SINGLE fathers now have a valuable opportunity to connect with their children following the launch of Hobart City Mission’s “DIY Dads” program.
The program, which is offered with the aid of $2.5 million in State Government funding, provides supported accommodation for males with full or part-time care of children under the age of 18-years, as well as life and parent skill training, advocacy and self-guidance to help develop confident and capable single fathers.
The accommodation complex comprises nine two-bedroom units, three indoor play areas and a large secure common area that includes a sheltered barbecue area and outdoor playground.
Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley said the organisation understood that in a number of cases, the care of the father was the best option for children.
“However, the available services or their immediate circumstances can inhibit their ability to care for the children,” he said.
“This is why we believe it is important for us to provide accommodation services for dads and their children, similar to which is currently available to mothers.”
The DIY Dads program was developed following research identifying that there was a gap in services for dads with children in Tasmania who did not have secure accommodation.
The service gap resulted in the children being separated from the father, either through the child being place in Child Safety Services or the mother being given full-time custody.
Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma said this new specialised transitional accommodation would fill this gap in the housing market.
“Already, as a result of this development and the services provided by Hobart City Mission, two dads have now regained full access to their children with this new secure and affordable accommodation,” she said.
“Housing Tasmania has leased the complex to Hobart City Mission, who will manage the site and provide wrap around support services to assist fathers to become healthy and confident role models who are able to look after themselves and their children independently.”
The DIY Dads program joins a number of innovative programs that Hobart City Mission runs, including the Small Steps program for young mothers and their babies.
Caption: From left, Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer, Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley, current DIY Dads resident Torrin Bennett and Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma.