Working With Men

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Engaging Fathers Training Workshops
Groupwork Solutions provide 1-2 day training workshops that explore current issues for working with men. The ‘Engaging Fathers’ Workshops allow workers, organisations or networks of services to provide more effective programs to men and families.

The workshop focuses on:

The significance of the non-deficit perspective

Amongst the many and varied descriptions of masculinity, the non-deficit perspective (King, 2000; King, 2001; King, Sweeney & Fletcher, 2004; Hawkins & Dollahite, 1997) identifies that in many men, their relationship with their children is a very significant connection. This connection with significant family relationships can be viewed as ‘the quiet place within’ that Australian men talk about least. It is a personal space that men rarely share. Until recently, it was not until men approached the end of their life, that they often expressed regret for spending too such time at work and not enough time with their family. This reflection is still experienced today, as many men only start talking about the importance of their family relationships after the crisis has occurred, such as family separation.

Australian men are becoming more vocal about this quiet place, i.e. the importance of their connection with their family, particularly their children. What is occurring is a quiet men’s revolution. This men’s revolution is not as vocal as the women’s movement, but it is noticed as men talk about achieving a better balance between work and family demands. The change is seen by how men behave differently as they walk hand-in-hand with their children and proudly push the pram. Some men identify the reason for attend a fathering program, is because they want to father their children differently to how they were fathered. The birth of a child is now a ‘wake-up call’ for many men and an opportunity for them to review the choices they make in life and provides the motivation to develop stronger relationships.

The shadowy side of men’s behaviour still exists. It is in this context that many men and family relationship services operate. The challenge for programs is to engage men in working with this ‘quiet space’. The non-deficit perspective does not condone inappropriate male behaviours but harnesses the positive motivations that makes change a reality. Once this quiet space is entered and men are engaged in accessing Men and Family Relationship Programs, the skills used by professional workers in working with women can be applied to working with men.

Current challenges
While significant achievements have occurred in working with men (O’Brien & Rich, 2002), the challenge is still enormous. The Western Australian Report that reviewed Family and Parent Support Services for Men (Nixon, 1999) identified that men have major health problems. They have high rates of depression, suicide, violence, drug and alcohol use and fatal motor vehicle accidents.

The report recognises that there is still a strong belief that men do not ask for help but fix themselves. Promotion of men and family relationship services still needs improvement as many men view the word ‘counselling’ as a punitive response for workplace misdemeanours (Nixon, 1999). It is still common for men to remark “I never thought such services for men existed” when they first come into contact with M&FR programs. Men’s health programs recognise that men visit their doctor less than women and only seek help only after a crisis has occurred (Nixon, 1999).

The inflexibility of the Australian workplace (at the shop, factory or self-employment level) and the widespread existence of family violence are still significant issues that confront programs as men usually access programs only when a crisis occurs. A variety of public awareness campaigns have been useful in promoting a responsive environment that encourages the proactive view that it is okay for men to seek help before the crisis occurs.

For instance, Mensline Australia, the national men’s phone counselling service, has placed regular advertisements in national and local newspapers. The development of Mensline has been an opportunity to provide an initial assessment and counselling service for men. The men are referred to services in their local areas where they can continue to have their needs met in a more comprehensive way.

Principles for effective practice
Eight principles have been identified for working effectively with men:

  1. Importance of perceived equality

  2. Existence of ‘window periods’ where men access support

  3. The need for fathering services to be distinguished from general parenting services

  4. The value of personal recommendation about services

  5. The importance of flexible service delivery

  6. Client involvement in program development

  7. Solution focused approach

  8. Local area coordination

For more information see King, A.  2005.  The 'quiet revolution' amongst men. Developing the practice of working with men in family relationships. Children Australia Vol.30  No. 2

Working with men and relationship issues - opportunities and challenges (Video)

One of the highlights of the 2013 National Men's Health Gathering in Brisbane was the Men and Vulnerable Families Forum Plenary Session featuring presentations by Dr Warren Farrell (USA) and Glen Poole (UK). Titled Working with men and relationship issues – opportunities and challenges, this event explored many contemporary issues around men, fathers and relationships, and how to better support them. The entire event, including an extensive Q & A session, filmed on Friday 25 October 2013 at 9am. The session was chaired by Andrew King from Groupwork Solutions, the two keynote speakers were:

Working with men and relationship issues video

References

Hawkins, A.J. & Dollahite, D.C. (1997). Generative Fathering: Beyond Deficit Perspectives. Sage: Thousand Oaks.

King, A. (2000). Working with fathers: The non-deficit perspective. Children Australia, Vol 25, No.3.

King, A. 2001. Engaging fathers in Group Work. ‘Developing Practice’  Winter 2001

King, A., Sweeney, S. & Fletcher, R. (2004). A checklist for organisations working with men. Developing Practice, December.

Nixon, M. (Hon). (1999). Report of the Committee Reviewing Family and Parent Support Services for Men. WA.  

