Support for Dads
Father & Child helps hundreds of dads through periods of ante-natal or baby time difficulties, PMH issues, loss, separation anxiety or frustration. We offer peer, practical and personal support, strategies around family situations and support through enduring issues.
Our support is free and can include referrals to other agencies, working with CYFs, mediation and legal options. We know that some dads just need to be heard, feel less alone, understand whether their story is normal or possibly not the worst in the room.
Typical Outcomes include:
- Better informed expecting dads;
- Involved-from-day-one new dads;
- Dads who support breast feeding;
- Dads who understand the benefits of play and nurturing;
- Couples who survive post-natal issues, happier couples;
- Families with a better understanding of discipline.
- At home dads are more focused on what is important,
- Teen dads actually do take up their parenting role,
- Solo dads confidently take full charge of their children.
- More midwives, CYFs social workers, lawyers and judges include dads in their parenting/children’s plans.
- Dads are empowered to work with other agencies, many relationships are saved and partnerships established.
- Teenage children have less depression and/or anxiety,
- Suicidal behaviour in dads and teenagers less likely,
- Communities are safer, the country is more productive.
ANTE NATAL DADS
Men who have children as part of a loving, probably living together relationship, hopefully find out about any potential pregnancy as soon as possible.
In the event of any awkward decisions, if fully informed, a man can confirm his position and hopefully contribute. In the event of a termination, miscarriage or unexpected loss during that risky first trimester, a supportive father can help the mother by being a caring, listening and considerate partner. Father & Child offer support for dads regarding previous pregnancies, loss or abortions.
Occasionally, expecting dads and their pregnant partners have differences in expectations or how their roles or care for baby may work out. It is estimated that around 40-60% of pregnancies in NZ are not planned, so it is inevitable that some couples will need help in sorting things peacefully.
Father & Child offer support for dads in all ages and stages of fatherhood, helping deal with midwives, other family members or even CYFs, we aim to enable harmonious parenting of all children. We know that a child needs bonding with both biological parents and that a dad who is involved from early on, will almost certainly be a protective and nurturing father forever.
We share the SKIP and Family Planning resources for dads, plus we love the GreatFathers website and ‘In Your Hands’ DVDs – featuring Tiki Taane, SJD and Warren Maxwell who left Fat Freddies Drop so he could stay in NZ with his children growing up. We also offer a ‘Discovering Fatherhood’ correspondence course.
BABY TIME DADS
Special things happen to a man when his baby is born. The early bond between father and baby is vital for a child’s long-term health and well-being. Dads’ hormones change and relationships alter, roles are redefined and we know that dads need to celebrate this momentous time.
Our emphasis is on helping dads to be a good partner, know how to help in the first few weeks, be involved and bond with baby. We also help family services engage new dads better, and to help both mums and dads understand quite how important the father-child bond is.
DADS AND PMH ISSUES
The first reason to inform and encourage expecting dads is to ensure that if the mother has any issues, these are discovered and understood as early as possible. A well informed expecting dad can avoid issues, create a team parenting partnership and possibly arrange support for his partner and baby if he is working too hard!
If mum does have recovery, adjustment or PND related issues, dad may have to play and stimulate baby, do more chores around home and possibly learn what not to do in the best interests of a happy, harmonious household, and that includes organising date nights!
The third reason may be that dad needs support himself, some dads find the first few days and weeks of baby overwhelming while others hang ion there, work and try to meet the needs of their new family, only to collapse or struggle after mum comes through her journey.
Father and Child offer information to help and support fathers to be good partners, involved fathers and to help them cope with or recover from PTSD or PND related issues. They also offer support around miscarriages, terminations, anxiety in pregnancy and baby loss.
COURSES FOR DADS
Father and Child offer the Discovering Fatherhood Parenting Correspondence Course, ten modules of background information and parenting.
We also offer an Anger Management Correspondence Course with eight modules covering communication and calming strategies. Each of these courses are available printed and by post, via email or online in the near future – watch this space!
