Caring Dads Group

The featured image of Caring Dads Group

Be the parent you want to be! Stay engaged with your kids, even when things are hard.


We work with fathers in the Ovens & Murray Region for the benefit of their children and significant others in their lives. Focus is on fathers’ accountability, countering attitudes linked to abusive and neglectful behaviors, and promoting healthy relationships between fathers and their child(ren) and other parent/carers. Program principles emphasise the need to enhance father’s motivation, promote child-centered fathering, respectful, non-abusive co-parenting and recognise the children’s experience of trauma. The program uses a combination of motivation enhancement, parent education and cognitive behavioural therapy to improve recognition and prioritisation of child needs, respect and support for children’s relationships with other parent/carers, listening and using praise, empathy for children’s experiences of maltreatment and to identify and counter the distortions underlying fathers’ past, and potentially ongoing, use of family violence.


There is no fee for this program. The program involves 2 hours weekly for 17 weeks.


Our next programs will begin in February 2024 in both Wangaratta and Wodonga. Referrals for these are now open. 


Kids First is the lead agency for Caring Dads and has partnerships in place to deliver the program accross Victoria. Caring Dads was created in partnership with the University of Toronto (Canada) in the fight to end domestic violence. Caring Dads is an internationally-implemented leading perpetrator-based program that is unique in its focus at the intersection of domestic violence and fatherhood. Caring Dads was developed in collaboration with child protective services, batterer intervention programs, children’s mental health agencies, women’s advocates, centers for children and families involved in the justice system, family resource agencies and probation and parole services.


University of Melbourne conducted a 3-year evaluation over three sites in Victoria between 2017-2020. Results included:

  • Positive impact on fathers’ parenting and co-parenting practices
  • Reduced risk of children’s further exposure to domestic and family violence
  • Increased ability for fathers to identify the impact of their aggressive behaviour on their children


To read more about the evaluation: go to:


Eligible fathers:

  • Physically or emotionally abused, neglected, and/or exposed their child(ren) to violence, and acknowledge they need to be better fathers.
  • Have current access with their child(ren) and reside in Ovens & Murray region
  • Have or be willing to have MARAM completed.
  • May have their own history of trauma.
  • May have criminal history but no reports of sexual offences.
  • Any mental illness or AOD concerns are managed.
  • Are able to sit in a group setting for two hours.
  • Eligibility is further determined during a screening interview.


How to refer


Referrals can be made to


We accept referrals from individuals and from external referrers. Our service will be seeking information relating to parenting history, including current IVOs, Family Court or Children’s Court orders. CAV will be advocating for participants to have active case management and for case managers to be actively engaged with Caring Dads facilitators.


To learn more or apply, contact our group facilitators Lucrecia on 03 5722 2203 or email


Caring Dads info sheet for participants

Caring Dads Referrers Info Sheet

F-8 Caring Dads Referral to CAV Form FILLABLE OCT2022