Holyrood Magazine baby needs her dad

Holyrood is a fortnightly political and current affairs magazine, covering the Scottish political spectrum.  Since 2016 they have been running a series of articles about Kirsty, a fictional baby born at the beginning of the last parliament in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland.  She was created as a way of looking at whether policy passed in Scotland is improving life for children like her.

In the latest article, published at the start of the 2021 new parliament, they finally ask the question: How about her father?

In a frank introduction to this article, Jenni Davidson acknowledges that “We, like so many in Scotland, assumed she lived with her mum, assumed that her mum would be the main adult in her life and that her dad would only see her for visits.  And those kind of presumptions are something real life dads are struggling with in Scotland today.”

In the article she talks to various organisation who work with fathers about this stereotype of father absence, and about the need for Scottish politicians to have more information about the actual position of fathers in Scotland today and what can be done to support their involvement in the lives of their children.

Ian Maxwell, of Shared Parenting Scotland, comments in the article that if Scottish politicians  are serious about being the best place in the world to bring up a child, the politicians need to look at what is being done to promote the full involvement of both parents in countries like Sweden and Belgium which score well above Scotland in a range of childhood measures.