Competency 4. Engagement skills for working with antenatal dads
The evidence of risk factors for family disruption and poor child outcomes is strong enough to warrant early intervention with families. It is generally accepted that supporting parents through the transition of childbirth will be better than attempting to connect with them after the birth.
In addition the latest research on attachment points to the importance of father-infant attachment. It suggests that involving fathers before the birth will promote the engagement of fathers in their children’s lives and facilitate the developing father-child relationship.
Download the file Skills, Knowledge & Attitudes for Engagement Skills for Working with Antenatal Dads (60 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.