I'm pleased to announce that National Fatherhood Initiative® (NFI) has launched the Father Engagement Learning Community™! This free online resource (community.fatherhood.org) provides a platform for organizations and individuals that serve dads to learn from one another.
Why did we launch it?
First, there is no other free, online, always available, national platform like this that provides an easy avenue to:
- Find ways to address the most vexing challenges and pain points in serving dads.
- Talk with others who serve dads in similar settings.
- Talk with others who run state, county, and city fatherhood initiatives.
- Talk with others who use NFI's fatherhood programs and other resources.
- Share successes.
Second, people asked for it. I have spent a lot of time during the past year talking with staff that run programs for and provide services to dads. When I asked them what they need to do the job of serving dads more effectively, I can't tell you how many said, unprompted, that it would be a huge help to learn from others who face similar challenges in their setting or that use the same NFI programs and resources.
Third, people want to connect. They want to be part of a community dedicated to increasing the involvement of dads in their children's lives. Far too many people who run programs and provide services to dads feel as though they're on an island. Many of them are the only or one of a few staff in their organization that serve dads. Last year NFI asked users of our programs and resources to tell us whether they wanted to connect with others through an online community and, if so, the kind of platform they wanted to use.
The response was tremendous--nearly 275 responded. More than 81% of the respondents said they wanted to engage others in an online community accessed through NFI's website instead of, for example, a LinkedIn group. Moreover, they wanted one that allows for open discussion, and one that will grow and change based on the interests of the community.
The Father Engagement Learning Community™ will develop organically. To start, we have seeded the community with topics, and subjects within topics, that will facilitate connections with others who share common challenges and pain points. These topics and subjects, however, won't be static. I will moderate the community. And as I do, I will add topics and introduce new subjects within existing topics that the community is clearly interested in discussing. I will also remove topics and subjects that fail to generate opportunities to learn. My primary job in relation to this community is to ensure that it is as valuable as possible.
Don't delay in becoming part of the Father Engagement Learning Community™! It's easy to register and get started learning from others so you can do an even better job in serving dads.
- Go to fatherhood.org to register. (Look for the registration link in the top right corner.)
- After you register, simply bookmark NFI's Home Page to access it, or bookmark the community itself for one-click direct access.
And, after you register, be sure to click on the "How to Participate" link at the top of the community home page should you need assistance learning how to participate.