In uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Fathering Project is still committed to providing fathers with the tools they need to be the best dads they can be for their children.
The Fathering Project is hosting a virtual gathering tonight for fathers in Armidale, to discuss what research says about how intentional fathering can have a massive impact on the life and well-being of their children.
The Virtual Tour is a new initiative where Armidale regional coordinator John Everett and Tamworth regional coordinator Paul Briscoe run a virtual gathering via Zoom to allow fathers to connect and support each other.
"The Zoom meetings are casual and interactive, where the men can choose to engage or just listen," Mr Everett said.
"We also realise dads are at different places in their journeys as fathers; some good, some sadly not so good, but that diversity is a gift when being 'real' in our walk as dads.
"The Fathering Project is not about good dads or bad dads, it's about trying to be the best dads we can for our kids and families.
"The style of meeting virtually together has proven to be a lot of fun too, with plenty of banter, just as if we were meeting in person around a hot plate."
The Fathering Project works with communities right across the New England and North West region, partnering with 22 schools in the last year.
"We have also engaged with a few local services, to partner in supporting dads and father figures in our communities," Mr Everett said.
The Fathering Project helps to develop and support a Dads' Group within schools that organises events to encourage fathers and father figures to become more involved with their children and the wider school community.
"Basically, we want dads to have fun with their children, but at the same time see the need to be more involved in the lives of their kids, and school is a great place to do it," Mr Everett said.
"Research is very clear that when dads and father figures are involved and effective, outcomes for their children are significantly better in many aspects of their lives."
COVID-19 has made things difficult, with restrictions on any community events, but the organisation has started The Fathering Channel on their website.
The channel has plenty of resources available, hosts weekly online forums and cooking nights and also provides dads the opportunity to speak to leading experts on relevant parenting themes.
The Zoom meeting for Armidale will run from 7.30pm to 8.30pm tonight. The meeting ID is 892 5484 5067 and the password is 280522.
For more information, contact John Everett on 0423 124 246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.