A Successful Three Months For The Father&Child Trust
The Trust had a very successful three months since the last issue of “Father & Child” came out. Interest in the idea and positive feedback about the newsletter has been just overwhelming.
How much we can do is only limited by staff hours, but there is no shortage of work for us.
Particularly encouraging is the interest of other community organisations and government agencies. Many of them subscribed to Father & Child.
There is a high awareness out there about the need to be more inclusive of fathers, but no one quite knows how to do it. If anything, we became aware in those last months of just how much is not known about fatherhood issues in New Zealand.
We have been encouraged to develop resources, do talks, run education programmes for parents as well as for staff of community organisations among other things.
No guidelines or resources for any such thing exist so far – the Trust will have to develop them.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could give out a booklet to every new father encouraging and supporting him in his role, telling him just how important it really is that he is there for his baby, while at the same time acknowledging the problems there are?
We have started work on this and hopefully will be able to offer a range of resources by the end of the year.
Demand for these things exists everywhere in the country and the Trust is trying hard to establish a national network of people who can be catalysts for local initiatives.
Wherever there is an existing group we would like to know about it. Please let us know if you want to start
something up in your area and we will give you all the help we can.
Also there are an increasing number of fathers ringing us to enquire about the Trust. A significant number are separated fathers with insufficient access to their children, but also a fair number of single dads or housedads, stepfathers and female relatives of fathers.
A couple of weeks ago a man rang to tell how he raised three children on his own after his wife had taken off, about 30 years ago. He said he would have been grateful if there had been a Father&Child Trust back then and even offered his house by the beach north of Christchurch for any socials we may want to stage.
A big thank you also to James McLoughlin, publisher of U5 Full-Time Dads. From this issue Father & Child will print selected articles from Full-Time Dads (pages 7-14). It’s good to see the Trust as part of an international network of fathers and to be able to share what we have in common as dads.
Both the Christchurch and the Palmerston North branch are thinking about setting up a radio programme for dads on their local community access radio stations, and the newsletter that you are holding in your hands takes quite a lot of commitment to put together as well.
Inside this issue you will find requests for volunteers. Please do help us. And if you are not a member yet, please fill out the form inside and show your support for our work.