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Fathers Day Events Generate Family Fun and Happy Kids

Father and Child Trust have been hosting events during the week before Fathers Day since 2010. This carries on the great work by Elaine Dyer and Violence Free Waitakere, when Waitakere really was the super city.

Our week included a movie night watching ‘Leave No Trace’ at the Rialto in Newmarket, plus an ‘Week of Fathers Day’ evening with Bunnings Mt Wgtn, where we helped many children design a Fathers Day card for themselves.

On Wednesday we made mussel fritters for our Testimony night then shared stories of how we found Father and Child, what we needed and how we got it. Franc Hicks expressed how he was unaware of how the court system worked, what a good lawyer was like and how his relationship had deteriorated when they had children. He said the best things about the Fathers Mauri Ora Circle is that he listened to several other dads or support workers who all contributed to his strategy. He has been successful in winning back 50-50 shared care of his children and now helps others negotiate the court process, especially if they are self representing.

Our Fathers day celebrations started at the Onehunga Community Centre, but in 2013, the dads themselves decided to try Ambury Farm/Park, getting around 80 including children and organising things as they went along. Team work was important and volunteers mucked in, every child had fun and was fed.

Weather permitting, this event has grown and especially last year, was very well attended. Over 200 joined in with the bouncy castle, music and food, some kids had the most fun in the mud.

Three years ago, we started Fishing Off Mangere Bridge, on the Saturday before fathers day. It was a slightly windy, cool day, around 20 of us had free bait and food, but no fish were caught.

Two years ago, three children caught their first fish on the Mangere Bridge Saturday and we all celebrated. This year with a 2.30pm high tide, we offered free fishing and gave out 9 rods/reels, many hand lines, lots of tackle and plenty of bait. Again, we were lucky to have volunteers Nikora Davis, Luis Gustavo and Miro Brkn, cooking sausages, helping make hand lines, Brett Goodchild ran up and purchased more hand lines.

No fish were caught but nearly a hundred children learned about fishing, some built their own lines.
Over a hundred children with parents learnt or tried fishing for their first time.

Lots of Vitamin D and community was shared, the Red Guard Guys approved, and Father and Child Trust really appreciated the donations from Let Them Fish, a great charity who gave us the rods/reels, tackle and lines, plus to Brass Monkey Ice who donated free Bait and Ice.

Our Sunday – Fathers Day at Ambury Farm was subject to some Auckland’s most interesting weather. How does it go, welcome to Auckland, if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes! Quite a few families braved the forecast and made their way around the park during the intermittent sunshine. Once again we were lucky to have Mark and Mary-Alice Thomas, helping sort the Information Kiosk as our base, safer from the wind and showers.

We wouldn’t let a little rain ruin our fathers Day, we all had fun, chocolates or food and huddled together by the Barbeque to stay dry! Huge thanks to Paul Catton for his generosity, lamb chops and good humor, plus to Luis Gustavos for a whole week of helping and cooking!

Fathers Day Events 2018 to include fishing off Mangere Bridge

Father and Child are very pleased to invite families and friends to our events around Fathers Day.

On Monday 27th August We invite you to the Rialto Cinema in Newmarket to view ‘Leave No Trace’ a father daughter story starring young kiwi actress Thomasin Mckenzie helping her dad escape his demons in the Oregon winterland. We will be at the 6pm screening and tickets can be purchased online here

Tuesday 28th August we are hosting a Healthy Conversations Skills Training day with Healthy Start Workforce, this is already oversubscribed and we are trying to make another booking for those who missed this time.

Wednesday 29th August evening we host the Testimonial night of our Fathers Mauri Ora Circle, aiming to hear any stories of how we have helped dads, families and children. We will take notes and copy these to our funders.

Thursday 30th August Father and Child are proud to be helping Bunnings Mt Wgtn and their Fathers Week evening for customers.

Saturday 1st September we host Lets Go Fishing off Mangere Bridge – 1-5pm around high tide at 2pm. We will provide BBQ food and bait, rods and lines for children to try fishing. Two years ago three children caught their first fish here!

Sunday 2nd September we host Fathers Day BBQ/Picnic at Ambury Farm/Park from 11am – 4pm. This is a great day of bouncy castle fun, BBQ food and healthy kids drinks, music and cute wee lambs. Ambury Farm/Park is in Mangere Bridge.

