Parenting & Fatherhood


DadsOnside is a programme for Norfolk men who are struggling with fatherhood and, or are, at risk of losing meaningful contact with their children. Through one-to-one and group activities, we can support men around all aspects of parenting, whether they are a new dad, having adverse relationships with their children or going through the process of family separation. We also offer Caring Dads courses promoting positive parenting for men who are harsh, abusive, neglectful of their children or have exposed them to domestic violence. Our Learner Dads programme offers support to dads in the run up to their baby’s birth.

Please use our Online Referral Form if you or someone you know would like support with their parenting or for further information, contact our Service Lead Suzy Coulson.

Our sessions for dads should not be seen as a replacement for any aspect of your antenatal care – they are intended to be an addition to the care you receive.

Important information for referrers can be found here.

DadsOnside is funded by the National Lottery, the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation and the Charles Hayward Foundation.

Caring Dads

Caring Dads is designed to teach men fathering techniques that put the needs of their children first. They learn to replace violent, intimidating or shaming parenting practices with positive, empathetic, and nurturing child-centred techniques. The focus is on how dads can adapt their behaviour to the changing needs of children from their babyhood all the way through to their teenage years. Equally important, the men have to reflect on the impact of the maltreatment and abuse of their wives or partners upon their children. They are taught skills for improving not only their relationships with their children but also with their children’s mothers/caretaking-mothers.

The groups are run as facilitated, interactive discussions. Participants meet with the Programme’s coordinator and their referrer before it begins to set individual learning outcomes as well as to talk through and ask questions about the course and how we run it.  Each of the 17 sessions is two hours long and looks at different aspects of parenting: the influences of our own experience of being parented, relationship with child’s mum and at the various stages of child development.

The next Caring Dads Programmes are:

  • 13th August (online)
  • 22nd October (in-person in Norwich)


Please note that participants on the Caring Dads Programme need to be referred by a professional working with dad and/or the family.  This could be a family support worker, school professional, health professional, social worker, probation officer, welfare support worker, etc.  Make a referral via For further details, email Suzy Coulson or call on 07594 879615.

When making a referral for the dates in August or October, please state which is your preference. The online date (13th August) is mainly intended for those dads who will struggle to attend face-to-face sessions due to distance or other commitments.

Learner Dads

Learner Dads offers expectant dads the opportunity to take part in a free workshop held on Saturday mornings in Norwich and Great Yarmouth from May through to November 2024.

These workshops – featuring up to 10 dads in each session – will be led by experienced facilitators, are designed to help men prepare for birth and what comes next, in terms of supporting their partner, bonding with their baby and taking care of themselves. The idea is to explore the issues existing dads have told us they wish they’d had more knowledge of when they were expecting their babies. Each workshop will run for three hours.

Specifically, the workshops will cover core topics such as:

  • how to best support our partners during labour
  • how to bond with our new baby
  • what to do when our baby cries
  • what changes to expect after the baby is born
  • post-natal depression in dads

In addition, there will be scope to answer other questions expectant dads may have.

For specific session dates and locations, please refer to the Learner Dads schedule of dates for 2024-25.

Post-birth, Learner Dads will provide additional support via WhatsApp conversations and a check-in phone call to catch-up on how things are going.

To apply for a place email with your name, contact details and the due date of your baby.

Please put LEARNER DADS WORKSHOP in the subject and state whether you’re interested in attending Norwich or Great Yarmouth.

Learner Dads is funded by Norfolk Community Foundation.

How’s your father

A theatre project.

How’s Your Father was a free show about dads. The project was a unique collaboration between Menscraft, popular local theatre company The Common Lot, the UEA  School of Social Work and Dads Matter, a service for fathers provided by Norfolk County Council.

There are two videos here one is a half hour documentary, and the other an explanatory trailer.

The show focuses on challenged and challenging dads, telling the stories of four men’s experiences as fathers and their encounters with authority. Each story poses different questions on what it means to be a father, what challenges fathers can face and cause and why fathers matter, for all of us. Video made by Liam Hind.