“The Year of the Pandemic” has certainly been an adjustment and a challenge for people around the world, including dads. As a father and grandfather who’s currently relating to my children and grandchildren from long distance, my concerns for them have never been greater due to this strange season that we’re in. Nevertheless, I know that, like you, my commitment to them needs to emerge in an even greater way going forward.
I am pleased to announce that the National Center for Fathering (NCF) is finishing the year with great optimism, hope, and a vision for 2021 like no other. Much of this vision is rooted in the growth of NCF and changes over the past 30 years. As we’re learning from the Pandemic, growth may be painful, but it’s necessary because we can easily lose sight of our long-term objectives in the midst of abrupt change. 2020 has been that season at NCF and I am pleased that a sharp, focused vision for 2021 and beyond has emerged amid this sea of change. And you can be assured that we are focusing on new opportunities and ways to broadcast our timeless message: dads matter.
Here is some of what we have planned for 2021:
1. We will be re-launching our Train-the-Trainer program, providing fatherhood leaders with new research and tools to help them effectively reach other fathers in their community. Over the past few decades we have trained over 1,000 fathering trainers, and they come to NCF for training from literally all over America and the world. NCF has helped leaders in the U.S., Poland, Singapore, Malaysia, and several African countries establish responsible fathering programs in local schools, community centers, non-profit centers and faith communities. In 2021 we will be doing both live and web-based training, bringing tools to help a new generation of fathers enhance their fathering skills.
2. With the addition of Dr. Michelle Watson, we will be hosting a series of Father-Daughter Summit events. These Summits were among NCF’s most successful live events for several years. Dr. Watson, a licensed psychologist and author, adds a wealth of depth and experience to our team, and we will be hosting both live and web-based conferences in 2021. The enthusiasm around the father-daughter relationship continues to grow because women, young and old, greatly benefit from a dad who believes in them.
3. We are retooling the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) initiative and providing some new resources for WatchDOG dads. (A big shout out to the 450,000-plus fathers across America who have been doing incredible work serving in their children’s schools.) The new resources will include the launch of Dads University, a web-based educational set of resources to provide fathers with skills training, feedback, and tips.
And as ambitious as these goals are, we believe your participation has been the foundation for our success—both in the past and as we look to the future. As you consider these goals, we look forward to growing into them with you in 2021.
Your partnership and investment in our work will help us reach these goals and more. We greatly appreciate and value 1) your personal commitment to your children, no matter how that may look right now, and 2) your participation in growing the fatherhood movement through the National Center for Fathering.
We are very grateful for your interest and support!
Ken Canfield, Ph.D.