Funding secured for Caring Dads program, preventing family violence
Caring Dads, a unique intervention program led by Kids First and based in Victoria, recently received confirmation of a further four years of funding, an investment which Kids First CEO, Nicole Artico, says is an investment which will make a significant impact in addressing family violence.
Adapted from an internationally acclaimed Canadian model, Caring Dads is an evidence-backed, 17-week intervention program for men who have used violence or are at risk of doing so. The program helps fathers understand the impact of their behaviour by harnessing their motivation to be good dads.
The program has emerged as a leader in the family violence space, as confirmed earlier this year with the release of an independent evaluation report by the University of Melbourne, which evaluated the Caring Dads program over three years, linking the program to an overall reduction in violence and positive changes in fathers’ parenting after completing the program.
Evaluation findings drawn from data collected over three years clearly showed that program participants were better able to manage aggressive behaviours and that the program led to positive changes in the father’s parenting as well as an overall reduction in violence.
According to Ms Artico, behaviour change programs that focus on fathers are an important part of the diverse set of measures used to treat and prevent family violence in Australia.
“We are facing unprecedented demand from men seeking help, not just within Victoria but right across the country. We also know that out of all countries where Caring Dads is run, Australia has the highest retention rate of any location.”
“Providing opportunities for men to participate in interventions where their behaviour can be monitored can lead to improved father-child relationships that have potential to enhance children’s social, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Which is what we all want.”
As part of the Victorian Government’s 2020-21 Budget, $10.7 million will be allocated over four years to enable the continuation of Caring Dads, provision of brokerage funding and case management.
“The 2020-21 State Budget funding means we can continue to offer the much-needed program to even more fathers,” Ms Artico said, acknowledging the contribution of Gandel Philanthropy for their contribution to a Caring Dads pilot program “which has led to where we are today”.
To read the full evaluation report from the University of Melbourne please visit www.kidsfirstaustralia.org.au/caringdads