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FRSA Conference 2014 Andrew King 0437 546 560

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1 FRSA Conference 2014 Andrew King 0437 546 560

2 “Dads in Distress Support Services is a peer support and referral pathways network dedicated to providing help and hope to fathers and mothers at risk of becoming socially isolated after experiencing the trauma associated with family breakdown or separation from their children.”


4  3:08  3:23   0:27   0:31   6:04   audio 11:02  A call comes in

5 DIDSS purpose is to engage and support parents by listening and empathising with their life experience. The support groups use a psychoeducational model as the structure that supports parents through their time of distress and build on their resilience and confidence to face changes in their life. The DIDSS Support Group is an example of a psychoeducational group that is facilitated by trained peer leaders who use a mutual aid model. Psychoeducational groups are structured group experiences that benefit people from the general population who share a similar challenge or experience in life. The group’s purpose is to provide: 1. Education 2. Support 3. Self-help and referral 4. Peer-leadership development 5. Discussion

6 DIDSS uses a variety of processes to enable peer group leaders to facilitate the program. Group Leaders or group facilitators receive initial in house and ongoing training in the models and are supervised by support staff at the DIDSS head office and locally through our state based services coordinators and practitioner networks. Rituals (i.e. The Rock and Campfire [processes) are used to effectively manage the grief and loss issues experienced by the separated fathers. Other models used within the program that are not expanded on in this presentation include; DIDSS as a Mutual Aid Model and DIDSS Support group as a person centred experience (For more detailed information about the DIDSS peer support model, please go to

7 15 5 Groups active Past presence / Current Demand Groups imminent AUSTRALIA WIDE 4 5 CURRENT JULY 2014

8 HOW TO REFER A DAD IN DISTRESS What is the best way to access DIDSS? Who shouldn’t you refer to DIDSS? What about women? Is DIDSS just for Dads?

9 Value of local partnerships Support the development of peer support groups to provide education, support, self-help, peer-leadership development and discussion. Using the DIDSS process, the participants have an opportunity to learn from other participants’ proactive coping strategies. The role of the group leader is to guide the group, and at an educational level participants take meaning and learning from other people’s stories they identify with, and accept that they will not identify with the experiences of some other people.

10 Priority targets The priority targets are separated dads, and now mums through our Mums in Distress group in Parramatta, this strategy meets the needs of; Vulnerable and disadvantaged families Indigenous families Culturally and Linguistically Disadvantaged families Families impacted by changes to parenting payment eligibility requirements Young parents and jobless families

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