Founded in 2001, Caring Dads is an intervention-based program dedicated to improving the lives of children in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. It is a cause I’ve been personally very proud to support. Caring Dads exists to change current practices to better include fathers in efforts to enhance the safety and well-being of their children.
The program’s main focus is aimed to bring positive change for men who have been abused, neglected, or exposed their children to domestic violence.
More often than not, child protection agencies and family mental health services tend to work primarily with mothers; a trend that is intensified when fathers are deemed to be high risk. Despite the importance of the role of fathers in families, this means that those fathers who most need to be monitored and helped by our intervention systems are not involved.
According to facts by Caring Dads, men’s children pay the price with higher rates of aggression, substance use, criminal involvement, suicide attempts, mental health problems and chronic health conditions.
Children at risk should never have to be raised in a violent environment. The Caring Dads intervention program guides fathers to positive change by investigating their situation as soon as possible. When fathers are positively involved with their families, children benefit cognitively, socially, emotionally and developmentally.
As part of the 17 week program, men have the opportunity to meet with an accredited Caring Dads facilitator to learn how to rebuild trust in their families, recognize unhealthy behaviors and what effect abuse has on children. The program gives these men the chance to talk about their own experiences, and equips them with the tools they need in terms of support to be better parents.
There are many advantages to including fathers in efforts to enhance the safety and well-being of their children, including the potential to improve father-child relationships and to offer an additional route to ending violence against women, among other areas.
Anyone who is interested in helping can become an Accredited Caring Dads Facilitator by attending a Facilitator Training event. These events are held monthly in various locations across Canada and costs vary according to location and accreditation.
The services being provided through Caring Dads and similar organizations are making a genuine impact on our youth and their families. Visit caringdads.org/home for more information on how you can get involved.