member of Adoption panels.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.