More single dads looking after children
Monday Mar 26 21:21 AEST
An increasing number of men are taking on the primary carer's role for their children after separating from their partner, new figures from the Child Support Agency show.
In the six months to December 2006, fathers who were primary carers made up one-fifth of new cases to the federal government agency.
That's a significant increase from June 1997 when fathers were the primary carers in just 7.5 per cent of cases.
Human Services Minister Chris Ellison said the figures showed the role of fathers in separated families was being redefined.
"Separation can be a time of significant disappointment and emotional pain for parents, but our society values the needs of children who benefit from the ongoing love and support of both their parents," Senator Ellison said in a statement.
The figures also showed an increasing number of parents who paid child support had contact with their children.
In December 2006, 9.5 per cent of all parents paying child support had contact with their child for at least 30 per cent of nights in the year, compared with 4.4 per cent in June 1999.
"These trends suggest that parents are increasingly working together after separation for the benefit of their children," Senator Ellison said.