The National Center for Fathering was founded by Dr. Ken Canfield as a non-profit, scientific and education organization to help fathers and grandfathers become the role models that they need to be to build the rising generation. The Center performs and encourages scholarly research into fatherhood, provides training programs for fathers in many communities around the country, and is the sponsor of WATCH D.O.G.S., a program that helps connect fathers with schools and promotes involvement of dads in education at home and at school.
The underlying core of the research efforts of the National Center for Fathering is an assessment tool called the Personal Fathering Profile. The profile helps fathers learn about their strengths and weaknesses in their fathering role and also provides a solid research database to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of training and intervention. The Center also performs national surveys to assess fathering, family and societal trends impacting families. One of their most important research areas has been on the impact of fatherlessness in America and how it impacts society.
The Training Center at the National Center for Fathering offers training curricula for both in person delivery and online coursework. They offer training for fathers, social workers, and small groups, which can be delivered by NCF staff or by trained trainers and facilitators. Training programs include topics such as The Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers, Connecting with Your Kids, Quenching the Father Thirst and their flagship training program, Championship Fathering.
One of the most popular and best known services of the National Center for Fathering is the WATCH D.O.G.S. program. The DOGS element stands for Dads of Great Students. This program has, as of this writing, 2,700 programs in 46 states with tens of thousands of fathers and children involved. Under this program, fathers, grandfathers and male caregivers commit to giving one full day of service at their local school. The participants can help in any way as long as it is approved by the local school administrator. Some WATCH D.O.G.S. participants walk the halls before and after school for security purposes; others provide tutoring or coaching services. Still others walk children in neighborhoods safely to school. Whatever the service, the program helps fathers and other men find meaningful association with the educational community.
The National Center for Fathering has a tremendous resource on their website for fathers of all kinds, including stepfathers, grandfathers, adoptive fathers, new fathers, and father figures. Hundreds of articles and resource links are available for fathers, family professionals and others interested in fatherhood issues. They also have an excellent weekly email newsletter with helpful and practical tips for dads. Their daily radio program, Today's Father, runs five days a week on more than 600 radio stations and is available via podcast on iTunes.
The Strength of the National Center for Fathering:
The Center is one of the preeminent organizations supporting fathers and families in the United States. Its extensive scholarly research into father and family issues, its robust training offerings including a national network of trained trainers, the WATCH D.O.G.S. program and its web presence and social media offerings make it an essential component to good fatherhood across the country. The Center is among the most quoted entities with respect to the impacts of fatherlessness and its influence is felt strongly in fatherhood organizations and fathering programs around the world.