Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative: NYC Dads Matter Awards – Nominate a Father Today

I had a phone conversation the other day with Alan Farrell, the NYC City-wide Fatherhood Services Coordinator.  For those of you not familiar with Mayor Bloomberg’s Fatherhood Initiative that was founded about a year ago, I would like to introduce you to this wonderful organization.  The Mayor’s New York City Fatherhood Initiative is a program to broaden the fatherhood conversation and let people know that Dads matter!  With permission, I am posting this introduction letter from Alan Farrell about the NYC Fatherhood Initiative as well as information about their latest and innovative program: NYC Dads Matter Awards.  I have a strong feeling that the NYC Dads Group will be partnering with this fantastic fatherhood resource for some programming in the near future.  Stay tuned!

Good afternoon everyone,

This June, in an effort to spread the message that dads matter in New York City, The Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative will present the NYC DADS Matter Awards to ten fathers from across the City. These awards will recognize fathers who have overcome challenges to become positive and consistent forces in the lives of their children.

Please submit nominations of dads you believe meet the criteria described in the nomination form to by Friday, April 29, 2011. This should be a fantastic event and recognition of the important role that dads play in the lives of their children and communities.

As you may know, Mayor Bloomberg established the New York City Fatherhood Initiative one year ago to:

· Make all City agencies as “father friendly” as possible;
· Uncover and remove any barriers that fathers may face in interacting with the City;
· Assist in the creation of memorable moments between fathers and their children; and
· Support fathers as they improve their capacity to be good dads.

As part of this Initiative, I was hired as the City’s first Fatherhood Services Coordinator. I continue to be delighted to serve the fathers and families of New York. The Fatherhood Initiative is working with our City agencies to achieve the bold goals described above. We’ve been hard at work and while there is more than I can capture in one email, a few highlights include:
· For the first time, utilizing NYCHA community centers to provide a safe and child-friendly space for dads and their kids to interact in and where fathers can gain theoretical and practical child development and life skills;
· Collaborating across city agencies to improve the sensitivity of front-line workers to the needs of fathers;
· Offering free opportunities for fathers and their children to bond through a parks and outdoor recreational experience called Daddy and Me “Adventure”;
· Through focus groups with fathers, learning what the priorities are for them and their families and using that knowledge to develop resources that support their growth as men and dads;
· Launching the Department of Correction’s (DOC) “Daddy & Me” reading program at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Rikers Island. Through reading to their children, the DOC seeks to lay the foundation for the re-unification of fathers with their families prior to their release. You can read more about that program here.
I am thrilled about these efforts underway and this event is just one way to underscore that NYC DADS Matter.

We look forward to hearing from you with a nomination of an exceptional dad. So don’t wait: the deadline is Friday, April 29th.

Best to you,

Alan S. Farrell
City-wide Fatherhood Services Coordinator

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