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Helping fathers feel empowered in Western Queensland


A program which aims to support fathers in Western Queensland has taken off, with a second group now formed

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A program which aims to support fathers in Western Queensland has taken off, with a second group now formed.

‘Fathers with Futures’ has been running for around a year and stopped briefly due to COVID-19, before resuming in Term 3.

The group came about after Anglicare Southern Queensland identified a lack of support services for dads in the region.

Anglicare Southern Queensland Roma Family Support Worker Daniel Wales said the rationale became that “if there’s very little support services for dads, then we should empower dads to establish their own support networks.”

“And so the group was born. Being a father myself as well as a Family Support Worker enhanced my ability to facilitate the group and relate to the issues and struggles of the dads who attend.

Due to its popularity, a second Fathers with Futures group now exists.

“The main one meets on the second Sunday of the month and has four regular dads and about half a dozen dads who make it when they can,” Daniel said.

“The other one (Fathers With Futures: Weekday Edition) meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, and currently has three regular dads.”

When it comes to people having a rough time my main advice is this:

“In July we get an accountant to help us with our tax refund to help us get a nice fat tax return. When the tractor brakes down we get a diesel mechanic to help us get our machine back up and running. When the wiring in our house goes on the fritz we call a sparky to help restore power,” he says.

“Our families and mental health are the same deal. We have the ability to slog our way through, but there are people in our community who are trained in these areas who can help us get through it easier and safer. We ask for help with every other aspect of our lives, let’s ask for help with our families and mental health too. Even if that person is your best mate, our folks, or even the dog.”

Daniel is passionate about supporting local Mental Health initiatives in the Roma area, last week he was involved in the Blue Tree Project run by Lifeline. The Blue Tree Project is aimed at helping raise awareness of mental health issues within the community by painting trees in the local community blue.

If you’re a father in Roma and are interested in joining the group, contact Anglicare Southern Queensland today on 1300 114 397.

First published on the Anglicare Southern Queensland website on 14 October 2020.

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