Other useful websites are:
www.menslineaus.org.au


Resources

‘Here’s my Story’-Fathers of ‘Looked After’ Children Recount their Experiences in the Canadian Child ‘Here’s my Story’-Fathers of ‘Looked After’ Children Recount their Experiences in the Canadian Child (102 KB)

2013 Australian Fathering Programs Overview 2013 Australian Fathering Programs Overview (163 KB)

A National Study of Male Involvement Among Families in Contact With the Child Welfare System A National Study of Male Involvement Among Families in Contact With the Child Welfare System (131 KB)

A road less travelled - Working with men as fathers in family based services A road less travelled - Working with men as fathers in family based services (428 KB)

Caring for the children of imprisoned mothers - Exploring the role of the fathers Caring for the children of imprisoned mothers - Exploring the role of the fathers (259 KB)

Checklist for organisations working with men Checklist for organisations working with men (221 KB)

Considerations when working with fathers and family violence Considerations when working with fathers and family violence (138 KB)

Dads and the early years - Dads Playgroup (10 minutes) DVD Dads and the early years - Dads Playgroup (10 minutes) DVD (18024 KB)

Dads reading to their children give them an early start Dads reading to their children give them an early start (27 KB)

Defining the roles of fathers Report - National Healthy Start Association Defining the roles of fathers Report - National Healthy Start Association (616 KB)

Does the Triple P Program work effectively with fathers? Does the Triple P Program work effectively with fathers? (82 KB)

Early intervention and holistic, relationship-based practice with fathers Early intervention and holistic, relationship-based practice with fathers (100 KB)

Early intervention and holistic, relationship-based practice with fathers Early intervention and holistic, relationship-based practice with fathers (100 KB)

Engaging fathers from disadvantaged areas in children’s education Engaging fathers from disadvantaged areas in children’s education (340 KB)

Engaging fathers in child and family services Engaging fathers in child and family services (971 KB)

Engaging fathers in child protection services - A review of factors and strategies across ecological Engaging fathers in child protection services - A review of factors and strategies across ecological (491 KB)

Engaging fathers in group work.pdf Engaging fathers in group work.pdf (52 KB)

Engaging fathers in programs Engaging fathers in programs (117 KB)

Evidence based practice summary – Why involving fathers is essential!! Evidence based practice summary – Why involving fathers is essential!! (297 KB)

Exploring coping factors amongst men who were sexually abused in childhood Exploring coping factors amongst men who were sexually abused in childhood (99 KB)

Father absence and child welfare Father absence and child welfare (859 KB)

Father factors - What social science research tells us about fathers and how to work with them? Father factors - What social science research tells us about fathers and how to work with them? (948 KB)

Father Inclusive Practice Logos Father Inclusive Practice Logos (490 KB)

Father involvement, relationship quality and transitions out of marriage and separation Father involvement, relationship quality and transitions out of marriage and separation (45 KB)

Father Residence and Adolescent Problem Behaviour Father Residence and Adolescent Problem Behaviour (14416 KB)

Fatherhood: Parenting Programmes and Policy - A critical review of best practice Fatherhood: Parenting Programmes and Policy - A critical review of best practice (825 KB)

Father-inclusive practice guide Father-inclusive practice guide (564 KB)

Fathers and the Well-Child Visit Fathers and the Well-Child Visit (268 KB)

Fathers and their Families - The Untapped Resource Fathers and their Families - The Untapped Resource (59 KB)

Fathers Matter Report UK Fathers Matter Report UK (231 KB)

Fathers' role as attachment figures - An interview with Sir Richard Bowlby Fathers' role as attachment figures - An interview with Sir Richard Bowlby (98 KB)

Fathers' role in the prevention and treatment of child anxiety Fathers' role in the prevention and treatment of child anxiety (286 KB)

Fathers, Child Abuse and Child Protection Fathers, Child Abuse and Child Protection (71 KB)

Fathers, Physical Child Abuse, and Neglect - Advancing the Knowledge Base Fathers, Physical Child Abuse, and Neglect - Advancing the Knowledge Base (115 KB)

Gender and generativity issues in parenting Gender and generativity issues in parenting (968 KB)

Gender and Generativity Issues in Parenting- Do fathers benefit more than mothers from involvement i Gender and Generativity Issues in Parenting- Do fathers benefit more than mothers from involvement i (86 KB)

Generative connections and recovery from suicidal ideaiton and depression Generative connections and recovery from suicidal ideaiton and depression (177 KB)

Generative fathering and the dynamics of connection  between fathers and their children Generative fathering and the dynamics of connection between fathers and their children (7569 KB)

Generativity and Successful Parenting - Analysis of Young Adult Outcomes Generativity and Successful Parenting - Analysis of Young Adult Outcomes (134 KB)

Generativity and the transition to fatherhood- the emergence of fathers' nurturing capacities Generativity and the transition to fatherhood- the emergence of fathers' nurturing capacities (433 KB)

Generativity in action - Helping other alcoholics in AA - matched study Generativity in action - Helping other alcoholics in AA - matched study (3101 KB)

Hard to Reach? Engaging Fathers in Early Years Settings Hard to Reach? Engaging Fathers in Early Years Settings (1356 KB)

Identifying, interviewing and intervening - Fathers and the Illinois Child Welfare System Identifying, interviewing and intervening - Fathers and the Illinois Child Welfare System (950 KB)

