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Brophy will support fathers to improve their relationships with their children and end controlling and abusive behaviour through the delivery of a new program. 

The program, Caring Dads, has been rolled out in other parts of the state but will launch in the south-west for the first time in the new financial year.  

Brophy’s Executive Manager – Family and Individual Support Services Donna Wynters said the program would meet key needs in the district. 

“The program will work to show men the impact violent behaviour can have on their children,” she said. 

“It will join our existing 10 family violence support programs but will focus on parenting and that connection with children, helping men to address neglectful or abusive behaviour. 

“It’ll support better parenting and a reduction in violence to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children. It’s about developing a father’s ability to engage in respectful, non-abusive parenting. 

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this as a service and fill a need in the community.” 

Sessions will be delivered in groups with referrals accepted from across the community. 

Ms Wynters said Brophy’s family violence support programs were working tirelessly to create safer communities with high demand for support. 

“Our staff are doing a fantastic job to meet significant demand and accommodate new referrals,” he said. 

Brophy currently delivers Men’s Behaviour Change, Men’s Family and Relationships Program, a Men’s Case Management service, Family Safety Contact Work, Adolescent Relationships Integrating Safety and Empathy (ARISE), Women’s and Children’s support and HEART (therapeutic support service to adults and children in their recovery from family violence) among others. 

Ms Wynters said the Victorian Government’s decision to appoint a parliamentary secretary for Men’s Behaviour Change, lengthen family violence intervention orders and change stalking laws was welcomed. 

“It’s important to support victim survivors to lead safe lives. Women and children deserve to be safe,” she said. 

“We, as a community and country, must do all we can to end family violence. The changes to lesligation are important and will help to ensure people choosing to use violence remain accountable for their actions. 

“We believe adults using violence can change their behaviour – we always have that hope. We’re confident Caring Dads will complement our existing programs and play a vital role in addressing family violence across the south-west.”