Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre
Better Methods For Involving Fathers In Health Services

Since when did 'families' just mean women and children? Fathers play an immensely important role in health outcomes and as role models for their children. Fathers also play an important role as carers and supporters of their partners. So it follows that finding ways to engage with fathers proactively becomes really important. 

These resources offer examples of programs and research that uncover how and why fathers' involvement is important to their own as well as their family's health.

Dr Joseph Fleming: In Conversation - Involving Fathers

Fleming Involving fathers in family work particularly in child protection can be challenging for practitioners. Dr Joseph Fleming explores practitioners’ experiences of engaging fathers drawing from his research.

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beyondblue: Healthy Dads? The Challenge of Being a New Father

beyondblue beyondblue was commissioned by funding from the Movember Foundation to conduct this research which aims to understand experiences of psychological distress in new fathers, the barriers and facilitators to help seeking, appropriate communication concepts for engagement, and identifying strategies to support them and help to build their resilience.

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Community NSW: Brighter Futures Working With Fathers

bf 1 Brighter Futures is an early intervention program delivered by 14 agencies across NSW and is designed to build the resilience of families and children that are at risk.

"Caseworkers should recognise and take into account the diversity of fathers"...

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The Family Action Centre: Father-Inclusive Practice Guide

father inclusive The aim of father-inclusive practice is to engage fathers in a way that makes them feel welcome and valued, and encouraging them to participate in programs, as well as considering them in all aspects of service delivery. The current barriers to father-inclusive practice need to be addressed and services must strive to meet the needs of fathers.

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MHIRC: Resource Kit 3: Practitioners’ Guide to Men and Their Roles as Fathers

mhirc kit3 This guide is primarily focused on engaging fathers in community services, health contexts and programs who otherwise are often less involved for a wide variety of reasons. It has been written to support health professionals to engage with the fathers in the family context.

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Groupwork Solutions: Making Father-Inclusive Practice Happen

Andrew Andrew King is a consultant trainer and program developer in group work, working with men and strengths based practice. This page draws together his work and insights into how services can adopt father-inclusive actions to better engage with fathers and men. 

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DfES: Engaging Fathers Involving Parents, Raising Achievement

dfes This publication provides a summary of research and information available on engaging fathers in their children’s learning. Schools that include both mums and dads in the life of the school and in their children's learning, have seen significant positive differences to children's achievements, motivation and self-esteem. Involving fathers can also benefit the fathers themselves, as well as their families.

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FIRA: What Social Science Tells Us About Fathers and How To Work With Them

Father Factors This resource from Canada was published in 2011. It offers a useful review of the role of fathers and their approaches to fathering and how services can become better placed to meet the needs of families. 

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AIFS: Factsheet On Engaging Fathers In Child and Family Health

cafca This Practice Sheet summarises and builds upon the findings from the Engaging Fathers study (Berlyn, Wise, & Soriano, 2008). It provides ideas for practitioners and policy-makers about how to increase engagement of fathers in child and family services and programs. 

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Relationships Australia Victoria: Dads In Play Recommendations, Future Directions & Resources

dads in play Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has for the past decade been working with early intervention with fathers through universal and targeted community-based programs. The wider community is now recognising the benefits of father-inclusive practice and the positive outcomes it has for children, families and communities.

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UnitingCare Burnside: Checklist For Organisations Working With Men

ucb Although produced in 2004, this useful guide by Andrew King and Ross Fletcher offers useful advice for organisations wishing to improve their ability to work with men.

"The report provides a useful guide with a self-evaluation checklist..."

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Dads Included: Sharing Expertise In Father-Inclusive Practice (UK)

DadsIncludedSite The Fatherhood Institute based in the United Kingdom operates this service that encourages father-inclusive practice. The site is a community of people interested in how to better engage and work with dads in various settings.

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