About the ConferenceThe conference Father Involvement Research 2008: Diversity, Visibility, Community took place in Toronto, Ontario October 22-24.
This conference brought together national and international fatherhood scholars and practitioners from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in order to present and discuss emerging research findings and engage in public debate about future policy, practice and research directions for fathers and father involvement. The conference also sought to foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners and policy makers to generate greater awareness and knowledge sharing about fathering practices, to showcase excellence in programs and practice, and to promote and extend both traditional and community based research scholarship.
Three themes shaped to the program of the conference.
Diversity: Father involvement is a diverse, multifaceted, and complex experience. Although fathers have many common experiences when parenting their children, they also face many unique challenges associated with the changing social conditions such as early parenting, separation and divorce, immigration and same sex marriage.
Visibility: Fathering activities and experiences go beyond the dominant media portrayals of fathers in "intact", nuclear, heterosexual families. This theme will provide focus on the presentation and discussion of fathering experiences that have been invisible and poorly understood, for example Aboriginal fathers, gay/bi/queer fathers or fathers of children with special needs.
Community: This theme will highlight areas where change is evident, where research and practice has been most meaningful and has had a clear impact. This includes the awareness of the benefits of father involvement and its barriers, as well as where new strategies and connections are already working - whether at the level of fathers, families, workplaces or community, or the identification of clear shifts in new theoretical or methodological academic work. Community, in this context means, organizations, researchers, students, practitioners and policy makers in a process of developing community-based strategies for change.
To read a report on Father Involvement Research 2008 click here.