Search Results for "dads"

Keeping Kids in Mind for Dads

Keeping Kids in Mind is a 5 week program for separated fathers who are experiencing on-going conflict. The program is designed to assist parents to see through their children’s eyes the experience of parental separation and develop greater understanding about how to support children following family separation. These sessions are facilitated by qualified and experienced counsellors.

Country Dads’ SMS service

Information, resources and tips for Country Dads sent via SMS or EMAIL.
For dads with newborns, receive 12 messages over 12 weeks.

Currently unavailable – for more information please call 9368 9342



DadsWA was established in 1999 to deliver services and support for fathers, with a particular focus on the early years. DadsWA staff have 25 years of combined experience in working with and supporting fathers.

DadsWA emphasises the importance of fathers being an active and engaged part of the parenting team and the benefits this brings for child development.

Much of our work is centered on the early years and we provide regular online sessions for fathers-to-be and a three-week program for new dads.  Information on upcoming sessions can be found here –

We also provide information and referrals for dads and mums seeking support for fathers through contact with services and groups.  Parents seeking information can contact our parenting line at or DadsWA – [email protected].

Click below for more information about fathering services and resources:

Through the work mentioned above, DadsWA has contact with over 500 fathers each year, as well as numerous service providers, and has gained a wealth of knowledge on the needs of today’s fathers and the services available to them.

DadsWA is seeking input from fathers/father figures who can draw on their lived experience to help us ensure we are meeting the parenting needs of fathers as best we can.  If you are interested in being a part of this, please email [email protected]


There’s not a lot out there that speaks directly to dads, which is why SMS4dads was developed. SMS4dads supports men in their role as fathers and increases awareness of their influence on a baby’s brain development. It also helps fathers understand and connect with their baby and partner and checks in on their wellbeing; offering professional support if needed.

There are more than 300,000 babies born in Australia each year. That’s a whole lot of new dads navigating the challenges of parenthood.

Research shows that dads are hard to reach in parenting education and their engagement with health services isn’t great.

SMS4dads is available for new dads to join up and receive text messages and support straight to their phones from 12 weeks into a pregnancy and throughout the first year of parenthood.

SMS4dads is FREE.  It provides info related to the age and stage of your baby. It’s the info you need – when you need it, how you need it – straight to your phone.

Joining up is easy – and IT’S FREE!

To enrol, simply enter your baby’s due date or date of birth. If your partner is more than 12 weeks pregnant or your baby is under 12 months you join up by filling out a quick survey.

Once registered, you will receive three messages a week.

Some messages provide tips and encouragement. Others are health-related, including looking after your bub, your own health and ways to support your partner.

To find out more or to register visit:

Just for dads

Dads and father figures play a unique and important role in children’s development. As a new dad, it’s important you are involved in getting to know your baby and contributing as an equal partner in the parenting team from the start.   

With all that is happening with a new baby, there are two important points for all dads to remember: 

  • Support and work with your partner as part of the parenting team; and 
  • Bond with your new baby. 

The parenting team

Each parent brings something unique and important to parenting and to children’s development. The best parenting happens when parents work together as a team and support each other.

At this time, when your baby is very young, your partner will be totally focused on baby’s needs and will need lots of support. Remember: 

  • Try to understand the challenges that your partner is facing  
  • Do your share around the house (of course!) 
  • Give lots of encouragement and praise 
  • Spend lots of time getting to know baby (bathing, changing, feeding) and developing your confidence  
  • Offer your partner self-care time as you spend time with your baby 
  • Recognise you have an important role to play as a parent  
  • Take care of yourself as well as your partner.  

Understanding what new mums are experiencing

  • Expectations: It is easy to think that new mums already have all the skills to be a parent. But, just like you, they have to learn as they go along, and can feel lots of pressure to do things right. Mums often feel that others (other mums, parents, in-laws, and society) are watching and judging them, which is why your support and encouragement is so important. 
  • It is nonstop: Caring for a baby 24/7 is emotionally and physically draining. It is common for new mums to feel overwhelmed through lack of sleep, feeding 8 to 12 times a day, and lots of crying from baby. Help with night feeds and spend time with baby as much as you can. 
  • Physical changes: Along from hormonal changes, many new mums are conscious of changes to their body. This can affect their self-esteem. “Perfect” photos of new mums on social media don’t help! 
  • Baby blues: Many mums experience this following the birth and, although normal, this still needs your support 
  • Post-natal depression (PND): Up to one in six new mums experience PND, and your role in reaching out for support is vital. Be aware of your own mental wellbeing too – fathers can also experience PND. 

Bonding with baby

It may seem like your newborn baby is “not doing anything”. New dads often wonder what they should be doing with their baby. 

Far from doing nothing, your baby is trying to form a relationship with you by staring at your face, seeking your response. Making eye contact with baby and communicating with your face and eyes is called ‘mutual gaze’. This forms the foundations for bonding and a lifelong relationship with your child. 

