WEDNESDAY, APR. 13: Single dads are “stepping up” to take care of their children in an increasing number of cases.

Amid the gloom over a record number of child abuse referrals in 2010, social workers say dads are providing reason for hope.

In several cases they have stepped in to take full-time care of their children or asked for support from Child and Family Services to seek custody because of concerns that a child is being abused.

Annisha Peets said: “We are seeing a lot more fathers stepping up and being the primary caregiver.

“Sometimes the father might be saying, ‘The mom is not doing this, this and this.’ They may have put in an application to the court and we may support it.”

Sherri Vanderpool said 2010 was notable because men had broken the stereotype of “deadbeat dads” to do their bit, adding: “They want to see their children, they are stepping up.”