The 2018 Washington State Fatherhood Summit partners will convene community experts, fathers and father figures, researchers, local agency program providers, state agency leaders, and elected officials to listen to voices of fathers and create a high level, statewide plan for action.
Findings from an array of studies have overwhelmingly shown that children with involved fathers fare better across a wide range of domains when compared to their counterparts without an active father. Yet programs designed specifically to support fathers in their role as parents are relatively new to the policy landscape. Both residential and non-custodial fathers often face a unique set of challenges in becoming the parents they want to be for their children.
Steering Committee History
Born out of a growing interest in addressing these issues and promoting a holistic understanding of the role of fatherhood, the Fatherhood Summit Steering committee formed in October of 2016 as a robust group of state and community partners wanting to create a shared interest of supporting the critical role that fathers play in child development. A strong commitment to working differently together and engaging fathers led to the formation of the 2018 WA Fatherhood Summit.
1. Catalyze action based upon a common understanding, among a diverse group of interested stakeholders, of the changing picture of fatherhood in our state. Examining data trends, best and promising practices, and listen to fathers’ voices to create immediate next steps around how local partners might work together differently based upon what they heard and learned.
2. Create and commit to a Statewide Fatherhood Plan for near term action to a strengthening fatherhood programs, leadership, systems, and policies.
Day One | Making Connections with Dads in Mind: Build the rationale and create a common understanding of the state of fatherhood. Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Holly Schindler of the University of Washington School of Education and Keynote Dr. Ronald Mincy of the Columbia School of Social Work set the stage. Followed by a data walk, Fathers Panel listening session, and local/regional breakout sessions.
Day Two | Washington Fatherhood Statewide Plan: Open with a moderated discussion with state and community leaders around reflections of what opportunities emerged from the first day. Followed by breakout groups setting local priorities and feeding those to the final large group discussion to build a statewide plan.