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Are you dad fit? Calling on Dads in the West

Posted by Kerrie Gottliebsen | 23/02/16

After nearly two years in development and an ongoing search for funding, Victorian Early Parenting Organisation Tweddle is launching an exciting new program for fathers called Working Out Dads.  

In addition to their core vulnerable family support services, Tweddle has spent previous years working on ways to improve services and messages for dads. They launched an online resources page for dads, delivered information sessions to men as part of Sons of The West and set about researching and developing a new program targeting dads with babies and very young children.

The new program recently received funding from North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network to run three programs in Maribyrnong and four programs in Wyndham with support from the City Of Wyndham.  The program, which will run during school terms, will help up to 70 dads across Melbourne’s west.

Working Out Dads is for dads living full time or part time with their 0-4 aged children. The program combines 1 hour of facilitated discussion and 30 minutes of guided fitness. The program runs over 6 weeks and includes weekly text messages, handouts, online resources and has a built in pre and post evaluation component. The program spans the topics of parenting, relationships, mental health, fitness and wellbeing.

Ten dads will be recruited to attend each program. They can be self or professionally referred.  The six week evidence based curriculum has been developed in partnership with men’s groupwork consultant Andrew King and be run by experienced male facilitators.  

The therapeutic program is for dads experiencing stress, anxiety or depression or have a partner experiencing mental health challenges and/or parenting difficulties. 

Dads will undertake pre and post program evaluation including the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), Karitane Parenting Confidence Scale and Working Out Dads program evaluation and feedback surveys. 

Tweddle look forward to the outcomes of the pilot which will also assess the time of group, the number of participants, course content and referral uptake. We hope that the dads will connect beyond the group and we will be following up to gauge longer term impacts.

Tweddle are currently recruiting for the first round and encourage dads to sign up and get involved. More information is available on the Working Out Dads page on the Tweddle website

Tweddle's Working Out Dads program was highlighted in the Aracy/Family Action Centre/University of Newcastle Fatherhood Research Bulletin.


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