"....we either lack Australian research or we have research in a variety of areas with no overview to make it useful to policy development"
The network has been supported by an initial grant from the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY), a national organisation with more than 850 members (including individuals and organisations) across Australia.
ARACY encourages collaboration between researchers, policy makers and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines. ARACY's founders believed that by working together we are more likely to uncover solutions to the problems affecting children and young people than by working in isolation.
The AFRN aims to promote high-quality collaborative research into fatherhood and fathering in Australia by encouraging researchers, academics, managers, practitioners and those developing policy to pay attention to the important role that fathers play in family and community life. I am convenor of one of the four planned strands of research - The father’s role in children’s literacy.
The Network has just launched its website and with it an outline of and links to a variety of interesting research concerning fathers, for example:
- Fathering and adolescents' psychological adjustment
- Infants' and fathers' emotional facial expressions following spontaneous early infant–father conversation
- Father involvement and its association with infant cognitive outcomes in two domains (babbling and exploring objects with a purpose)
- The role of Family Relationship Centres in father engagement with children
Hopefully, this new network will have some positive outcomes and will lead to new research on the role of fathers, as well as new knowledge concerning how we can support fathers to be even more effective in fulfilling their important unique role within families. If you would like to join the network and receive regular updates you can find a link here.