Competency 3. Talking to males about violence
The notion that all adult males are naturally dangerous can be an unstated assumption of services for children and families. This leaves early intervention staff in a difficult position when trying to identify positive aspects of the fathers’ relationships while, at the same time, being constantly suspicious of them and expecting to discover the worst. One answer to this dilemma is to leave any discussion of anger or coercive behaviour to the ‘experts’ such as police while focusing on work with the women.
The skills of engagement with men should include the ability to address coercion and intimidation but within a framework which maintains respect for the father concerned.
Download the file Talking to Males about Violence (64 KB pdf).
The development and documentation of competencies will be part of the ongoing work required for Father-inclusive Practice. The future will no doubt see many new areas of work with fathers requiring new skills, knowledge and attitudes. However we also expect to see the development of supporting documentation for existing areas of work providing detailed assessment for practitioners and giving more precise guidelines for the way that the competencies link to the Principles of father-Inclusive Practice.
For example, in the area of work with separated fathers, a well-developed set of competencies was released shortly after the Father-Inclusive Practice Forum was held. The Working with Separated Fathers competency standards, assessment guides and assessment tools were developed for the Child Support Agency (CSA) by FatherWork and a network of experienced practitioners in 2004-05. The competency standards aim to provide a framework for the training and assessment of group leaders for the 'Being Connected and Staying Connected' psycho-educational, intervention programs for separated fathers.
The newly formed ‘National Men and Fathers’ Practitioners Network’ is involved in consultation with CSA and the Australian Government's Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) regarding the ongoing development of the competency standards and assessment materials for use in broader contexts of working with men and fathers. See the Being Connected site for more information.