Healthy child development starts early and dads have an important part to play.

Focus on New Fathers is a pilot program that offered support to new dads and dads-to-be in four local health districts: Northern NSW, Murrumbidgee, Northern Sydney and Western Sydney.

Focus on New Fathers was a free text message-based service that provided dads-to-be and new dads with tips, tools, advice and support in the run up to and after the baby’s birth.

The service aimed to support all dads-to-be and new dads by providing them with information, motivation and practical support. This includes information about how to connect with their baby, be a supportive partner and look after their own health.

Registrations for the pilot closed on 30 June 2021. Dads who participated in the program received messages until 31 December 2021. The program will be evaluated by the Parenting Research Centre and the results will help inform how we support new dads and dads-to-be.

The Focus on New Fathers program is part of a partnership with SMS4Dads. If you live in a regional or rural area you can still access the SMS4Dads program.

Focus on New Fathers is an example of father-inclusive practice, a key priority for NSW Health as part of The first 2000 days of life strategy.

Parenting resources

If you want to know more about child development and parenting, we recommend:

A guide for dads: Caring for your family during perinatal mental illness has information about what to do and how to get help if your partner has mental health issues during pregnancy or after the birth of the baby.

If you need to talk to someone about stress, anxiety, depression or parenting issues, call:

Current as at: Monday 7 February 2022
Contact page owner: NSW Health