Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Services working with vulnerable families frequently recognise the salience of fathers' (or father figures') behaviours in the difficulties confronting the families. However lack of understanding and training in how to engage with these fathers prevents a more holistic approach to addressing the most serious social problems in our community. This course will focus on developing father-inclusive practice specifically related to the most difficult family contexts. Research and case studies from a range of disciplines will be used to explore those aspects of fathering which impact, both positively and negatively, on children's well being. Examples of recent initiatives aimed at engaging with fathers from vulnerable families will allow students to identify suitable approaches to recruiting and engaging fathers in specific service settings.

Availability2018 Course Timetables

WebLearn GradSchool

  • Trimester 3 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand the evidence relating to fathering in vulnerable families

2. Develop strategies to judge fathers' potential as risk and resource to children in their family.

3. Identify a range of skills that will assist with father engagement.

4. Critically reflect on personal beliefs and professional responsibilities that impact on the engagement of services with fathers from vulnerable families

5. Explore the implications and potential for father engagement in vulnerable families


Course content will cover:

  • Who are the fathers in vulnerable families?
  • Rationale for engaging fathers in vulnerable families
  • Assessing the risk and resource capacities of fathers
  • Strategies and tools for addressing violence
  • Case studies from early intervention and treatment services
  • Critical reflection on the application of father engagement principles to working with vulnerable families

Assumed knowledge

Undergraduate degree or equivalent in similar cognate area.

Assessment items

Literature Review: Literature Review

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study / Problem Based Learning

Proposal / Plan: Proposal / Plan

Contact hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term