Some dads just don’t know the best way to relate to their children. Absentee or emotionally unavailable fathers can badly damage their children’s wellbeing. Inadequate relationships between fathers and their children can affect the child’s self-esteem, behaviour and learning ability long term.
On the other hand, research shows that children with a father or father figure who consistently parents well throughout their life have better learning outcomes, general health, emotional wellbeing and fewer behavioural problems. Young teens who spend time socially with their fathers increase their social skills and interactions.
Anglicare Mt Druitt offers ‘Fathers and their Children Peer Support Group’ to men from the Blacktown Local Government Area. The program works with biological fathers, grandfathers, boyfriends or stepfathers who are caring for children under 13 years of age.
The men support each other as they learn helpful ways to love and care for their children. The men are taught effective communication strategies, as well as how to understand the needs of their children at different stages of their development.
The group is run by Program Coordinator, David Luxford and Manager, Ruby Campbell. David is keen to build the men’s life skills, and foster strong, healthy relationships with their children. He appreciates the fundamental role mothers play but he also recognises the crucial role fathers play in their family’s wellbeing.
David knows that the men Anglicare help love their kids, but being a dad can be difficult at times. The peer support group gives the men an opportunity to talk about what’s happening in their lives and provides the fathers with practical living skills, financial information and communication tips to help them in their role. For the first time this group tried their hand with cooking affordable, healthy meals. About eight men cooked three different meals using mincemeat and cleaned the kitchen spotlessly!
Public Affairs Manager