About Us - The Fathering Project
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ABOUT THE FATHERING PROJECT

 

The Fathering Project started when Professor Bruce Robinson, a respiratory physician, analysed the regrets that patients often expressed when they did not have long to live. He found that they stated unanimously:

 

• I did not spend enough time with my kids
• I spent too much time at work
• I wish someone could have helped me back then

 

Bruce used this feedback as the drive to begin researching fatherhood, spending hours interviewing men and kids. This resulted in a deep understanding of fatherhood which resulted in a number of book publications and the creation of The Fathering Project

Bruce’s research showed that the most powerful missing force in preventing problems that adolescents have today is a strong father figure. His research discovered the significant impact that an effective father figure can have on an entire life.

THE RESEARCH IS COMPELLING

 

Research shows that an effective father figure results in reduced incidence of crime, alcohol & drug abuse; enhanced mental health & self esteem; improved school engagement & performance; increased social competence; decrease in risky sexual behavior; improved health behaviours.

 

Fatherless homes*

  • 2 x likely to end up in gaol
  • 2 x likely to drop out of school
  • 4 x likely to need help for emotional or behavioural problems
  • 71% of all high school dropouts  – 9 times the average
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centres  – 10 times the average
  • 63% of youth suicides  – 5 times the average
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children – 32 times the average

 

* US data, The Fathering Project is currently researching Australian data

THE FATHERING PROJECT APPROACH

The Problem

The worsening gap between kid’s risks and father’s performance as dads.

Point of Difference

Stop the problem rather than trying to fix it. Turn of the tap don't mop up the water.

Our Solution

Provide inspiration and tools for father figures to act.

The Outcome

Research shows there is a reduction of social, behavioural and mental health issues.

THE AIMS
  • To help fathers and father figures realise how important they are in a child’s life
  • To help them learn to engage with their children.
  • Develop programs and initiatives to assist with and promote the engagement
  • Utilising research based evidence to encourage positive change in fathers.
THE STRATEGIC PLAN

Outreach

  • Schools program to target early behaviours
  • Workplaces including FIFO, AFL clubs
  • Community groups including sports clubs, churches

Resources

  • Develop website, apps, social media, publications, info to assist father figures
  • Weekly email tips to fathers and father figures

Research

  • Ensure best practice information is provided
  • Ensure all programs are evaluated
  • Undertake research to grow the knowledge of fathering

Partnerships

• Create alliances with other agencies in order to develop the most effective and efficient product

THE SCHOOLS PROGRAM

 

We find motivated fathers to create Fathering Groups in schools. The groups are self supporting but collaborative within the school. School Principals and teachers ‘just get it’ – if a father or father figure is present and effective, the child performs better at school. They see it every day.

 

The Fathering Groups undertake 3 levels of activities:

Father activities

  • To inspire and educate fathers to be better by creating learning environments in a fun atmosphere

Father & child fun

  • Conduct activities where fathers and children share good times, create war stories and importantly engage on a personal level

School support activities

  • To assist with school projects but importantly provide a male presence in schools
It’s impossible to quantify the value of the Champion Dads to our school. As fathers, they are fantastic role models to their children and to the wider community. Our society as a whole is strengthened by the presence of such a group.

Barbara Horan - Principal, Booragoon Primary School