More than 12 dads and 35 children met Saturday at Coral World to address issues and concerns facing fathers in the territory. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands sponsored the focus group designed to bring men back into the conversation about parenting and the family, according to a story in Monday's Daily News. "While the role of mothers is essential to the family unit, fathers are frequently excluded from the dialogue," said Dee Baecher-Brown, executive director of CFVI. CFVI was established in 1990 through a $500,000 endowment to assess long-term needs and find ways to improve the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.CFVI's main focus is on children and families.
The project coordinator for the fatherhood initiative, Richard Brown, who has two grown children, said fathers would like to be more involved in their children's upbringing but aren't given the opportunity or don't know how. Vernon Monsanto, a father of three who participated Saturday, said, "Some women think fathers don't take care of their kids but we do." Monsanto thinks one challenge facing fathers is constantly battling a society with a fixation on deadbeat dads. Brown said future focus groups will be held to look at some of the institutional barriers interfering with men becoming the types of father they want to be. For more information call CFVI at 774-6031

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