Funding Secured to Support Young Dads

December 15, 2023

Brave Foundation has successfully secured philanthropic funding to research, design and pilot a dedicated program for young fathers.

The three philanthropic grants will allow Brave to build on the existing Supporting Expecting and Parenting Teens (SEPT) Program but will be tailored to specifically meet the needs of young dads. The pilot program will be co-designed to identify adaptations needed to the existing SEPT program and will be informed by young fathers with lived experience and key community partners.

Brave has been providing support to dads since the establishment of the SEPT program in 2018, fathers have been only around 2% of young people we have supported to achieve their goals. However, recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed a 3.9% increase in births to fathers aged between 15-19 years in 2022 (from 2083 in 2021 to 2165 in 2022), the first increase in over a decade.

CEO Jill Roche said the new funding would enable Brave to reach and support more young parents in Australia.

“The program seeks to address the barriers experienced by young dads and recognises the value and importance of their contribution as a parent in their child’s life. This funding signifies a major step forward in delivering the SEPT program to more young parents and will inform Brave’s work around Australia,” she said.

“With little research available about young fathers and the outcomes for their families, we are eager to do the work to understand the unique needs of all young parents and use that knowledge to develop a program to unlock the boundless potential of young fathers to allow them and their families to flourish.”

“We are so grateful to our generous supporters who are enabling us to continue the momentum we have built through the successful SEPT program, and to move into this next chapter of innovation, growth, and learning alongside our program participants and their families.”

The funding includes a multi-year grant from Shine On Foundation to research, design and pilot a program for young Dads in Victoria. Ross Trust are also supporting the pilot. In addition, in NSW Newcastle Permanent Foundation will provide a $75,000 grant to trial a new mentor to support young dads in the Newcastle region.

With strong support from the Australian government, Tasmanian government and philanthropic foundations, Brave Foundation has been delivering the SEPT program since 2018 and has supported expecting or parenting young people to achieve goals in the areas of education and workforce participation, life skills, health and wellbeing and parenting.

As Federal funding for the SEPT program is scheduled to conclude in June 2024, Ms Roche emphasised the importance of ensuring effective programs like SEPT continue.

“Funding for targeted support, such as that provided by Brave Foundation, is needed to address the specific needs of young parents. Our staff are experienced at walking alongside participants throughout the program – from referral and first contact, to setting goals and working to achieve them, to celebration of their achievements and graduation from the program. Young parents trust us because they know we exist only to see them and the children thrive!”

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