A3.3: Partnering and cohabitation
Exploring how different types of being a Dad can impact family violence
Support for Fathers is a national project coordinated by Relationships Australia Victoria that aims to support dads in their role as parents and partners, to increase men’s involvement in gender equity and reduce family violence. The project is funded by Department of Social Services (DSS) and comes under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Support for Fathers is providing dads with options on fatherhood, family relationships and connecting with kids, supporting dads and families to be happy and healthy. Support for Fathers aims to enable dads to be healthy role models for their family and for other dads in their community. We are also encouraging services to work with dads in an inclusive and positive way.
In our consultation across Australia we have received feedback from many men who believe that dads should be a “providing dad”; the breadwinner and protector of the family while the mum or partner is at home with the kids. However, this single type of dad does not suit everyone and sometimes dads and families want something that works for their lives and is a better fit for their parenting attitudes.
Support for Fathers is exploring the different roles dads can play in families and how the providing role can have positive and negative outcomes in reducing family violence. We provide dads with options for being different types of dads and support them to explore types, strengths and gaps.
Support for Fathers has developed resources for dads and families, including a professionals’ toolkit for support services working with dads and families. We are also encouraging dads to play their part to make positive steps forward and reduce family violence in Australia. Our resources are free and we are looking to develop more resources into the future with the possibility of a program delivery model for dads, families and support services.
Dom Alford is the Project Coordinator of Support for Fathers at Relationships Australia Victoria. He has worked in the welfare sector for 12 years across child protection, foster care, parent education and teaching. Dom has experience facilitating fathers’ groups, implementing father-sensitive practice and has developed an extensive network and knowledge base of fathers’ programs around Australia.