Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

Dads At Home Project

dadsathome The Dads At Home Project was a pilot project that ran in the Cronulla region of NSW in 2004. This report outlines its aims and findings, and it offers lessons for people planning other similar dad-focused programs.

This program arose out of a realisation that while there are groups for new mothers to attend, there were not any father-specific groups for dads and their children to attend.

In conjunction with the Sutherland Health Service, the convener was able to start a pilot program for new dads.

Implications For Starting Dads Groups

One of the issues highlighted by this report is how little information exists on similar programs that have been previously attempted. MENGAGE aims to capture some of the programs such as Dads At Home where little other documentation and archiving has been done.

Recommendations From This Report

  • At least three months is required for planning the group
  • Carefully consider what methods are to be used to recruit participants - the local newspaper is an important method
  • The language in all advertising should be male and father friendly and child focused e.g how to help your child by attending this program etc
  • The venue should have parking available, be near local transport and have a room to use that is separate and self contained from the other activities of the centre
  • The focus of presentations should be on child health/parenting issues in a format that is welcoming to the fathers (easy going and well structured)
  • The program should be free, easy to attend (no complicated procedures) and flexible to meet the groups’ needs
  • At least one male (preferably) person (consumer or health worker) needs to take responsibility to organise the program and the group on an on going basis
  • All health services need to consider supporting such a group as one of the many strategies to target fathers who are the main carers for children and do not generally attend postnatal play groups or similar

Resources Available

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