Dads want to be part of their children’s development

“We work with agencies and organizations to look at how they can be more father-friendly.”

If you’re not one already, imagine you’re a dad.

How comfortable do you feel taking your child to something called Mom’s & Tots playtime at the local community centre?

What about when your child’s day care calls to discuss toy hoarding? Will you handle the call and do the follow-up parenting, or hand the phone to your spouse?

It’s this sort of thing, and much more, that Brian Russell thinks about at Dad Central.

Since he started the organization 15 years ago in Ontario, he’s seen society’s perception of fatherhood change. But it’s in the last five years that he’s seen the greatest shift with more men taking ownership of their role as hands-on dads.

Russell is coming to Kelowna Feb. 19 as the guest of CATCH—Community Action Toward Children’s Health, and the B.C. Council for Families. He will speak to invited community organizations about engaging men in raising the next generation.

“We work with agencies and organizations to look at how they can be more father-friendly,” Russell told the Capital News.

With federal funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, he said at Dad Central, “we support folks who are working with families.

“There tends to be a lot of resources for moms—a lot of baby programs and that sort of thing. A lot of fathers are looking for opportunities themselves to be engaged. We work with organizations to get them to be more father-friendly.”

The realization that fathers needed to be more involved in child rearing  come out of poverty studies started a few decades ago—”without an involved father, children were more likely to live in poverty. Our perspective,” Russell said, “is that every child needs an involved, healthy father regardless of what relationship the parents are in.”

Dad Central helps groups make decisions about how they can reach out to dads and get them involved.

“Dads don’t just want to be playmates,” Russell said, they want to be engaged in their children’s school and life decision-making for and with them.

“We want guys to know they are welcome,” when they engage with community family resources.

For more information visit

For more on CATCH, visit

The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of Evidence.


Just Posted

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Kelowna RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Car window smashed with a bike in Kelowna

A staffer working in the area on the incident says vandalism is a reoccurring problem

Kelowna Mayor’s walking tour of Rutland cancelled

Growing issues surrounding supportive housing leads to rescheduled meeting with concerned resident

Kelowna RCMP net traffickers in undercover op

The RCMP reported dozens of arrests in the investigation

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

UPDATED: Highway 97 closed between Summerland and Penticton

Accident closes highway in both directions; reopening expected at 10 p.m.

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Vernon artist featured at Kelowna exhibit

Mariel Belanger one of three female indigenous artists

Hergott: Moral obligations and your will

Lawyer Paul Hergott discusses wills and moral obligation

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Rain delays repair of Shuswap road damaged in mudslide

Seymour Arm forest service road not expected to reopen until early next week

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Alleged Okanagan shoplifter tracked down by RCMP

Vernon retail store’s loss prevention officer’s description of suspect helps lead to arrest

Most Read