Dads in Victoria who end up in prison are being denied their parental rights and treated differently from incarcerated mums, according to research published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.Read more
Australian fatherhood experts have called for dads to be included in national efforts to screen new parents for depression.
Screening mothers for mental illness before and after birth is now standard practice in Australia, but the mental health of dads is not routinely assessed at any point.Read more
This article was compiled by Richard Fletcher, University of Newcastle; Jacqui Macdonald, Deakin University, and Louise Newman, University of Melbourne and is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.
England’s National Health Service (NHS) this week announced it will offer mental health screening and treatment for new and expectant fathers whose partners are suffering from mental illness. The NHS described this as a “radical action to support families”, and it certainly is an unusual step.Read more
Not-for-profit organisation The Fathering Project has received a $5.4 million grant from the Federal Government to help expand its activities across Australia.
The Western Australian group was started in 2013 by Dr Bruce Robinson, with the purpose of helping dads have more involvement in the lives of their children.Read more
Gay fathers and their children continue to experience stigma and avoid situations because of fear of stigma, a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics has found.
The study, published on January 14, surveyed men who identified as gay and as fathers, drawing on 732 respondents from 47 states across the United States.Read more
A world-first program for fathers of pre-school-aged children is helping dads and their kids to enjoy healthier lifestyles.
The program, initiated by the University of Newcastle, focuses on rough and tumble play, healthy eating, active play and sport skills.Read more
A new dads’ group set up in Terrigal in NSW last September says it has expanded to nearly 40 groups across six states in just a few months.
The DILF Club (they say it stands for “Dads I’d Like To Friend”), was set up with the aim of establishing support networks for dads with younger children.Read more
Could Governments do better for men and boys? The facts are compelling. Our sons are less educated than our daughters. Our brothers die younger than our sisters. Our fathers are more likely to die at work than our mothers. Our male friends are more likely to die by suicide than our female friend.Read more
The evidence that involved dads positively influence their children’s health, social success and academic achievements is compelling and robust.
Parents can also impact their children in negative ways. Children whose dads show signs of depression in their first year are three times more likely to experience behavioural problems, while four year-olds with obese or overweight dads are up to 15 times more likely to be overweight four years later.
Taking action to help dads stay involved and stay healthy is better for men and better for their children. For mums, involved fatherhood can help advance gender equality by expanding women’s career opportunities and improving their economic security.
Three of the main barriers that prevent men being actively involved in their children’s lives are:
- Sex/gender differences in parenting roles
- Lack of social supports for dads
- Being a separated dad
While biology clearly shapes the roles that mums and dads play, men’s involvement in their children’s lives is also shaped by the parental leave policies of the country they live in. According to parenting campaigners, Australia’s paid parental leave is the least generous among OECD countries. Research shows that:
- 95% of primary parental leave takers are mums
- 85% of fathers take less than 4 weeks leave
- In the private sector, fewer than 30% of parents who take leave are men
- Most mums taking leave get 18 weeks pay, while most dads get two weeks
- 60% of private sector employers do not offer leave for dads
- Private employers who offer dads leave, give mums seven times more leave
- 3 in 10 dads experience discrimination related to parental leave and return to work despite
- Men are nearly twice as likely as women to have requests to work flexibly rejected.
One in two separated dads spend little or no time with their children after separation. Around 75% of separated dads say they want to be more actively involved, and 50% of separated mums also say they want dads involved more. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the four main barriers to separated fathers being more involved in their children’s lives are as follows:
- 1 in 2 say the demands of work is a key barrier
- 1 in 3 say the child’s mother is a key barrier
- 1 in 3 say distance/cost of travel is a key barrier
- 1 in 6 say a court-ordered arrangement is a key barrier
WANT TO TAKE ACTION?
Two Aussie stars from the worlds of sport and entertainment are taking part in an International Men's Day event to be held in Beaudesert, in South East Queensland this month.
The actor and storyteller, William McInnes, will be joined by captain of the Australian Men's Hockey Team, Mark Knowles, at a free dinner hosted by the Mayor of Scenic District Council, Greg Christensen.Read more