Being a dad is not easy, just ask Frank.
In despair and out of hope, he turned to Dad’s Business for support.
Two years on, Frank is now a volunteer with the program and yesterday he helped officially open the new Dad’s Business HQ at Elizabeth Rise Shopping Centre.
“Before I joined Dad’s Businesses I was lost in what felt like a dark hole with no light to be seen,’’ he said.
“Dad’s Business has been the best program and support outlet for myself which has taught me the skills necessary to see things from all different angles when it comes to my children in my life.
“Dad’s Business helped me find my light.’’
The first space of its kind in the north, the Dad’s Business HQ provides dads with a safe space to seek parenting and other supports.
In partnership with Communities for Children facilitating partner AnglicareSA, Centacare oversees the site where dads can drop in for a chat and seek advice, referral to services, parenting education, advocacy, counselling, and support for alcohol and other drugs.
At least five dads a day now visit Dad’s Business, previously run from the adjoining Playford Community Centre.
Activities come from a place of hope and focus on building self-esteem and addressing shame through acceptance and honesty so that the dads recognise the value of fathers in family and children’s lives.
Participants credit the program for empowering them as dads in a non-judgemental way.
“I am a significant person in my niece’s life,’’ said a participant at the opening.
“The groups are good because whatever is talked about stays in the group so we can be real and just be ourselves.’’
Another participant said Dad’s Business had “empowered me to focus on my baby and my partner in a healthy way’’.
“And now with a new baby on the way, it gives me a great head start,’’ he said.
“I feel the new Dad’s Business HQ being here is a great benefit to young fathers in the community; we need more programs like this.’’
Speaking at the opening, Director Dale West said while Dad’s Business existed on minimal funding, it had a huge impact on the increasing number of dads engaged in the program.
“Dad’s Business started back in 2011 and it’s a service we have believed in from that time and one that now finally finds its own home.
“It’s a real service meeting men where they’re at in this community in the way they prefer which is to access the service here at Elizabeth Rise, and that is a fantastic thing.’’
Dad’s Business is an AnglicareSA Communities for Children funded initiative. Communities for Children is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
For more information about Dad’s Business, please phone 82522311 or visit us at Elizabeth Rise Shopping Centre, Hamblynn Rd, Elizabeth Downs.