Bonding hints
  • Mutual gaze: Your baby will look at you seeking to make a connection. It is important that you acknowledge this by looking back. This is called “serve and return” and also affects brain development 
  • Talk to and sing with your baby. Use different voices and facial expressions. 
  • Skin to skin contact with baby is very important so they can learn your touch, feel and smell, and so you can learn theirs. 
  • Reading: it is never too soon to read to your baby! 
  • Remember, every opportunity you have to spend with your baby is a chance to build a bond. This includes changing nappies, bathing, helping with feeding and playing and hanging out with baby 
  • You may notice that you and your partner do some things differently with baby. As long as baby feels safe and loved, these differences are good for baby’s brain development. 
  • Settling baby: Apart from being able to breastfeed, mums have no more natural ability to bond with or settle baby than you. It just takes patience and practice. Don’t automatically hand your crying baby to your partner!  

 Remember, you and your partner can form strong bonds with your baby, all it takes is time and effort.  

Hearing from other dads

It is important that new dads find opportunities to talk with, and hear, from other dads. There are a number of workshops and playgroups for dads, which offer a great chance to talk about fatherhood and learn new things. 

There are also some great online resources to find out what other dads are saying and thinking: 

Support for dads and father figures

Parenting activities

  • Contact your Council for Neighbourhood Centres 
  • Playgroup WA for local playgroups, including playgroups with dads – 1800 171 882  
  • Meerilinga – Promoting Positive Childhoods 

Courses for dads

  • Ngala workshops
  • Mensplace – Aims to support and enable men to address relationship and family issues, whether single, partnered, separated or re-partnered. 
  • Menstime – Anglicare’s program designed to assist, empower and educate men on a variety of issues, and develop their own self-reliance. 
  • The Blokes’ BookA directory of services for men in WA 

Other resources for dads

You’re Going to be a Dad – NWM Online

This online information session is an opportunity to join other expectant dads to explore how your baby will develop and their needs in the early days. Receive useful tips on adjusting to parenthood, supporting your partner and giving your baby the best possible start.

You’re Going to be a Dad – NWM Online

This online information session is an opportunity to join other expectant dads to explore how your baby will develop and their needs in the early days. Receive useful tips on adjusting to parenthood, supporting your partner and giving your baby the best possible start.

Our Children Our Future – Aboriginal Early Years Forum

Ngala’s Ngalang Moort Ngalang Kurlangah program recently presented the Our Children Our Future Aboriginal Early Years Forum in Midland.

The forum was an opportunity to bring together local services and organisations who work in the early childhood sector, to collaborate, network and establish pathways for working in partnership, so that Aboriginal children will thrive, are confident and successful in their early years.

Throughout the morning, guests listened to speakers on topics including transitioning to school, identifying children who may be at risk of learning challenges, support for children with developmental delays, the importance of dads and the need to support early brain development.

You can read the full list of speakers and topics here:

Transitioning to school – early childhood education – Gail Barrow – Early Childhood Specialist Teacher : Gail shared information about transitioning to school – early childhood education and the impact this has, and continues to have on Aboriginal children. Gail also shared stories from her own lived experiences.

What do school screening letters mean? Ann Carmody-Senior Speech Pathologist : Ann shared the meaning of school screening letters, explained how the screening assessment process worked, and the steps taken to identify children who may be at risk and need extra support in the classroom or further diagnosis.

Supporting Aboriginal children with Developmental Delay and/or Disability (0-7 years) – Lennett Sandy and Roma Kolatowicz – Wanslea ECA : Lennett and Roma talked about supporting Aboriginal children with Developmental Delay and/or Disability (0-7 years) and shared the NDIS funding process and criteria information.

Supporting Dads in the Early Years – Jon Blurton – Strong Father’s Program (Indigo Junction Midland) : Jon shared his life line story, who he was then to who and where he is now. John’s powerful presentation outlined his journey to overcome barriers, to become a positive role model for other Aboriginal men though the Moorditj Maaman program, located in the Midland area.

Growing Strong Brains® – Jacquie Taylor – Aboriginal Project Officer (Ngala) :
Jacquie shared with us the Growing Strong Brains® Toolkit and how it is used as a portable yarning tool to talk with families about pregnancy, early brain development and growing up strong and healthy kids.

Thank you to our wonderful speakers and supporters, including Trudy Snow for being our Emcee, Aunty Vanessa Corunna – Local Noongar Elder, for her moving Welcome to Country, and the inspiring Corroboree for Life Dance Group, whose performance reflected the confidence and pride of our young people who connect to culture through dance.

Thank you also to Marissa Verma from Bindi Bindi Dreaming who spoke about cultural/traditional Aboriginal food and flavours and provided an incredible lunch for our attendees.

Together we are supporting Aboriginal children and families to achieve positive outcomes through quality early childhood education and learning through the early years.

A huge congratulations to the Ngalang Moort Ngalang Kurlangah team on coordinating and delivering a fantastic forum for the local community.


Now You’re a Dad – Playgroup WA

This 3 week program for new dads (and father figures) will discuss the important role of fathers and provide strategies and tips to support your child’s development. All sessions will be facilitated by a DadsWA fathering worker and a Ngala Child Health Nurse. This is a great chance to increase your parenting skills and talk with other dads.