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January 21, 2007

Father Initiatives Snubbed by Government Funders

Father And SonFunding for father services in New Zealand remains marginal after both national and local government funders have declined parting with money for solid project proposals by the Father & Child Trust.

The Trust is the only legal entity in New Zealand providing on-the-ground services specifically for fathers and the children in their care.

S.K.I.P., a fund administered by the Ministry of Social Development, declined an application for renewal of funding for the Trust’s parent education project, targeting specifically marginalised groups of fathers, after having provided financial support since 2004.

The position was subsequently made redundant.

A research project aiming to establish support needs of solo fathers was declined by the ‘Blue Skies Fund’, a Families Commission fund.

And shortly before Christmas the Christchurch City Council decided not to support a Trust project on parent education for inmates at Christchurch Prison’s Youth Unit for funding through the Ministry of Youth Development’s ‘Youth Development Partnership Fund’.

In all three cases the reason given was that the funders felt applications did not match the criteria closely enough.

The Trust has never received significant amounts of government funding in its 10 year history with the exception of two years of SKIP funding worth about $55,000.

Its teenage fathers survey, for example, had been funded by a Netherlands-based Early Childhood Development agency because no monies could be obtained in New Zealand.

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