Engaging Fathers in Child and Family Services.

Year Published
Author (Individual)
Berlyn, Claire.
Wise, Sarah.
Soriano, Grace.
Author (Organization)
Australian Government.
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
Resource Type
Resource Format
Resource Language

The paper, 'Engaging fathers in child and family services: participation, perceptions and good practice' describes father participation in selected Stronger Families and Communities Strategy (SFCS) 2004-2009 programs and services. The SFCS is an initiative of Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). As part of the themed study component of the national evaluation of the SFCS, the report explores fathers' engagement with child and family services.

The study found: fathers were involved in a diverse range of services, programs and activities across the SFCS; there were a number of sociocultural, service and other factors that acted as barriers to fathers' access to services and vice versa; and services that were most successful at engaging with fathers were those that were specifically tailored for men and were exclusive to fathers.

While service providers acknowledged ongoing challenges in engagement, they had put in place strategies to improve father participation. These included: introducing flexible hours of operation, employing male facilitators, developing father-specific services, marketing services to men in male spaces, using male-friendly language and advertisements, and creating service venues where men felt comfortable. (Author abstract)

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