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Fatherhood Summit 2019

Welcome!  80 participants checked in to attend the 2nd annual Washington State Fatherhood Summit.  Participants came together from across the state representing state agencies, medical providers, community service providers, advocacy groups, and dads with lived experiences.

Summit Kick Off: Nichole Ross, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Economic Services Administration kicked off our day with a welcome to all participants.

Opening Remarks: Anne Stone, DSHS Economic Services Administration, Early Childhood Innovation Director, started the summit off with a table group activity “What’s on Your Radar” to help people think about what was top of mind for them around the issue of fatherhood. Sticky-notes were used to brainstorm what concerns each attendee was bringing with them.

Keynote address: Fathers in Families: Three Questiosn and Search for Answers by Dr. Craig Garfield, M.D., was introduced to by Dr. James Polo. Dr. Garfield is a Professor of Pediatrics and of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He is co-author of both American Academy of Pediatrics’ clinical reports on Fathers and Pediatrics.  Dr. Garfield has familiarity with fathers in a medical setting and shared his own lived experiences about being a father. Dr. Garfield is working with federal government to make sure dads are included in data such as the PRAMS data. Dr. Garfield pointed out how advertising is now even taking note of the importance fathers play in their families.

Survey Findings Report: Dr. Holly Schindler of the University of Washington school of Education and Fellow at the Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child presented "Transforming Systems Through Father's Voices". Dr. Schindler examined the fatherhood survey that she polled across the state. Dr. Schindler found the greatest challenges fathers reported to face were Custody and parenting time agreements, No services available for fathers, social Stigmas about fatherhood, Issues related to child support, and financial insecurity.