Father and child can always find or refer to local Triple P or Incredible Years, Parenting Place courses, plus the famous Mellow Parenting Courses by Ohomairangi Trust in Mangere and Whanau Marama based in Northcote, Auckland.
CYFS FAMILY DADS
Father and Child have partnered with many CYFs offices and social workers, aiming to share information and work together for what’s best for the families. Our support for dads can help them communicate, attend and advocate at meetings, support them in parenting and in networking with other dads or agencies.
Occasionally CYFs prefers the children to be in the care of the father, we often work with CYFs and the dad to get ready.
Courses For Dads
MAURI ORA SUPPORT
Our Fathers Mauri Ora Support Group is a safe place for any father related issues, every Wednesday evening in Onehunga, Auckland.
Overall wellness of all Fathers covering any dad related issues is our main aim. We welcome all fathers, any culture, age or questions. Our aim is to ensure that fathers are safe, healthy and able to share any issues.
We offer practical, emotional and peer group support in Auckland Wellington and Chch – around issues like anger, separation anxiety, grief, depression and loneliness.
SHARED CARE DADS
In the event of a separation, some dads don’t see it coming, They suffer a bit of shock, loss, grief and anger, there may be a bit of denial and it may take time before things settle. We know that agreements about care of children should come first and work better if the couple sort them out.
– Initial Understanding
– Personal and Group Support
– Establish Guardianship Rights
– Primary Care of Children Act clauses..
– Parenting Through Separation
– FC article on Remaining calm
– How to avoid a Protection Order
– Sample Parenting Agreement clauses
– Shared Care Dads from Why Dads?
Fathers who parent alone rarely choose to do it that way. There may have been a bereavement, neglect or occasionally CYFs prefer to support fathers as sole parents. Father and Child are here to support the transition, help in working with agencies, attending FGCs or helping the dads form a network with similar parents.
Parenting alone is never easy. maybe we can help?
New, Young or Teenage Fathers
– Group Support
– Individual Support
– Young Dad Mentoring
– Family Situation Advocacy
– Discovering Fatherhood Course
– Celebrate and Events Together
Most new, young or first time dads are fine. They read up or watch peers and family, they go to ante natal classes and are at the birth. They may bring baby in to show off, we probably give them a pat on the back and a celebratory magazine. They may need reminding that their ‘mates’ time is now subject to both their partner and baby’s approval! They may need to understand the changes in relationship with their partner, arrange help for mum and/or figure out some date time!
Teen Dad Groups
Some young or teenage dads may like to connect and learn from each other, empower themselves with support, family teamwork strategies and plan what sort of dad they want to be. MSD Funds several Teen Dad Support service and support groups all over NZ. In Auckland they include Thrive Teen Dads, Otara Teen Dads, Strive in Mangere and Iosys in Manurewa.
Teen dad group programs are also run by Healthwest in Henderson.
Individual Support for New or Young/Teen Dads
Father & Child offers new dads encouragement to get involved right away and the opportunity to phone or drop in for information and support. Father & Child also offer our ‘New Dads Magazine’ and ‘Why Dads?’ booklets, plus new dad music and video interviews with “In Your Hands” DVDs from Greatfathers.org.nz.
If baby things are not perfectly fine, maybe baby is premature or the birth is tricky, new dads may like to talk to someone who has ‘been there’ or possibly get support around the issues at hand. Father & Child offer one-on-one support for all new baby issues including PND and PTSD around childbirth over the phone, in person or by appointment.
Young Dad Mentoring
In Auckland the GI Family Centre and Brothers in Arms offer teen or young dad mentoring. JUst4Dads meets in the GIFC Rooms next to the GI Aquatic Centre every Weds night. Chris Makoare and his crew support dads working together for the good of all.
Big Brother Big Sister ..?
(Big Buddy offer male mentors for boys – they prefer to work with boys who are 7 or younger)