We welcome all our clients, friends, families and locals to enjoy and share, volunteers are welcome!
Please contact Father and Child 09 525 1690 if you have any enquiries.

Cliff Shepherd Reports on Dad Support in Christchurch

Cliff Shepherd has been Father and Child Christchurch Support Worker for five years, and manages Father and Child’s Discovering Fatherhood and Anger Management Correspondence Courses.

Cliff has three children of his own, and is a trained school counsellor. He maintains a garden and bikes to work nearly every day to keep the worst effects of aging at bay.

Cliff Reports

Numbers: At Christmas 2017, I had 58 men on the waiting list to do courses, as of today I have 11.

I have averaged sending out 64 modules per month of our correspondence courses over the last 6 months with nearly all men doing both the Anger Management course and the Parenting course. In that time 32 men have completed courses and gained certificates. About 50% of the men would be Maori.

I see in my office about 32 men per month with the main problem being access issues to children for Dads from families breaking up.

This can involve dealing with Oranga Tamariki, the courts, probation, and helping dads with the whole court process. Next would be supporting solo dads with their parenting, and then parents seeking advice in bringing up their kids – e.g. young kids hooked on porn or the internet and play stations.

Measuring success is always difficult but its interesting how word of mouth still brings in clients from all over (even Australia). It’s interesting the number of prisoners who upon release will come in to see me.

Client Feedback: A couple this month –

“Waz premo all round Cliff str8 up thank you so very much for taken me on yr programme from the bottom of my heart you the man”.

“Thank you Cliff. I know this course is working. I now have my kids asking me what they should do if things are tough at school. It’s a beautiful thing to know my kids can come to me even though I’m in here and can ask me for direction. Makes me proud and I can still be a father and one that is proud.”

I think these would be typical comments that I get from the men.
Hope this is helpful,
Regards Cliff

PS Cliff is also helping with the Dads Group on Saturdays in Christchurch…

Healthy Babies Healthy Futures Training Day with Father and Child Auckland

Do you want to have more effective conversations with clients to support lifestyle behaviour change?

Father and Child with Guardians of Our Children and Separated Parents Trust are pleased to offer a free workshop on effective skills in talking to clients – especially around pregnancy or baby time. (more…)

Christchurch New Dads Group Starting on Saturday Mornings

We are proud to announce a new partnership between The CMC, Canterbury Plunket Society and Father and Child Trust. From August 18th, 2018 every Saturday at 10am new or curious dads are welcome to meet, share and ask any questions.

Father and Child at ‘Men and Relationships’ Conference in Wellington

Kids Need Dads National Conference July 12-13, 2018

Kidz Need Dadz are hosting a conference on ‘Men and Relationships in 2018 – Te tangata me te whanaungatanga i roto i te 2018.’

Key Note Speakers include Victoria University’s Chris Bowden, Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft, Minister Of Children, Honourable Tracey Martin and Oranga Tamariki/Ministry for Children Deputy Chief Executive Hoani Lambert, plus ‘Male Survivors Aotearoa’s Philip Chapman.

Father and child will be hosting a workshop on ‘Mums and Dads – Working better Together’ and we’ll be part of a panel discussion on day one, very interested in all the speakers.

PADA release ‘How are you, really?’ book with PMH and Dads chapter

PADA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aoteroa) has released a book to empower support professionals in understanding Perinatal Mental Health. To date there has been very little local research or resource to inform support workers or professionals in their roles. ‘How are you, really?’ assembles relevant articles, research and best practise for care providers or students.

Perinatal mental health covers conception, miscarriages, terminations, baby loss, birth trauma, PND and PTSD, along with any previous or overlapping mental health issues. Awareness of how each of these areas may impact on a pregnancy or birth recovery, bonding or family togetherness is vital for midwives, maternity ward nurses, Maternal Mental Health, Plunket or Post Natal depression professionals. Volunteers in support groups for post natal depression can benefit from the wealth of knowledge in one place, finally a directory and references to enable well informed services throughout Aotearoa.

The content has been assembled by Leigh Breidenkamp, PADA board member and Parents Centre publishing editor. Leigh has poured weeks and months of her time into finding, collating, editing and checking the content, along with actual quotes from mothers and fathers. Leigh understands the need having seen the void in many professionals education around PMH. With her broad view and inside connections with the midwifery college, Leigh has been able to select a great line up of expertise and information to empower informed support and services.

