Fathers, families and children (E345)
With 36% of parents separating before a child reaches 16 years old, there appears to be an epidemic of ‘fatherlessness’ in the country – 65,000 children are said to be affected by this epidemic, resulting in 10% of all births in any one year ending with a child living in a single parent family. Here and in the US, many children are growing up without ever having a father in their lives. Does the adversarial court system set up a polarization, and where is the government strategy to support parents who separate? We invited Michael Lewkowicz, director of communications for Families Need Fathers, onto Sputnik to talk about shared parenting and shared rights.
Hamilton Academicals or ‘the Accies’ are a grand old Scottish football team. Colin McGowan is the CEO of the club but he is also the main force behind the charity Blameless. Addiction to drugs and alcohol in Scotland has cut a swathe across the country for many years; every four hours there is a suicide due to drugs or alcohol abuse. But the suffering reaches far beyond the addicts themselves, destroying families and, in particular, the lives of the children of addicts who are themselves exposed to the abuse. Colin has seen suffering from both sides, so we invited him onto the show to tell us about the atrophy of life chances of young people and how the Blameless charity is trying to help.