In 2000, Ray Lewandowski, Edward Richardson and Julian Sparks founded The Birthfathers’ Support Network (BFSN). BFSN was a non-profit organization created to assist fathers with family reunification. Its mission is “to provide educational, preventative and other related services to biological and non-biological fathers in an effort to create the nuclear family.”
Today, through training and direct services, BFSN forum will assist fathers in becoming active partners in the nurturing, guidance and education of their children. The forum will also address issues of “child and domestic abuse, addiction, economic disadvantage and others that are obstacles to reunification.” The goal is to address the holistic needs of men who want to be involved in the raising of their children.
In 2002 BFSN opened an office in the Bronx to provide direct services, walk-in and phone information, referrals to legal, housing and job placement services, and workshops on parenting, domestic awareness and anger management as well as GED/SAT class, HIV/AIDS related services and transitional housing services. Working with the Parents Advisory Board at Administration for Children Services (ACS), BFSN discussed strategies encouraging city agencies that deal with children to accept parent advocates as part of their staff and was successful in including a section on father’s rights in the ACS Parent Handbook. Other activities included taking children to visit their fathers in prison and advocating for family reunification workshops in men’s prisons.