Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dad support group coming to Chatham


Posted 3 hours ago

Dave Flook wouldn't be moving to Chatham if his ex-wife didn't live here with their daughter.

But since he's coming here anyway, the current London resident wants to make an impact on the community.

Flook, 32, who founded "Not All Dads Are Deadbeats," about a year ago plans to move the support group to Chatham in November.

He is also planning to hold an introductory meeting for Chatham NADAD Oct. 15 at the Chatham public library branch, beginning at 6 p. m.

A web designer by trade, Flook said he created the online support group blindly, noting he felt alone and isolated in the court process and just wanted to meet other people in the same situation.

But he didn't realize how quickly it would grow, noting the first seminar attracted about 130 people.

The website has received over 20,000 unique hits. He also receives calls daily from all over Canada, noting many people are asking questions because they are confused about the whole process.

Flook has what he calls "de facto custody," noting his daughter stays with him every other weekend.

"The main reason why I started up Not All Dads Are Deadbeats was that realization if you don't stand up and fight against it than you support it indirectly," he said.

"The issue of parental alienation in court and justice is very prevalent, however, it's one of these things that's not generally talked about as much as it should in society," Flook added.

He also plans to organize playgroups through the group.

Flook said having the role of being a "weekend dad," it can be difficult to find other kids for your children to play with because "you're just so disconnected from their normal lives."

Flook also hopes to create some jobs, noting he will be looking to hire web designers and sales people for his business Pure Web Group.

And he has plans to create the Web Design School of Chatham.

The focus will be on teaching people to create higher-end web sites, known as content management web sites.

A former graphic design and web design instructor at Fanshawe College in London, Flook said he has researched the area and said there is no course offering thorough instruction in this area.

"Essentially, I love being in front of a crowd of people sharing my passion for my web design and I'd like to express that further."

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