Fathers Work Consultant
PERSONAL PROFILEThe Fathers Group was launched to help support fathers and it is coordinated by Jeff. Jeff is also commonly known as TJ.
Jeff’s work with Men began in 1994, when he became a case worker volunteer with the organization Prison Link. Prison Link which works in partnership with the West Midlands Probation Service is funded to provide support to offenders. Jeff’s involvement with Prison Link led him to working with men in Prisons but also in the community following discharge from custody.
Jeff’s work with the Criminal Justice system, in resettling offenders, includes the following: -
- Prison Service
- Domestic home visits
- Race relations meetings
- Employment placements
- Working in conjunction with the Probation Trust
- Client custody interviews and resettlement surgeries
- Assessment of client needs suffering loss of liberty and varied administration tasks
- Liaising with local organisations
Jeff holds a Qualification and has acquired his specialism through the Social Work pathway and achieved other relevant Training Certificates. Jeff holds a Qualification in Health and Social Child Care and a Certificate in Leadership and Project Management. Jeff has received a Nominee Award Trophy in recognition of 15 years of hard work with fathers and Men in Prisons and referrals from the Probation Service.
Jeff’s interest in working with men grew as he met many of all ages who were disillusioned, had lost hope, or hope within themselves and believed they had nothing to offer their families or their communities. Many had low self-esteem, had never achieved and so believed they could not. Some men internalised their failure and displaced this in various ways upon their partners and families, which led to separation from partners, Children and extended families. Most of these men were fathers and as Jeff worked with them, he watched their lives transform from a caterpillar into a butterfly; which they began to believe in themselves again and excelling to achieve.
This resulted in some men obtaining employment for themselves, gaining access to their children because they demonstrated genuine changes in their lives. They have also moved forward and obtained healthy relationships. In addition, they have developed greater self- awareness in order to make better decisions and choices for themselves.
From 2007 to 2011, Jeff became an Agency employee for the Directorate of Children and Families ‘Flying Start, which is now named "Foundation Years Parenting Support Team". During this period when Jeff worked with fathers, he established 4 father’s groups within the hard to reach areas. This was replicated within other Children Centres across the City of Birmingham. The challenge was a formidable task as the fathers needed to reside in a reach area, having children between 0-5 years old with targeted needs and pending post code restrictions to access the father’s group services. However, with Jeff’s outreach and unique special skill approach, the father’s groups was formulated and well attended; consisting between 10 to 21 fathers. Each week Jeff had an attendance of 8 to 10 fathers.
Jeff has given presentations for the fathers group at various venues such as Hotels, Probation Service, Job Centres and the International Convention Centre, to share how he engages fathers from the community. In effect, Jeff has received referrals from Solicitors, Probation officers and Social Workers and as a result, it was well attended by a few fathers.
In 2011, Jeff delivered a ‘Promoting Happier Parenting Programme’ within HMP Birmingham, to encourage positive relationship building with fathers who were visited by their children and families in Prison. This encouraged father’s to positively engage with their children and to improve themselves.
Jeff has gained a Certificate in Prison Work training through Prison Link and has joint partnership with Prison Link and delivered team building sessions and other workshop projects to men, ex-offenders and fathers.
Update for 2020. Jeff has now established 15 successful father’s groups across the City of Birmingham including the Wolverhampton City.