Perth fathers breaking down barriers

Carine Primary School principal Anne Fraser and parent Steve Brooks, of Carine, with his sons Jake (6) and Ben (5).  Photo: David Baylis d494392
Carine Primary School principal Anne Fraser and parent Steve Brooks, of Carine, with his sons Jake (6) and Ben (5). Photo: David Baylis d494392

FATHERS at a Carine school are breaking down barriers among men.

Steve Brooks started The Fathering Project group, called Carine League of Dads, at Carine Primary School after being inspired by ABC TV series Man Up.

“There’s not a huge amount of support that’s readily available for men,” he said.

“I’d hate to think there were any men in our community who didn’t have anyone to go have a coffee with or catch up with if they needed to talk.”

Mr Brooks had support from The Fathering Project, the school P&C and principal Anne Fraser to start the Carine group, which has grown to 74 members in four months.

A recent pizza and paper planes day for fathers and their children aimed to encourage social interactions and enable one-on-one time with their children.

“It’s dads of all ages with kids of all ages,” Mr Brooks said.

“For a lot of the dads it’s just breaking down those barriers.”

He said fathers now were more active and involved as parents than those of previous generations.

“For dads like myself, there’s the desire to get involved but not the role models necessarily to base that on,” he said.

“I think the role of fathers is changing.”

Mr Brooks said the attendance rates of fathers at school assemblies and pick up and drop off had increased since the group started.

“Even in just four months the benefits have been incredible. The kids love it,” he said.

Ms Fraser said research showed connected and engaged father figures improved children’s health and wellbeing, and the benefits flowed to fathers.

“This project acts to inspire fathers to be the best that they can be,” she said.

“It connects dads and gets them involved in discussing ways to make positive contributions to their children’s lives.”

To join an existing group or start one, visit thefatheringproject.org.