Support and services for Western Australian fathers has received a boost with the official launch of a new program for men with young children.
Child Protection Minister Sue Ellery today launched the Dads in the Early Years Project, which recognises the importance of good fathering and the valuable contribution fathers make to children and communities.
“The role of fathers in families has continued to change and can present some real challenges,” Ms Ellery said.
“By addressing the needs of fathers, we can help build stronger families and communities, as well as making a long-term investment in the next generation."
The Dads in the Early Years Project has been developed by Meerilinga Young Children’s Services Inc, and offers resources, training and services to men with young families.
Key initiatives include a comprehensive website dedicated to issues affecting fathers in the early years and providing interactive sites and useful links.
A ‘Working with Fathers’ training program has also been developed to assist services engage with fathers, facilitate father groups and address issues affecting fathers in the early years.
A ‘Dad’s Expert Group’ will advise on the resources and training required to meet the needs of fathers in diverse communities throughout the State.
A directory of services will provide contact information for men as fathers to services including counselling, health, men’s issues, legal issues, disabilities, accommodation, crisis, Aboriginal resources, cultural resources and domestic violence.
“Western Australian fathers, like mothers, are in many diverse situations. Some do the job of parenting on their own; some in families. There are also fathers coping with little money and little extended family support,” Ms Ellery said.
“As children grow, the need for guidance and support for fathers remains.
“Father’s Day on Sunday reminded us of the important role of fathers in raising children and the Dads in Early Years project helps provide the support they may need.”
The Department for Child Protection has provided Meerilinga with a grant of $150,000 per year to September 2009 for the program.
Minister's office - 9213 7150