Father and Child Trust are proud to have been included in submitting the Dads and PMH Chapter. It covers the ways that dads get PND too, plus how changes in the relationship around baby time are often misunderstood. Dads are the first line in defense around mums and PND so it pays to inform, engage and support dads. Good outcomes for mothers and children probably depend on one.

Order today email NZ$35 + $4 postage

PADA is hosting a Training Day at AUT South (Manukau) on 28th June 2018,
register at
Presenters –
Marion Doherty
Auckland DHB
Infant Mental Health in the context of
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression
Kristina Paterson
Mothers Helpers
A Journey with PND
Wendy Turner
Positive Transition of Care
Hāpai Te Hauora Māori Public Health
Cultural Safety
Joanne Rama
Te kahu Manaki wahine

Little Adventurers Day, incl. free Rocket Ropes for 2-6yr olds

Aiming to empower children and their parents in a safe, active, play afternoon, Father and Child Trust (Onehunga) and friends have booked Sunday 4th and Tuesday 6th March, each for 1.30 – 2.30 pm.

We will provide a free Rocket Ropes Little Rocketeer course entry, plus we invite parents and carers to accompany their children.

Fathers Mauri Ora Circle BBQ and End of Year Celebration

Supporters and Families are welcome to celebrate another great year with Father and Child Trust in Auckland.

From 6-8pm at the Onehunga Community Centre Carpark – off Lower Municipal Drive, Wednesday 20th Dec…
we offer free food, soft drinks and huge thanks to all the dads, family members and volunteers who have contributed so much this year.

Changing Roles for 21st Century Fathers

If you have just discovered that in a few short months, you will be a dad for the first time, a myriad of questions must be racing through your brain. “Who will care for our baby?” “How will my partner and I juggle work and care?” “What are the most important ideas we wish to share with our child?” The answer to all these questions is a matter of choice – now, we are freer than ever to define the type of father we wish to be. These are just a few of the options open to fathers in the 21st century.

Freedom to Father as We Wish

Although in general, fewer parents are staying home to look after their children than they did 30 years ago, the number of fathers who have put their career on hold to be with their children full-time, has increased. Statistics New Zealand indicates, in the 2013 census, that around 36,000 Kiwi men opted to be stay-at-home dads, compared to 195,000 women. Nonetheless, numbers of men opting for this model have grown consistently over the years, and hopefully, it won’t be too long until percentages even out. Interestingly, in the UK, one in seven fathers are the main childcare provider. For many fathers, their decision to stay at home can be attributed to one or more of the following reasons:

Their spouse’s high earning potential

Their personal wish to be the main care provider

A reluctance to have a third party care for their children all day

The decision to be a stay-at-home dad is a testimony to a greater search for meaning in the 21st century. No longer is modern man defined by what he earns or where his career is heading. These days, a truly successful man, is one that does what truly fulfills him.

Greater Paternal Involvement

Numerous studies have shown the plentiful benefits that arise when fathers take an early hands-on role in parenting. Those who build a bond early with their child, are more likely to maintain this connection throughout their lifetime. A recent study by researchers at Monash University found that 85% of fathers surveyed said they would stop working to look after their baby for three months if there were no financial ramifications. Fathers in the new millennium want to be more involved, which is the first step towards the dream becoming a reality. Of course, it is possible to be involved even when a father is not the main care provider; staying at home with our children is just one option.

Different Types of Dad

The new millennium sees a growing awareness of different types of fathers. These include non-residential dads, divorced dads, and stepdads, and gay dads. Discrimination is dissipating and society has gained great awareness of the fact that great dads come in all shapes and sizes.

Choices in Education

The greater involvement of fathers in their children’s upbringing open a plethora of possibilities regarding education; parents are able to choose between options such as homeschooling vs conventional schooling. Additionally, the bond between fathers and children mean that values which are important to a father (for instance, the importance of nature and the environment, animal rights, human rights) can become an important part of a child’s education.

Father’s roles have changed vastly in the past few decades, with families having more choices in terms of childcare, roles in the home and the workplace, and education. We have come to know and accept several types of fathers in the new millennium, noting one factor that many have in common – greater involvement in their children’s lives.

By Jane Sandwood

Father & Child News