BC Council for Familis
Annual Report 2008
Ask David Sheftel about the time this yearthat he sat down next to Premier GordonCampbell on a plane to tell him about theimportance of supporting fathers in BC, andyou just might detect a grin. The soft-spokenfather of two is a passionate advocate fordads, and he leapt at the chance to get thepremier’s undivided attention.“He was very receptive, really interested tohear about what’s going on in BC to supportfather involvement,” says Sheftel. “When Isaw him board the plane I knew that I couldn’tlet the opportunity pass by without tellinghim how crucial the work is that’s going onin the province today to help dads – and howmuch kids benet from that work. Every
needs to hear the message that services forfamilies have to include and engage dads.”As the provincial coordinator of the FatherInvolvement Network of BC, advocacy andinformation-sharing in many forms are a dailypart of Sheftel’s job. On any given day, thatcould mean leading a workshop for serviceproviders to help them develop strategies forengaging fathers in community programs,planning and hosting a roundtable to bringacademics, policy makers, fathering practitionersand dads together, or sharing the latest news,success story, or issue of concern withNetwork members through his blog.In October 2008, just a few months beforehis encounter with the Premier, Sheftelconvened advocates, researchers, and fathersupport workers for a two-day forum inVictoria called: Focus on Fathering. Attendedby both Minister for Children and FamilyDevelopment Tom Christensen and Ministerfor Child Care Linda Reid, it proved to bea much-needed professional developmentopportunity for many in BC who are workingfor fathers.In BC today, programs to support fathersare scattered, often underfunded andunderstaffed – struggling to survive. For theisolated practitioners who work with fathersin our communities, connecting and sharingwith their far-ung colleagues through
is a lifeline. As one participantcommented, “There was so much to learnfrom all the other panel members – andresponding to the audience’s questionsproved to be a wonderful way to reect onmy own work.”Sheftel’s vision for
includesexpanding networking opportunities andexploring social media tools to enhance
members’ ability to share their knowledgeand skills and collaboratively problem solve.And if he has to collar more politicians toget it done, he will!
Connecting Professionalsto Promote Social Change
About the FatherInvolvement Network
Nearly 600 fathering supportworkers, parenting educators,academics, and policy makers inBC and beyond have joined theFather Involvement Networksince its inception in 2004.
is a critical professional networkproviding support, practical skill-building, professional developmentand networking opportunities tofathering practitioners throughoutBC. Through the disseminationof news, research, and practicalsuccess stories, through trainingopportunities for service providers,and by bringing nationally andinternationally recognized researchand information to BC, the FatherInvolvement Network has fosteredthe growth of a community of active,aware fathering professionals.
To join, or learn more, visit
online at www.bccf.bc.ca or email@example.com.
The Father Involvement Network is making BCa leader in research and support for dads.