B1.3 Engaging fathers in the first 1000 days


Dominic Alford
Relationships Australia Victoria
Tuesday 16 May 2023

Time: 4:55pm – 5:25pm

Room: Room 5

B1.3 The first 1000 days

Engaging fathers in the first 1000 days


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 provides dads and father-figures with options on fatherhood and family relationships. Through our website and ‘DadStuff’ workshops we enable dads to be healthy role models for their family and for other dads in their community. We also provide ‘Working with Dads’ training for support services across Australia to engage and work with dads in inclusive and positive ways through effective promotion, engagement and program design.

In our work with service providers across Australia, we have observed potential for improvement in engagement with dads and outcomes for father involvement in the first 1000 days of their child’s life. In response, we have developed resources, tools and strategies for practitioners to use with dads at different points of engagement including midwifery, birth, social work, maternal and child health and early years.

In this session we will discuss engaging dads in the first 1000 days, the tools and strategies practitioners can put in place, reducing family violence, current fatherhood research and what is working well in services focused on the first 1000 days across Australia.

Support for Fathers is exploring the different roles dads can play in families and how their engagement with health and support services in the first 1000 days plays a pivotal role in reducing domestic and family violence.

Support for Fathers has developed resources for dads and families, including a professionals’ toolkit for support services working with dads and families. Visit our website to find out more www.supportforfathers.com.au.


Dom Alford is the Program Leader at Relationships Australia Victoria across Support for Fathers, Respectful Relationships and wellbeing programs. He leads the discussion in engaging fathers in the prevention of violence and has worked in the welfare sector for 15 years including child protection and family services.