By JULIE DUVALL
The BYU Family Sciences department has created a website devoted to helping men become better fathers.
Alan Hawkins and Dave Dollahite, professors in the Family Sciences Department, along with help from students, have created FatherWork. FatherWork is a web site designed to educate fathers and practitioners about how to make fatherhood a more meaningful part of the family unit.
Loren Marks is a 25-year-old graduate student from Brookings, Ore., who earned a bachelor’s degree in Family Sciences and is now working in connection with Hawkins and Dollahite on FatherWork. Marks said the principle behind the program is found in the Bible.
“In Malachi 4:6 it says that the hearts of the fathers need to turn to their children, which is what we are trying to do with this program,” Marks said.
The web site contains stories, ideas and suggested activities intended to help fathers spend meaningful time with their children.
“Through the web site we invite fathers to share stories about themselves that could give another father inspiration, meaning and direction,” Marks said.
As a student, Marks said he jumped at the opportunity to work with the program because, “It gave me a chance to be directly involved in a program that directly helps other people.”
As a father, Marks said working with FatherWork has changed his perspective on parenting.
“I take fathering more seriously and the program makes me more aware of the big picture. I realize more how important fathers are to their children,” Marks said.
“Right now we are working on a more structured way to go though the web site,” Hawkins said.
Those involved with FatherWork are currently working on upgrading the system to allow professionals who need continuing education credit a chance to earn that credit by going through the FatherWork program.
“We hope to create a virtual workshop with assignments included in the modules,” Hawkins said.
FatherWork is being introduced at national conferences and has already seen a tremendous response by the amount of traffic that goes through the site every day. FatherWork is registered with search engines and is also linked with related web sites. The program can be accessed at FatherWork.byu.edu.