Introduction to working with men and family relationships guide Introduction to working with men and family relationships guide (877 KB)

Involved Fathering as an Evoker of Adult Development Involved Fathering as an Evoker of Adult Development (2174 KB)

Involving fathers in Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) Workshops Involving fathers in Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) Workshops (1502 KB)

Involving fathers in the lives of their children when child protection issues exist Involving fathers in the lives of their children when child protection issues exist (531 KB)

Key attributes for effectively working with men Key attributes for effectively working with men (66 KB)

Low-income fathers barriers to participation in parenting programs Low-income fathers barriers to participation in parenting programs (140 KB)

Men’s Talk: Tackling Domestic Violence Men’s Talk: Tackling Domestic Violence (1040 KB)

Men's health questionnaire Men's health questionnaire (196 KB)

Men's places - Aboriginal men's programs against domestic violence Men's places - Aboriginal men's programs against domestic violence (4448 KB)

More than a playmate, less than a co-parent More than a playmate, less than a co-parent (161 KB)

Mothers, Men, and Child Protective Services Involvement Mothers, Men, and Child Protective Services Involvement (193 KB)

National Guidelines for Male Suicide Prevention Program Design National Guidelines for Male Suicide Prevention Program Design (187 KB)

Newpin Inside Article - USA The Groupworker Newpin Inside Article - USA The Groupworker (2381 KB)

Non-deficit perspectives Non-deficit perspectives (181 KB)

Offending Fathers-Generative, Reflexive and Risky?' Offending Fathers-Generative, Reflexive and Risky?' (87 KB)

Parenthood from the father’s point of view - life after the GFC Parenthood from the father’s point of view - life after the GFC (34 KB)

Parenting Programs and Policy Critical Review Full Report Parenting Programs and Policy Critical Review Full Report (842 KB)

Patterns of Engagement and Non-Engagement of Young Fathers Patterns of Engagement and Non-Engagement of Young Fathers (243 KB)

Perceptions of fathering amongst single low income men Perceptions of fathering amongst single low income men (4769 KB)

Profiles of disciplinary behaviors among biological fathers Profiles of disciplinary behaviors among biological fathers (289 KB)

Promoting fathers’ engagement with children in low income families Promoting fathers’ engagement with children in low income families (132 KB)

Recruiting fathers to parenting programs - Advice from dads and service providers Recruiting fathers to parenting programs - Advice from dads and service providers (268 KB)

Re-engaging separated fathers with their children after contact has broken down Re-engaging separated fathers with their children after contact has broken down (206 KB)

Report on Non-resident Parents and Service Use Report on Non-resident Parents and Service Use (562 KB)

Role of self-determined goals in predicting recidivism in domestic violence offenders Role of self-determined goals in predicting recidivism in domestic violence offenders (105 KB)

Separated dads and the generative perspective Separated dads and the generative perspective (65 KB)

Suicide and desert men - The power and protection of kanyirninpa (holding or generativity) Suicide and desert men - The power and protection of kanyirninpa (holding or generativity) (80 KB)

Summary of Published Fatherhood Literature Summary of Published Fatherhood Literature (228 KB)

Supporting fathers - what difference does early intervention and support make to children Supporting fathers - what difference does early intervention and support make to children (190 KB)

Supporting fathers who have a child with a disability Supporting fathers who have a child with a disability (70 KB)

Supporting fathers who have a child with a disability: The development of a new parenting program Supporting fathers who have a child with a disability: The development of a new parenting program (533 KB)

Template for local Blokes' Book Template for local Blokes' Book (4490 KB)

The effects of father involvement The effects of father involvement (5050 KB)

The fathering of violent men The fathering of violent men (137 KB)

The participation of fathers in child protection conferences The participation of fathers in child protection conferences (103 KB)

The 'quiet revolution' amongst men - Developing the practice of working with fathers The 'quiet revolution' amongst men - Developing the practice of working with fathers (180 KB)

Using a football metaphor to engage men in therapeutic engagement Using a football metaphor to engage men in therapeutic engagement (176 KB)

Vital education for our men article Vital education for our men article (86 KB)

WA Freedom from Fear Campaign WA Freedom from Fear Campaign (126 KB)

What about the dads?- Issues and possibilities of working with men from a child and youth perspectiv What about the dads?- Issues and possibilities of working with men from a child and youth perspectiv (498 KB)

What difference does early intervention make to supporting children by involving fathers What difference does early intervention make to supporting children by involving fathers (185 KB)

What makes generative fathering work? What makes generative fathering work? (175 KB)

What works in fatherhood programs? - Ten lessons from evidence-based practice What works in fatherhood programs? - Ten lessons from evidence-based practice (109 KB)

Working with fathers – what’s going on out there? Working with fathers – what’s going on out there? (587 KB)

Working with fathers around DV issues Working with fathers around DV issues (103 KB)

Working with men as part of the solution Working with men as part of the solution (105 KB)

Young Disadvantaged Men as Fathers Young Disadvantaged Men as Fathers (159 KB)



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NEW BOOK: Engaging men's responses to family violence26-Feb-2017

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