WAGGA’S new Separated Dads Support Group is looking to welcome members of the community to two upcoming events this month.
The fledgling support group will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday September 25 at 6pm in the Parish Centre in Johnston Street, before hosting a social barbecue for dads and their children at Lake Albert on Sunday September 28 at 1pm.
Seperated Dads Support Group was initiated by two local fathers who have personally struggled with the issues of separation – not knowing where to go or who to turn to when their world fell apart.
One father, who had a close bond with his child, has struggled with only being allowed miminal contact his child, while the other has dealt with the issues that arise from being a sole parent raising daughters.
Both fathers have had to deal with huge financial burdens due to court costs.
Peter and Dean are now using their experiences as motivation to come to assist other fathers “struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel”.
The Separated Dads Group is now auspiced by Centacare South-West NSW and is seeking to fill a huge service gap in the community by building and developing a support group catering to the needs of fathers.
“Family separation brings with it a wide range of issues and needs, often not anticipated or experienced before – especially where children are involved,” post separation cooperative parenting facilitator with Centacare Lyn Reilly said.
“The Dads Group will meet monthly, giving dads the opportunity to talk together over a coffee, and to normalise some of the emotional feelings and experiences they are going through – rather that feeling all alone and socially isolated.
“It is a great opportunity for dads to connect with dads in a similar situation, in a friendly and supportive environment.”
The group aims to provide emotional support, information and education to separated fathers, while providing access to community agencies and professionals.
The group also hopes to address a variety of topics including parenting, cooking, behaviour management, budgeting, sex education, supporting children emotionally and psychologically, school issues, trust and attachment needs.
Separated Dads, irrespective of whether they are divorced or not, have new relationships, are raising children, or having limited or no contact with children, are all welcome to attend the support group meeting at 6pm.