Taking Caring Dads to Estonia

St Michael's has been helping spread the successful Caring Dads programme in Europe. Last month, our outreach manager Elaine Gaskell-Mew and Dermot Brady from Kingston University were in Estonia training other European practitioners on how to run their own Caring Dads programme.

The training took place over three days and involved the delegates demonstrating and delivering their own sessions. Elaine said:

"It is a big deal taking the programme to these professionals. They will be the first people in their countries delivering Caring Dads. Dermot and I felt privileged to deliver training to such committed skilled, and friendly, practitioners.”

Why they needed Caring Dads

They were invited there by Olle a mental health professional from Estonia. He had previously worked as the head of victim support in Estonia. While there, he realised there was a lack of services aimed at fathers.

So, he started to search for  programmes and came across the work of Caring Dads. Olle is a psychologist and on the board of a new organisation, called VAITER, which supports families through therapy and counselling.

"As a new organization we did not have enough funding in order to buy the training. Therefore, we wrote an application to Archimedes Foundation and applied for an Erasmus+ project. Since the project was about strategic partnership for adult education, we had to find partners to participate in it.

As a result, the group of 16 professionals came from Estonia and partner organisations in Slovenia and Latvia.

Olle explained why getting a service like Caring Dads is so important:

"There is very little support so far;" said Olle about support for fathers, "The main practice is just removing fathers from families and using legal ways to prevent them from approaching their former families.

What was the feedback about Caring Dads

The feedback from the training was incredibly positive. Olle explained:

"I believe everyone enjoyed the training very much because the trainers, Elaine and Dermot, were very experienced, professional, patient and warm persons. We felt like we had a lot to learn from them."

Asked what he would tell other professionals looking to buy in Carin Dads Training he said:

“If you want to get to know a very systematic and knowledge-based approach for intervention of domestic violence then Caring Dads has it."

We offer Caring Dads training to other professionals 

Elaine said:

“Caring Dads uses motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural techniques to address fathers’ behaviour and help them build better relationships with their children and their children’s mothers. It may not ‘work’ in changing every father but one of the key principles is that the programme improves the lives of children whatever the outcome with the fathers. I feel pleased with the part we have played in helping spread these tools to other professionals which leads to more families getting the support they need."

Also contact us if you would like more information on what kind of training we can offer – just email elaine@stmichaelsfellowship.org.uk

St Michaels is currently running a Caring Dads programme for fathers in Lambeth, South London with another scheduled to start in later in the year.

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