Anti-Family Violence Trial Targets Dads
24 May 2016 at 11:15 am
Victoria will be the first state to trial an international program to help fathers realise the impact of family violence, with a half million dollar grant to a child protection Not for Profit.
The Victorian government has announced $575,000 for the Children’s Protection Society to begin the prevention and early intervention trial known as the Caring Dads program.
The Caring Dads program was first developed in Canada with the combined expertise of the Children’s Protection Society, UnitingCare ReGen, the University of Toronto and Melbourne University.
It is currently running in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.
The Melbourne trial will see around 60 fathers who are thought to be at risk of engaging in violent behaviour, or may have alcohol or other drug issues, invited to participate.
The men will attend voluntary group sessions over 17 weeks, discussing the impact of trauma on their children and how to be more respectful towards their children’s mothers.
The program trial is part of the Victorian Government’s response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
“We want men to engage in respectful, non-abusive co-parenting with their partners. Where they have exposed their children to violence in the past, they need to realise the impact of their actions on their children,” minister for families and children Jenny Mikakos said.
“By intervening early, women and children are kept safe. There is an urgent need to trial new family-focused strategies.”
Children’s Protection Society CEO Aileen Ashford said programs like Caring Dads played a crucial role in supporting children who experience violence, abuse and neglect.
“The programs demonstrate innovation in the child and family sector, and the evidence base of the programs strongly indicate that they make a real difference to children and families,” Ashford said.
“We have witnessed the current system fail at risk children. One part of this is that families dealing with violence, abuse and neglect have limited support available to them. As a sector, we need to enhance the scope of services that assist parents early on and support their positive relationships with their children.
“There are very few services that respond holistically to the multiple issues associated with children and family violence, and are evidence-based. These programs aim to keep children and parents together, and build safe and healthy environments.”