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Fathers on fathering.

Embargoed 12:01am 16 May 2008


Fathers on fathering.

Over sixty fathers gather in Wellington today (Friday 16th May) to discuss the joys and challenges of being a father. This is a joint project with the Families Commission, Barnardos and Parents Centre.

The three organisations say that discussion with fathers over the past year as well as broader consultations with families calls for more opportunities to be made available to encourage fathers to meet and discuss their changing roles and demands and how they can be addressed.

Murray Edridge, Barnardos Chief Executive said “Everyday Barnardos sees the impact that fathering has on children and communities - we know from our work that great dads make a huge difference to the well-being of children and families. We also see the pain and harm that dads cause when they don’t care, aren’t there, or hurt their children emotionally or physically. Men need to be talking to, and listening to, each other and providing mutual support in order to be the best dads that we can be”.

Men from all around the country have taken up the opportunity to participate. This forum will be an open and honest conversation about what fathering looks like in New Zealand – what is working, what isn’t and what can be done about it.

Rajen Prasad added: “Today is about recognising that many fathers are doing a great job and that all fathers have a unique and critical role to play in successful families. It is about giving fathering an appropriate profile, on fathers collaborating with each other and learning from their collective experiences to be as effective as they can be. It is about sharing our successes as fathers as well as the many new demands they are experiencing. We aim to encourage all New Zealand fathers to do the best job they can.”

Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive of Parents Centres NZ Inc said: “Today is not just about fathers getting together to talk about the day to day problems that occur – it’s about recognising it’s tough and facilitating the solutions. Today is not the end of the process, it will require ongoing work. This is the beginning of a whole new way of discovering what is needed to lift the perception of fathering up, to work with the issues and to establish what Fathers need to enable strong and supportive role modelling in our community.”

Ends

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