I don't think my case is serious enough. Will I be wasting your time?
Absolutely not. No matter how "big" or "small" your concerns might be, somebody else out there has been through the same stuff. You won't be burdening your mentor; they volunteered to talk to you. You won't be submitting to someone else; your mentor will let you sit in the driving seat.
We know that men, on average, prefer to solve their problems themselves - we appreciate and accommodate that. But the last thing we want is to let this get in the way of solving our problems at all.
How much will it cost me to talk to a mentor?
Nothing. We certainly don't think that talk is cheap, but we also don't think that you should have to pay to speak to another dad.
When and where do we meet?
Wherever you'd like! You and your mentor can keep whatever schedule you two decide works the best. There's no need to book a conference room or any equipment. You two can meet up in any local cafe or park, or even your own home.
However, sometimes we organize group meetups (for instance, once a season). We do this so that we can build connections outside of our mentorships. You don't have to attend if you aren't ready or don't want to. These events are organized by your local chapter so you'd be best speaking to your mentor or local chapter head to learn more about the closest meetup.
Is this parental education or marital counselling?
It depends. Our primary concern is the mental and social well-being of dads, so if these are some of the issues a dad is facing as a result of their status as a dad, we can try our best to talk through these problems. But just as these aren't the only issues that present themselves during fatherhood, this isn't what our service is primarily about. Likewise, talking about these things in our setting should not be treated as a substitute for dedicated pre-natal classes or marriage counselling.
Is the network restricted to birth fathers/heterosexual fathers?
No and no. Just as we don't advance a given style of parenting, we don't believe any given way to be a dad is better. Step fathers, adoptive fathers, single fathers, two fathers, etc. are all welcome. A dad is a dad.
What do you mean by "confident & involved"?
Whatever it means for you. We don't push a specific style of parenting nor a given agenda. By confident, we mean a dad who thinks he can be a "good dad" which he judges according to his own criteria. By involved, we mean a dad who contributes to building a positive parenting environment, however he thinks is best suited for his family. Put the two together and we have a dad who can solve the challenges that face himself, his partner, and children in a positive, constructive, and resilient way. This is our goal.
Is Fathers & Friends an activist group?
No. Not only do we not push a specific style of parenting onto the men who access our service, we don't push anything on those outside our network. We think that promoting the mental and social well-being of dads and helping them become or stay confident & involved fathers is good for their own sake, but also for their partners, their children, and society as a whole. But we let these positive effects come about organically - as a result of shared connections and conversations.