Caring Dads is an intervention program for fathers (including biological, step, common-law) who have physically abused, emotionally abused or neglected their children, or exposed their children to domestic violence or who are deemed to be at high-risk for these behaviours
The program consists of a 17-week, empirically-based, manualized group parenting intervention for fathers, systematic outreach to mothers to ensure safety and freedom from coercion, and ongoing, collaborative case management of fathers with referrers and with other professionals involved with men’s families.
The group component of Caring Dads combines elements of parenting, fathering, battering and child protection practice to enhance the safety and well-being of children. Program principles emphasize the need to enhance men’s motivation, promote child-centered fathering, address men’s ability to engage in respectful, non-abusive co-parenting with children’s mothers, recognize that children’s experience of trauma will impact the rate of possible change, and work collaboratively with other service providers to ensure that children benefit (and are not unintentionally harmed) as a result of father’s participation in intervention. The Caring Dads program can be located on a continuum of service.
Caring Dads was developed by Katreena Scott, Ph.D. C. Psych., Claire Crooks, Ph.D. C. Psych., Tim Kelly, Executive Director of Changing Ways, and Karen Francis, Ph.D. C. Psych in collaboration with child protective services, batterer intervention programs, children's mental health agencies, women's advocates, centres for children and families involved in the justice system, family resource agencies and probation and parole services. The university-community partnership at the heart of this program means Caring Dads is based on a solid foundation of both theory and practice.