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CONSULTANCY TO AGENCIES
"It's not that we don't want to reach out to men or think their
“When you look at most family
support and intervention services
across Australia, three features
stand out: they are attempting to
do an enormous job with modest
resources; frontline workers are
usually women; and it is mothers
who access the services…
but most services would like to
RICHARD FLETCHER ‘Bringing Fathers In’ Handbook, University of Newcastle, 2004 p.3
"Evidence is now undisputed,
demonstrating that fathers, not
just mothers, are a vital key to
producing positive outcomes
for children, families and society.
Traditionally services have
revolved around mum and the
kids but in many cases unless
Dad is involved in the service
or intervention the impact on
the family is often minimal." WARWICK MARSH Founder & CEO 'Dads 4 Kids - Fatherhood Foundation'
needs are unimportant - guys in our area just don't give a damn. They don't see a need to get involved with our service..."
It's easy to see why many workers feel that way. But in our experience there is much an institution and individual professionals can do to meet men at least half way... to become more inclusive of fathers and males in general.
The fact is, a common perception among men is that 'agencies are run by women, for women'. The solution is not to reduce services to mums and kids, but rather to approach family work from another angle; to provide a more rounded service that involves dad where possible. As a result mum and the children invariably benefit.
What are the changes needed to make this a reality?
How much will it cost to put on a male worker?
What can we do with the female staff we have?
Not many, not much, a lot.
Prior to full-time men's work in local government, ROB KOCH developed a niche working with men within an all-female family services agency. It was 2002 when he first created and delivered the Pit Stop parenting course for Dads. To the amaze- ment of stakeholders, courses were soon overflowing - 20, 30 even 40 men each course with a retention rate of 92%!
Rob has identified the principles that work, and has consistently equipped, supported and promoted men's work in agencies, community centres, community health organisations and welfare networks.
He is quick to acknowledge the reality that -
"Most agencies do not have the resources to create a ‘Men’s Programs’ position, but much can be achieved for a fraction of the cost through part-time contracting, or consulting to determine the most cost-effective priorities and initiatives."
Rob and his associates at BETTER MEN Australia are available to help your organisation ensure the needs of men, especially fathers and their families, are addressed.