School Group FAQs
WHAT IS THE FATHERING PROJECT?
The Fathering Project is a not for profit, inclusive charity that seeks to help children by working with schools and assisting fathers and father-figures to realise their importance in children’s lives and to improve their effectiveness as fathers and role-models for children. The Fathering Project utilises researched evidence to develop programs and initiatives to encourage fathers to realise how important they are in a child’s life, inspire them to get involved with their children and give them advice and opportunities on how to do this.
WHAT DOES THE “CHAMPION” DADS’ PROGRAM INVOLVE?
We aim to assist dads and father-figures to form and then maintain “Champion” Dads’ Groups (CDG’s) that are directly connected to the schools their children attend. These groups are self-supporting and work in a collaborative partnership with their school leadership and community.
WHO CAN BE INVOLVED?
We recognise that a primary male influence may not be present in a child’s life or may not necessarily be their actual father, and as such it may be a step-dad, uncle, grandfather or someone otherwise connected with their family. We encourage anyone who sees themselves as a ‘father figure’ in any context to become involved with The Fathering Project.
WHAT OUTCOMES CAN BE ACHIEVED?
The creation of these groups gives dads the opportunity to engage with their children in fun activities, whilst at the same time becoming part of a strong and supportive network with like-minded dads, developing their own parenting knowledge, making new friends for themselves and their children and building a stronger school community.
HOW DO I START A “CHAMPION” DADS’ GROUP AT MY SCHOOL AND GET DADS TO ATTEND THE INFORMATION NIGHT?
Please read our Get Started Guide to understand the process of forming the group. We use the analogy of “Lighting a Campfire”. The critical part is to identify two to six keen, motivated, influential, social dads who will “drive” the project and “attract” other men to the group! The Fathering Project staff will provide the school with promotional plans and material to support you in attracting as many dads as possible.
WHAT IS THE COST TO BE INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM AND WHAT DOES THIS INCLUDE?
In order to receive accreditation and access the support and resources of The Fathering project, we ask for a contribution of $400. This includes planning and support on promoting and launching the group, attendance from one of our trained presenters, access to TFP’s resources and partnerships that exist with corporate and community groups and networking opportunities with leaders from other nearby schools. We also provide copies of our ‘ Blue Book of Tips for Dads and Father Figures’ written by Professor Bruce Robinson and a promotional banner that can be used by your group once you are established.
WHAT COMMITMENT IS EXPECTED OF THE DADS AND FATHER FIGURES WHO MAY LEAD THIS PROGRAM?
TFP aims to make the commitment enjoyable and manageable for those who volunteer to lead these groups. We suggest running four events a year as a combination of dads and kids activities and dad specific events. TFP actively works with these leaders to provide ideas, planning guides, resources and other support. All dads and father figures who take on the role of leading these groups would need to secure a valid Working With Children Check.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION OR SCHOOL BOARD?
Each CDG will need to become aligned and endorsed by the school’s Parent Association, School Board or a similar school body, with an endorsement letter then being provided to The Fathering Project.
The CDG is then expected to work with these bodies in their own school context and stay aligned with their expectations.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP?
The role of the Principal and school leaders is important in assisting dads to initiate and implement these groups within their school community, but once the groups are established the Principal’s role becomes one of providing support and guidance rather than actively coordinating or organising the group’s activities. The Fathering Project acts as a facilitator and the CDG’s are made aware that although The Fathering Project provides significant resources and support, the school Principal is the primary authority when it comes to the approval and planning of the group’s activities.
HOW MANY SCHOOLS ARE ALREADY INVOLVED?
Our head office is in Western Australia and as of January 2018, over 140 CDG’s have been formed. Most are in WA, but we are expanding our presence in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
WHAT HAPPENS IF OUR SCHOOL IS INTERESTED?
Once The Fathering Project has received positive responses from school leaders and organisations such as the Parent Association or Board, we liaise with the school to formally book a presentation for the dads and father figures in your school community. At this presentation, we would outline some principles on Fathering and provide those in attendance with the necessary information and support to implement a “Champion” Dads’ Group in the school and become officially registered with us.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF REGISTRATION?
Once your school community has agreed to go ahead and we have received your letter of endorsement and conducted a presentation, the Dads and father-figures will need to provide their contact details and a brief plan of their proposed activities. Once this has been received and the registration fee paid, a certificate will be issued for display at your school.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
If you would like more information about “Champion” Dads’ groups in relation to your children’s school please contact your state’s manager or access our website www.thefatheringproject.org
WA Schools Manager Paul Valentino firstname.lastname@example.org 0408955449
NSW Schools Manager David Forrest email@example.com 0491297022
VIC Schools Manager Colin West firstname.lastname@example.org 0412133375
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