$300,000 for Dads in Distress

July 13, 2004

Hartsuyker announces $300,000 grant for Dads in Distress
The Coffs Harbour based organisation Dads in Distress will continue to
support fathers following the announcement of a $300,000 grant from the
Australian Government.

The Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said today $300,000 will
be provided to DIDS over the next three years under the Commonwealth's
Stronger Families and Community Strategy.

Dads in Distress is a dedicated support group of men that provides
telephone support, community-based peer group support, advice programs
and referral to established community education and training programs
for fathers who have gone through a separation.

"Since DIDS was initially established with the support of seed funding
from the Australian Government, they have developed a network of support
for divorced men," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"All separations are difficult and coping can be especially hard for non
custodial parents. DIDS aims to assist fathers who require additional
support in that area." 

Mr Hartsuyker said the Australian Government funding was granted under
the Local Answers programme and would provide the organisation with the
financial security necessary to continue their good work.

 "When a couple separates there is obviously challenges for all members
of a family, but what is often overlooked are the difficulties that
fathers endure," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"There are statistics which indicate the male suicide rate is relatively
high and there are indications that many of these suicides are linked to
divorce or separation, with traumatic effects on all family members."

Mr Hartsuyker said the Local Answers initiative supports locally
developed and implemented projects that give families and communities
the power to develop their own solutions and help them to help

He said that support was now being networked through other regional
townships and delivering invaluable assistance to many fathers.