Community Message

20 March 2020

Now, more than ever, caring for family, friends and community is critical.

A father’s place: kids and community

Fathers and father-figures have always impacted the wellbeing of their kids, and that of the wider community. In our rapidly changing world and during times of uncertainty like COVID-19, it has never been more important for us to support our fathers to care for their kids, families and communities.

With changes to daily life like social distancing, working from home and discouraged group sport and entertainment now in effect – the demands on fathers are unprecedented, and the importance of strong father-child bonds are paramount in determining the best outcomes for everyone.

Connection during this time of uncertainty is critical. Our communities are at risk of impacts caused by stress, anxiety and fear – layered with the effects of social isolation and losing connection as well as employment and financial stresses. All of these factors see us juggling a new norm – from cooking, conference calls, and home schooling, to increased risk of mental health issues and behaviour changes, including potential to react harshly or violently to family members.

But, with these challenges, comes opportunity. Opportunity to strengthen bonds, build new habits, reconnect with family, and engage in different ways with community. With the help of technology, we plan to ensure that we can stay connected and supported – as individuals, families and communities.

What are we doing?

At The Fathering Project, we’re ramping up our support for dads and kids by creating engaging content to support our new virtual community groups. We’re all about the engagement of dads, building a collective support group, positive messaging, and strengthening the fathers-child bonds through this new virtual community – featuring podcasts, videos, chat forums, research-based reading materials and lighthearted celebrity conversations.

With launch less than 15 days away, our online community will soon become a source of research-based advice, exchange, support, entertainment and information – as we do our bit to build a virtual community and foster connection, sharing and collaboration in this time of isolation and need.

You will find detailed support for yourself and your families – with a weekly set of programs and new content dropping everyday across our social, website, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Webinars and forums will also soon open on The Fathering Channel, allowing sharing and collaboration to our wider fathering network.

Stay tuned as we prepare to launch The Fathering Channel, and help build strong resilient dads for their kids, families and communities.

How you can support our virtual community

We know we already have a vibrant community of fathers, father-figures and supporters engaged through our grassroots programs in schools and Dads Groups. As a natural extension of this we will be asking you to share and exchange ideas via our online forums at thefatheringproject.org.

Add your voice and support to our fathering community with everything from providing exchange and connection, to practical parenting advice and activities.

Moving forward with existing initiatives

The primary purpose of our existing work with schools is to engage and support fathers, for the benefit of kids. Our support won’t stop now. In fact, we’re reaching out to more fathers as they adapt to new working, learning, living and parenting scenarios. Our virtual communities will help fathers with everything from helping their kids understand the change, to assisting with schoolwork at home.

Meanwhile, staff at participating schools will soon gain access to our online In Schools Portal which houses our planning tool and an extensive library of evidence-based resources and strategies for schools to build family partnerships.