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Midwifery students helping incarcerated fathers: M2 midwives for men pilot project
This paper discusses the Midwives for Men (M2) project and evaluation undertaken following completion of the intervention. This pilot project was a collaboration between a university, health service and corrective services which aimed to link the learning experiences of midwifery students with the education of incarcerated men about fatherhood. An assessment task requiring midwifery students to develop and deliver an information session from a variety of topics designed for an audience of fathers was implemented into a Bachelor of Midwifery course at an Australian university. Six midwifery students delivered information sessions to inmates over one week. An evaluation of the men’s responses to this program and the perceptions of the correctional staff was undertaken showing varying degrees of perceived relevance of the program. This was a small pilot study at one location with a small group of men and students, therefore findings are specific to that context. However, transferability of findings has potential depending on the context in which the project is delivered. Small, tailored projects that are developed to meet the needs of prisoners, as identified by those responsible for preparing prisoners to return home to family, do have a role to play as part of broader intervention plans.