Dads Groups 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 organisations, 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 FATHERING PROJECT DADS GROUPS PROGRAM INVOLVE?
We aim to assist Fathers and Father-figures to form and maintain Fathering Project Dads Groups that are directly connected to the schools their children attend. Dads Groups can also be affiliated with Community Groups, Organisations or Workplaces. 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. We also recognise some children’s primary father-figure is not their biological father rather – 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 Fathers and Father figures 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 Fathers, developing their own parenting knowledge, making new friends for themselves and their children and building a stronger community at their school or organisation.
HOW DO I START A GROUP AT MY SCHOOL OR ORGANISATION, AND GET DADS TO ATTEND THE INFORMATION NIGHT?
Please read our ‘How to Start a Dads Group – Get Started Guide’ to understand the process of forming the group. The critical part is to gauge interest from two to six keen and motivated Fathers or Father-figures to act as leaders for the group. Our staff will provide resources to support in attracting as many Fathers as possible.
WHAT IS THE COST TO BE INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM AND WHAT DOES THIS INCLUDE?
In order to receive accreditation and access our support and resources, 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, along with networking opportunities with leaders from other Dads Groups. We also provide copies of our ‘Blue Book of Tips for Fathers and Father-Figures’ written by Professor Bruce Robinson. (Contribution amount and payment model may vary from state to state.)
WHAT COMMITMENT IS EXPECTED OF THE FATHERS AND FATHER-FIGURES WHO MAY LEAD THIS PROGRAM?
We aim to make the commitment enjoyable and manageable for those who volunteer to launch these groups. We suggest four events a year which can be a combination of Dads and kids activities and Dad specific events. We actively work with leaders to provide ideas, planning guides, resources and other relevant support. All Fathers and Father-figures who take on the responsibility of leading these groups will need to secure a valid Working With Children Check and request to be officially recognised as a Group Leader through their online profile at fatheringproject.com/members/my-group-settings
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PARENT ASSOCIATION , SCHOOL BOARD OR SUPPORTING ORGANISATION?
Each Fathering Project Dads Group will need to become aligned and endorsed by the school’s Parent Association, School Board or a similar body, with an endorsement letter then being provided to The Fathering Project as part of the registration process. The group is then expected to work with these bodies in their own context and stay aligned with their expectations.
CAN FAMILIES BE INVOLVED IF THERE IS NO FATHER OR FATHER-FIGURE AVAILABLE?
The Fathering Project promotes the involvement of children in the program wherever possible. Each Fathering Project Dads Group is encouraged to identify ways to include families in this situation, and are provided with a number of suggestions about how this could be facilitated.
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 in their school community, but once established the principal’s role becomes one of support and guidance rather than actively coordinating or organising activities. The Fathering Project act as a facilitator and the groups are made aware that although we provide 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 GROUPS ARE ALREADY INVOLVED?
Our head office is in Western Australia and as of January 2018, over 140 groups have been formed. Most are in WA, but we are expanding our presence in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
If you would like learn more about Dads Groups please contact your state’s manager or The Fathering Project’s central office.