Forum for men and fathers groups and national government (AUSTRALIA)

Published: 22 September 2005



  • To profile innovative cross sector capacity building outcomes achieved by leading practitioners, the Child Support Agency and Family Court of Australia with regard to working with separated fathers and their families. 
  • To discuss the opportunities for the next steps in the development of initiatives supporting separated fathers and their families, including opportunities for community-government partnerships.

WHEN: Date: 13th October, 2005, Time: 9.30 am – 3.30 pm

WHERE: Canberra – Parliament House, main committee room


  1. Presentations: 9.30am–12.30pm
  2. Lunch: 12.30pm–1.00pm
  3. Consultation and planning: 1.00pm–3.30pm

Leading practitioners who are working with fathers to improve post-separation outcomes in parent-child relationships have long seen the need for greater cross sector collaboration and integration to assist fathers navigate the many barriers they face to positive, nurturing and meaningful involvement in their children’s lives. They have also recognised and acknowledged the need for greater integration between those involved in policy development and service delivery in order to foster communication and collaboration across the government and non-government sectors. On the eve of the roll out of the new Family Relationship Centres, there is an even stronger imperative to work together to create the best outcomes, across all sectors, for families.

Thursday 13th October is a unique opportunity for ministerial and departmental staff to be briefed on some innovative men and fathers’ initiatives of the newly formed National Men and Fathers’ Practitioner Network (NMFPN). The day will be led by members of NMFPN and supported by Mensline Australia (Crisis Support Services) and FatherWork.

The event will have two (2) sections:

1) presentations from the service delivery sector outlining a number of emerging programs and issues; and
2) a roundtable discussion about future development and roles of NMFPN in relation to government.

In particular, Section A will profile recent work that has been undertaken in collaboration with the Child Support Agency and the Family Court of Australia. This presentation will be particularly useful to anyone who is involved in service delivery and has an interest in:

i. Welfare to work initiatives for unemployed separated fathers;
ii. Effective ways for government to partner with the community sector to better respond to challenging and often polarised sectors that act as barriers to program development;
iii. How to build cross sector capacity to assist positive change for children;
iv. Early intervention and harm reduction when working with families facing the challenge of separation;
v. Work force development for Men and Family Relationship services (MFR);
vi. Shifting the focus from the adversarial processes involved in family separation to a less adversarial child and solution focus;
vii. Effective interventions for fathers who will be users of the new Family Relationship Centres.

Section B’s roundtable discussion will focus on:
i. The relationship of men’s services with Government – the emerging issues, concerns and desirable outcomes;
ii. The development of the NMFPN 
The likely benefits for government from such a network; 
Some of the roles such an organisation can play and undertake that would be useful to government;
iii. A structure that would be helpful to build and maintain a relationship with government

PO Box 2335 Footscray Victoria 3011
T (03) 8371 2800
F (03) 8371 2888

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