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When approaching how to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, there is a tendency towards strengthening and Empowering mothersinstead of father.

While this emphasis on maternal support is undoubtedly justified (indeed, culturally appropriate support is required), it begs the question of why professional support for fathers is not similarly prioritized.

For example, within the original Straits and Torres Strait Islander policy in Australia, Closing the gapthere is no mention of more widespread measures specifically for indigenous fathers or men.

We analyzed data from nearly 150 First Nations fathers to determine what support they needed. Here’s what he had to say.

Dispelling negative stereotypes

Western society may present some groups of fathers in a less favorable light and offer limited support.

In Australia, Indigenous patriarchs have been characterized as deviant, distant, and/or alcoholic in a particularly cruel way.

These harmful characteristics were reflected in a 2016 cartoon By Bill Lake An Aboriginal man is unable to remember his son’s name.

These representations are not true for many indigenous fathers. They are often disciplined, dedicated and calm, and want to be positive role models for their children. A great example of this is in Social media movement Which resulted in the cartoon, called #IndigenousDads.

In light of this social climate, we wanted to know what local fathers needed to enhance their fathering experience. We obtained responses from data from 149 Indigenous fathers. Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)A large Australian dataset managed by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services. The study asked them, “If there was one thing you could do to make raising your child easier, what would it be?”. We analyzed the results.

More support is needed.

Our research More than 60 percent of Indigenous fathers surveyed indicated they needed more support.

There were several areas that came up frequently. These were finances, social services, housing, and the ability to spend more time with their children.

Almost all of the 10 themes we observed in Indigenous fathers’ comments in response to this question were related to socio-economic and cultural factors. A father expressed frustration at not being available. , usually want more support. Another father described how finances affected his role, saying, “I would like to have a decent paying job; I had to stop working to support and care for my children and partner.”

Other fathers mentioned wanting houses that were the right size for the family to live in, and that they did not want to rent. Additionally, fathers wished they had the ability to spend more time engaging in activities with their children.

Collectively, these aspirations reflect men who strive to be involved and nurturing fathers, not deviant or distant, as described in rigid stereotypes. This is evident in their courage to openly ask for help.

What needs to be done?

Our research shows that policies about and for Indigenous men and fathers need to focus directly on the areas in which they have expressed the greatest need. This includes seeing them. Social determinants of health. This means examining the social and economic conditions that can affect a person’s life, from their housing situation to their sense of inclusion in society.

As we mentioned earlier, Closing the gap Strategy does not currently do this. It is important for this policy and other related government strategies to specifically target these areas and concerns.

Furthermore, more research funding to support Indigenous fathers and men more broadly is urgently needed. A study Shows the minimum amount of local-specific research funding awarded by Australia’s two main funding bodies. The Australian Research Council (ARC) provided 1.46 percent, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provided approximately 0.29 percent. Additional research on how to best support Indigenous fathers and Indigenous men is urgently needed.

Giving Indigenous fathers the support they need is critical to reducing this. Well documented Challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. There are also positive spillover effects on others, As found From researchers Lyndon Riley and Susan Reese: “If you have strong Native fathers, you will have strong Native families. By having strong Native families, you will have strong Native communities.”

By 2021, local children are more than that. 10 times More likely to be on a care or protection order than non-Indigenous children. Strengthening the role of Indigenous patriarchs not only makes financial sense for governments, but also supports Indigenous family and community well-being, reducing care and protection orders for Indigenous people. .

We need to listen to First Nations fathers. If we do this, we can provide services that play to their strengths, rather than trying to address their shortcomings.

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Reference: Data Shows Indigenous Fathers Help Build Stronger Communities: How They Can Be Better Supported (2024, February 17) Accessed February 17, 2024 at https://phys.org/news/2024-02-indigenous- Retrieved from fathers-stronger-communities.html

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