Caring Dads, an Australian first intervention program to help fathers improve their relationships with their children and end abusive behaviour, has been named the winner of the 2021 Minister's Award for Innovation in Protecting Children at this evening's 2021 Victorian Protecting Children Awards.
An evidence-based model originating in Canada, Kids First has pioneered Caring Dads’ delivery to an Australian audience. An evaluation released by the University of Melbourne in 2020 demonstrated Caring Dads’ link to an overall reduction in violence, and men’s ability to reflect on abusive and harmful fathering practices after completing the program.
Kids First CEO Ms Aileen Ashford said the award is recognition of the program's innovative approach as well as the many partnerships brokered to ensure it could reach a wide audience in Victoria.
“Changing the behaviour of men who use violence is a significant and enduring social challenge.
Through Kids First's leadership and the investment by the Victorian State Government and Gandel Philanthropy, Caring Dads could be piloted and evaluated to lead us to where we are today. Most importantly, children and their mothers who have experienced family violence can be safer as a result of this program."
Ms Ashford was also recognised at this year's awards, as a highly commended finalist in the prestigious Robyn Clark Leadership Award.