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What Works To Engage Fathers? Forum September 2011

The Men's Health Information and Resource Centre ran a forum in September 2011 to provide health service providers with improved knowledge and insights into working with men in an active way.

What Works To Engage Fathers

What Works To Engage Fathers

 

 
Many services are, by default, geared up to meeting the needs of 'children and families' which tends to exclude men and dads...
 

A key challenge for many service providers is understanding and actioning the appropriate ways to reach out, engage and communicate to men.

Many services are, by default, geared up to meeting the needs of 'children and families' which tends to exclude men and dads.

This forum set out to uncover some of the ways that service providers can engage with men and some of the strategies available to services which can be adopted at low cost to improve how they work with dads.

Key Insights For Father-Inclusive Practice By Health Services

  • Engaged fathers impact directly on children's health. An integral part of striving to improve child and family health is working to better involve fathers.
  • Services need to take an active approach towards engaging with dads. This can mean pushing past existing barriers and actively working to bring dads into conversations and discussions around their child's health needs. It means working with both mothers and fathers together.
  •  Services need to be bold and creative in addressing barriers that prevent fathers being actively involved.  This includes targeting fathers at workplaces, extending opening hours to allow for after-work sessions, and include fathers and their stories in newsletters and mailings. Make fathers as much a part of the health environment as you would for mothers.
  • Consider encouraging fathers to bring along a another male friend if that helps to increase confidence. This can pay dividends in encouraging other fathers to be involved as well as strengthening a father's own network.

Resources Available

 

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