Caring Futures Institute hosts experts to examine the caring roles of fathers

A man holding a baby

Experts from across Australia will explore the role of fathering next month in a workshop hosted by the Caring Futures Institute.

The half-day event will bring together perspectives spanning nursing, psychology, sociology, health sciences, nutrition, physical activity and education to share Flinders and Australian research about fathers in family life.

Caring Futures Institute’s Better Lives theme leader Professor Rebecca Golley said relationships are an essential part of care and caring, and social norms and practices of fathering are rapidly changing.

“Fathers are increasingly engaged in family life and caregiving which has wide-reaching impacts including areas such as masculinity and identity, relationship satisfaction, child attachment, physical and mental health of Australian families,” Professor Golley said.

“In this event we will explore the personal, interpersonal and societal relationships that underpin and influence fathers in family life in 2020 and beyond.

“We want to re-imagine personal beliefs and social norms of fathering and set a research priorities agenda in collaboration with community organisations who work with men and fathers.”

Professor Golley said that more effective supports and services for couples and parents lead to better care of children and the family as a whole.

“High-quality research in this area can influence the development of support programs for men and fathers and start conversations around social norms. A good example is normalising discussions about men requesting carer’s leave, parental leave or part-time work arrangements.

“Bringing together researchers, thought leaders and service providers – within and beyond Flinders University – can start a conversation to imagine a future that provides solutions to ‘wicked’ problems challenging our ability to care and be cared for.”

Through the Better Lives theme the Caring Futures Institute is focusing research efforts to understand how the places, relationships and social norms that facilitate self-care influence health outcomes.

The Fathers in Family Life workshop will be held at Flinders University on 11 December (12.30-4.00pm).

Community organisations working with men, couples or parents are also encouraged to register interest in being involved with research into the caring roles of fathers at

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