Resource: Fathering Across Cultures Website

Fathering across cultures logoThe Fathering Across Cultures Website is for people and organisations in the community and health services sector, as well as in the multicultural and settlement sector, who engage with new and expectant fathers from migrant and refugee backgrounds as part of their work.

The Guide provides advice and practical tips on how to engage with new and expectant fathers from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and to better support them in understanding their role and expectations of parenting in Australia while maintaining their cultural values. Service providers will be better able to support the fathers in going through this significant change in their lives.

Website: Fathering Across Cultures

The Guide is accompanied by a mobile app for new and expectant fathers from migrant and refugee backgrounds with information on the first five years of fatherhood and where they can find support.
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Who the Guide is for
The Guide can be used by individuals engaged in a broad range of organisations and services that interact with, and provide services to, the community, such as:

Generalist community and health services, including primary health care providers, particularly General Practitioners and Maternal and Child Health Nurses; Local Government; sports organisations; men’s sheds; and educators.

Specialist community and health services that primarily work with people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, including organisations providing various settlement services; torture and trauma counselling services; migrant health services; and transcultural mental health services.

Multicultural or ethno-specific community organisations, Migrant Resource Centres, multicultural community services or hubs as well as the large number of organisations catering for a specific language, cultural or religious group.

This Guide is also for individuals who are community leaders or faith leaders, and therefore have significant standing and authority within communities and may be the go-to people for advice and support.
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Transition to fatherhood

The transition to parenthood is a time of increased risk of family and domestic violence as women experience greater vulnerability during pregnancy and post-birth[1]. Violence often begins during pregnancy or, if violence already existed, increases in severity during pregnancy and into the first months of parenthood. Becoming a father is a recognised point of additional stress, and can have a transformational impact on men and their views on gender equality.

However, the transition to fatherhood also opens up the opportunity for prevention-focused engagement that has the potential of fostering positive and respectful attitudes and behaviours in men. Such engagement can also expand men’s involvement in caregiving, which is particularly valuable in the child’s first years —from 0 to 5 years —and has an enormous impact on the child’s future health and wellbeing.
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What to consider

  • Does the person speak English?
  • If not, do you speak the same language as the person, and are you confident enough in your own language skills to be able to discuss sensitive topics?
  • Alternatively, consider engaging an interpreter. If you are part of a generalist organisation or service, you may already be working with interpreters to support your communication with people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
  • If you require interpreting assistance to communicate with the person, make sure you know how to access interpreters and how to work with them.
  • Note that some individuals will hesitate to communicate via an interpreter, particularly in small, tight-knit communities, where the interpreter and the individual may be known to each other. In such circumstances, it is preferable to work with a telephone interpreter.
  • Consider your listening skills and using strength-based rather than deficit-based language.

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Resources and Referrals
This setion is divided into 3 parts:

  • Resources and Referrals for family violence
  • Resources for Fathers
  • Resources for Service Providers

Website: Fathering Across Cultures

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