A successful, national initiative aimed at giving fathers and father-figures an opportunity to spend more time with their young children and one another, has now become part of national family charity Care for the Family’s portfolio of parenting support resources, to enable it to grow and develop further.
Who Let the Dads Out? was founded in 2003 by writer and speaker, Mark Chester. It is a growing movement that resources churches to reach out to dads, father figures and their children and is founded on the Christian principle of wanting to demonstrate God's love to communities.
The initiative encourages UK churches to create spaces where men and children can have fun together and build relationships with the aim of strengthening families. Participating churches host parent and toddler sessions on Saturdays, incorporating masculine touches, such as bacon butties and newspapers. The parent and toddler world has traditionally been populated by mostly mothers and female carers; Who Let The Dads Out? seeks to change that culture by taking the usual parent and toddler format and specifically targeting men. It is a tried and tested format that has worked in many churches and has had a positive impact on many people's lives.
The first Who Let the Dads Out? group was held in 2003 in Hoole Baptist Church, Chester. The group was so successful that other churches started their own sessions and a Who Let The Dads Out? network began to develop.
The initiative became part of The Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) in 2012. During the past six years there has been significant growth from just 50 churches running groups to 278. It now reaches over 9,600 fathers and their children in the UK and overseas. The BRF team has developed a range of resources and training, along with a network of regional representatives to support local groups, and it has become a respected national authority on supporting fathers and father-figures in the home.
The aim of the handover, which took place on the 1st October, is to enable the initiative to flourish all the more. Care for the Family has a Christian foundation and a focus on strengthening family life across the UK. There is a strong synergy with the Who Let The Dads Out? vision to serve and strengthen fathers and father-figures in the home.
Richard Fisher, BRF’s Chief Executive, commented:
We are proud of all that Who Let The Dads Out? has achieved in the past six years as part of BRF. It’s such an important project, with a vital message for our times. We thank God for Mark and Tony and as we hand the baton on to Care for the Family we know that Who Let The Dads Out? is in safe hands, and will flourish further there.
Mark Chester, Founder of Who Let The Dads Out? said:
Who Let The Dads Out? is a vital project for churches to embrace and an effective way to impact men and their children. I am thankful for the growth this ministry has seen at BRF. As we look to the future with Care for the Family we are confident that Who let The Dads Out? will continue to grow and will develop in new and exciting ways.
Rob Parsons, Chairman of Care for the Family commented:
When BRF and Who Let The Dads Out? first approached Care for the Family with the proposal that we might consider taking this incredible initiative into its next season we did not hesitate to say yes. We have watched from afar the development and impact of Who Let The Dads Out? and are thrilled that we will now have the opportunity to participate in it over the years ahead.
About Care for the Family
Care for the Family is a national charity which aims to strengthen family life and help those who face family difficulties. We provide marriage and relationship, parenting and bereavement support through events, courses, a volunteer network and other resources.
October 17th, 2018 - Posted & Written by Laura White