The role of fathers is continually evolving – and with it, the recognition that their physical and mental health, behaviour and contribution has a significant impact on children, partners, families, workplaces and communities.
Australian and international studies are encouraging us to think about how to more effectively engage men and fathers in a range of services.
Children’s development and learning benefit significantly when men are positively engaged with the family. Moreover, we know that when first time fathers are supported during this significant life transition, they can make more positive contributions all round – to kids, partners, families and communities.
Dads who are engaged earlier tend to stay involved throughout a child’s life and have a greater positive influence on family safety, educational and health outcomes for both boys and girls.
This evidence challenges all of us to be more proactive in our efforts to engage fathers. It also asks us to reassess the way we plan, develop and deliver health, education and community programs.
Kildonan UnitingCare has developed some great partnerships, programs and approaches that are working positively to address what’s referred to as ‘Father Inclusive Practice’.
The aim is to achieve positive, practical, culturally competent and safer outcomes for Dads, families and communities.