Media Release: Additional funding to improve child outcomes by supporting fathers

The Morrison Government has committed an additional $4.1 million over two years to The Fathering Project so that fathers across the country can connect through dads groups and learn skills to better support their kids.

The Fathering Project helps establish dad’s groups to improve parenting ability, help struggling dads get back on their feet and build better relationships with their families and community. 

Children with disengaged fathers experience poorer educational outcomes and higher rates of mental illness, illicit drug use and incarceration. Conversely, children with engaged and supportive fathers or father figures have better learning outcomes and improved mental and physical wellbeing, with benefits lasting well into adult life. 

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Morrison Government is committed to delivering support and resources to enhance fathers’ parenting skills and strengthen their relationships with their children. 

“This is especially important now, as dads may have felt like they didn’t have a support network of other dads through lockdowns,” Minister Ruston said. 

“In 2018 the Government provided $5.4 million over three years to the Fathering Project to help the establishment of the groups and we are committed to supporting the continuation of these groups so that Aussie dads can be the best they can be. 

“There are now more than 760 dad’s groups across Australia and this additional funding will help expand these programs and support more than 320,000 Australian families through face to face peer support groups, parenting education and an extensive digital presence. 

“The Fathering Project gives fathers the tools and confidence to positively influence their child’s health, social success and academic achievement, allowing their family and the broader community to live independently and thrive.” 

The Fathering Project CEO Káti Gapaillard said the challenges of COVID and shifting societal expectations have exacerbated the existing stressors experienced by families, both parents and children. 

“This funding has come at a critical time for the Australian community,” Ms Gapaillard said. 

“Our experience at the coalface indicates a growing wave of men are struggling with fatherhood, resulting in poor mental health outcomes and contributing to increase rates of domestic violence, suicide child abuse and neglect.” 

For more information on The Fathering Project visit Home - The Fathering Project.

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