by Brian Russell, Provincial Coordinator
Dad Central Ontario (DCO) has been actively involved in new projects, partnerships, and networks throughout the past year. Here are the highlights of what we have done and where we have been.
Completion of the My Dad Matters project
Dad Central Ontario was fortunate to receive funding from The Counselling Foundation of Canada in 2013 to create a community action planning toolkit for engaging fathers. The project wrapped up in June of this year with the following highlights:
- over 500 people trained from every province to use the toolkit in their organizations and communities
- 2000 manuals printed and dispersed across Canada
- over 1400 manuals downloaded from mydad.ca
- online version of My Dad Matters – a Father-friendly certification action plan
- French translation of the manual
- webinars created (with more to come)
- My Child Matters child development tip sheets for dads
DCO uses the money received from resource sales to support FI projects in Ontario with $500 grants. In 2016 eleven projects were funded (total of $5500 distributed).
Professional Development Opportunities
DCO offered regular professional development on engaging fathers. This was delivered in 21 communities and conferences to over 700 people.
Connections with new organizations
Dad Central Ontario was privileged to be involved with new organizations this past year: Ontario Gender Equity Group, Men’s Action Plan, Ontario Association of Infant and Child Development, healthydads.ca, George Brown College panel, The Learning Partnership, Canadian Families and Corrections Network, and Ujima House Fatherhood Fair.
Dad Central Ontario created a series of new bookmarks for dads focused on early literacy skills for children. This was guided by a very active advisory group which included literacy specialists and child development experts from across Ontario.
Evaluations up and running
Dad Central Ontario is presently collecting evaluation information on it websites and resources.
24 Hr Cribside Assistance for New Dads reprint
With the permission of Peel Public Health, DCO was able to adapt and print the 24 Cribside Assistance for New Dads to reflect a national look.
The Learning Partnership
DCO will be supporting The Learning Partnership in their successful Trillium Foundation grant beginning Fall 2016. This will focus on encouraging connection between fathers and their school-age children.
Community of Father Involvement Practice
In an effort to create a stronger network of communities across Ontario, there are local FI networks that meet on a regular basis to share ideas and strategies for engaging fathers. The Dad Central Network continues to grow to include:
- Dad Central Niagara
- Dad Central Downtown Toronto East
- Dad Central Ottawa
- Dad Central Kitchener-Waterloo
- Dad Central Pembroke
Dad Central Canada organized
New provinces joined the Dad Central network: SK, MB, NB, NS, PEI, and NL. This included a new logo for all provinces and territories.
- We hosted a Social Media open house in June, marking the launch of Dad Central Canada.
- It was a difficult loss for Father Involvement across Canada when Patrick Dillon, the Co-ordinator of Dad Central Alberta, suddenly passed away in March 2016.
Social Media and Newsletter
- Blog – bestjobontheplanet.wordpress.com. We published two posts per month, the majority written by John Hoffman.
- Twitter: @dadsontario (511 followers) and @newdadmanual (680 followers)
- Facebook: facebook.com/dadcentralontario (over 640 likes)
- Youtube: find our videos here – youtube.com/dadcentralontario
- We are re-vamping dadcentral.ca to create a cross-Canada Father Involvement look
- We are looking to new technology to manage the catalog and ordering of our resources. Watch for this new store coming soon!
- We are beginning the second phase of the Literacy project. This will create a series of short workshops for fathers focused on supporting early literacy development.
- Watch for the 2nd Canadian National Father Involvement Conference coming soon!
We are grateful for the leadership provided by our sponsor, The George Hull Centre, for the on-going funding support of The Public Health Agency of Canada, and for your trust in our work.
Check out our websites:
dadcentral.ca – newdadmanual.ca – mydad.ca