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Resource: even Toddlers Need Fathers

Helping fathers sustain a parental relationship with their child or children through the family courts.

This British website may be of interest and use by way of general background and information.

Do not rely on it for specific Australian legal information and details.

It contains many topical YouTube presentations.

even Toddlers Need Fathers


Helping fathers sustain a parental relationship with their child or children through the family courts
Tender Years doctrine
How does this psychological theory influence court orders for contact and custody between mothers and fathers?

Making an Application to Court
Precedents, Case Laws and Court Authorities in family proceedings

Why fathers are so important to the development of children and the seminal contribution of Professor Sir Michael Rutter

The welfare of the child and the Welfare Checklist. The role of CAFCASS and how they influence Court Orders

Shared or Joint Parenting
Overcoming barriers in UK family services and taking equal responsibility for your child or children

Parental Alienation
Most practitioners would consider PAS 'emotionally abusive' so why don't UK courts recognise parental alienation?

Winning 'Frequent and Substantial' Contact
Arguments and evidence a father may present to a family court judge to support his application for contact


'even Toddlers Need Fathers' includes a critique of a psychological theory prevalent throughout the UK family courts which discriminates against fathers. Known as the theory of 'maternal deprivation' it is more commonly referred to in family proceedings as the 'Tender Years' doctrine. The internationally acknowledged authority on children's welfare Professor Sir Michael Rutter said, "Very many thanks for sending me a copy of your interesting and informative guide on 'even Toddlers Need Fathers'. I much appreciate your drawing my attention to it".

A 2009 UK government review of the Department for Children, Schools and Families policies found, little or no explicit recognition of fathers in terms of legislation, including acts of parliament, regulation and statutory guidance and standards. The authors of the review noted, "Substantial barriers to improving engagement with fathers in family services exist in relation to: recognition and support for fathers in national policy; the workforce and delivery in family services; and the wider attitudes and behaviours of fathers and mothers in society."

It would be churlish to imagine these same attitudes do not extend to the UK family courts and you can find out more about the 'Tender Years' doctrine and the other 'barriers' that prevent fathers maintaining a parental role from a series of video clips on the evenToddlers YouTUBE Channel described below. There is  also a section on this website entitled, Winning 'Frequent and Substantial' Contact, which outlines some of the arguments and evidence that may be presented to a family court judge to support an application for contact or shared parenting. (NOTE See below for list of video clips on YouTUBE).

YouTube Clips

Shared Parenting / Joint Residence Orders

   Overcoming Barriers to Separated Fathers
   Shared Parenting - Recent Case Laws
   Belgium - A 'template' for Shared Parenting - 'Dads on the Air'
Research Supporting Fathers Involvement in the Family  
   Bonding - The Attachment Theory  
   'Growing up with Dad' research for 'Children in Wales' and Catch22, 2009
   Shared Parenting - Research
   Family Justice Council (UK) - Contact and Shared Parenting
   The Value of Government Research Projects - Professor Sir Michael Rutter

The Father's Role  
   Discipline, Punishment and Abuse - Professor Sir Michael Rutter
   Discipline and Fathers
   Barriers to Engaging Fathers in UK Schools and Family Services
   Prejudices against Fathers in UK Family Services
   Relationships and Resilience - Professor Sir Michael Rutter
   Overnight Stays and Family Proceedings
   Domestic Violence and Non-Molestation Orders

CAFCASS and the Fears and Realities of Divorce  
   CAFCASS and the 'Voice of the Child'
   The work of CAFCASS - Fathers' Rights
   Fears and Realities of Divorce

Social Services and Baby 'P' Peter  
   Social Services' Training and Child Deaths - 'More Harm than Good' - Baby 'P'
   Social Services and Child Deaths -  The death of Baby P
   The Death of Baby P and Fundamental Attribution Error

Child Development  
   Theories of Attachment in Young Children
   Maternal Deprivation - Professor Sir Michael Rutter
   Parenting - Professor Sir Michael Rutter

John Bowlby and Maternal Deprivation  
   John Bowlby and Maternal Deprivation
   'Bowlby's 'Monotropy' - The Nature of the Child's Tie to His Mother
   The 'Strange Situation' procedure and Separation Anxiety
   The work of Dr.John Bowlby; Reassessed

Fathers' Rights Issues  
   Unreliable Evidence - Family Courts
   Child Support Agency CSA
   Court upholds woman's right not to tell father about baby
   Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)  
   Parental Leave
   Child Abduction  
   Mediation Does Not Work!
   'Precedents' in Family Law - Fathers' Rights

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