Traditional ideas of family and parents would say that the mother is the best guardian of the children, which is reflected typically in the courts and available community services. However, recent figures would show that this is changing, with the number of single father families increasing[i].
But for a single father who finds himself homeless, or at risk of homelessness, there is limited options. These include:
- Option 1 – live on the streets or couch surf at friend’s house with your children
- Option 2 – stay at a men’s shelter and loose custody of your children
For many fathers in Tasmania, this is the reality they are faced with. DIY Dads helps to provide an alternative option, which is both safer and healthier for both the dad and the children.
What is DIY Dads?
Hobart City Mission identified a desperate need in Southern Tasmania for supported accommodation, targeted at single fathers who do not have stable accommodation.
The service gap resulted in children being separated from their fathers, either through the children being placed in Child Safety Services care or the mother being given full-time custody.
Hobart City Mission developed an innovative program, DIY Dads, that addresses this gap in services by providing accommodation, support, education and a community setting for single dads.
DIY Dads provides 8 self-contained units for males with either full or part time care of their children. The dads can be any age, and are able to stay at the DIY Dads program for up to two years. Each resident dad is taught skills that can assist them in living independently in the community, such as budgeting, maintaining a tenancy and making healthy lifestyle choices.
As well as accommodation, the program provides life and parent skill training, advocacy and self-guidance to help develop confident and capable single fathers, with the aim of transitioning into independent living in the community.
To find out more about DIY Dads or to apply, please call (03) 6215 4200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The benefits to dads, children and the community include:
- Increased likelihood of the child remaining in, or returning to their fathers care
- Decreased risk of negative impacts on a child’s development, wellbeing and potential, through the development of a positive relationship with their father
- Independence gained through attaining skills allowing the dads and their kids to live independently in the community
- Positive impacts on the community as being a constructive and active member
- Development of appropriate and healthy parenting skills
- Demonstration of positive role model behaviours to children and other fathers in the community
- Guidance and education to increase employment potential
- Increased confidence and self-reliance
- Decreased reliance on the welfare services and payments
- A healthy father-child bond is created through fathers having regular and fulfilling relationships with their children
You can help…There are many ways that you can support DIY Dads:
- Financial donations – make a donation online, or call (03) 6215 4200
- In-kind donations – e.g. toys, clothing, baby essentials and food for both the dads and children
- Consider a bequest in your will;
- Develop a Corporate Partnership with the program;
- Attend our fundraising events