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At Save the Children, we know that father figures and strong family units are important to a child’s development and protecting them from harm.
As part of our parenting support programs in Australia and our commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, we work with fathers in Townsville, Queensland, to support them be positive role models for their children.
Why building strong families is important
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in child protection services and out-of-home care compared to non-Indigenous children. They are almost eight times more likely to be the subject of substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect.
Our Deadly Blokes and Kids program
Guided by cultural mentors and role models, our Deadly Blokes and Kids program (‘deadly’ means ‘awesome’) uses music, storytelling, art and performance to engage participants and create a space for men to interact with children in a positive, safe and creative environment.
As well as family friendly activities, we run regular men’s groups to build the confidence of participants, and give them the opportunity to talk about challenging topics such as substance abuse and family violence.
We also provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in foster care families and run sessions to help children connect with their cultural identity and gain a sense of belonging in community and family.
How we know we’re helping families
Originally started as a program for men to express themselves through song writing, we’ve expanded our Deadly Blokes and Kids program to meet the community demand for a variety of cultural sessions and activities for families. In 2013, we supported more than 345 children through our mentoring and parenting workshops. We are also receiving a growing number of referrals from community service providers and participants, showing the positive impact and support men are receiving from the program.
Who makes our program possible
It is the support of generous Australians that enables Save the Children to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in Townsville.