15th IFC

15th Annual International Fatherhood Conference

Taking Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Programs to the Next Level:
“Evidence Based Programs, Policies and Outcomes” 

June 11-14, 2013
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios
Orlando, Florida

15TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FATHERHOOD CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

The International Fatherhood Conference is the nation’s oldest and premiere annual event which brings together parents, practitioners, policy makers, and researchers from around the world who are committed to improving the well-being of children through increased father involvement and improved family functioning.  

This year’s International Fatherhood conference theme, Taking Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Programs to the Next Level: Evidence-Based Programs, Policies and Outcomes is an expression of the need for researchers and practitioners in the field of responsible fatherhood and healthy families’ programs to make public the results and benefits of our work. The 2013 conference comes at a critically important time. The future of our work is at great risk of losing well-deserved public investments unless we can show the benefits of responsible fatherhood and healthy families’ interventions. Although our work is still evolving, there is optimism that responsible fatherhood and healthy family programs are making a difference in communities across the United States. Fathers are more actively engaged in the lives of their children; relationships among parents (including re-entering parents) are improving; dads are getting jobs; and fragile families are being strengthened. This results in taxpayer savings and increased tax payer revenue in the billions of dollars. For example, father absence has been positively correlated with high rates (1.3 million students per year) of dropping out of school. Alternatively, father presence helps children succeed in school. Some of our nation’s leading economists estimate that if we were to achieve a 50% reduction in the annual dropout rate, the public benefit would be nearly $90 billion of savings for each year of success in reducing the numbers of dropouts. Over 11 years, this would result in one trillion dollars in savings. Yet, rarely are these data estimates either connected to responsible fatherhood or healthy families’ interventions or the positive benefits to be derived by such interventions well known or reported. A key reason for your attendance at the conference this year is to gain exposure to the emerging positive and evidenced based results of responsible fatherhood and healthy families’ programs.

At present, concerns regarding the pending fiscal cliff and fund sequestration are influencing the legislative agendas throughout the country. We must now, in earnest, report out what outcomes and evidence we have (anecdotal, preliminary findings, findings) to substantiate continued public investments in our work. Whatever the data reveals, we must share this information and make the case for continued support to key stakeholders. Both the White House and Congress will have to address this matter as they consider extending the current Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding and possibly a reauthorization of the entire TANF program either this year or next year. The fact is that federal TANF funding, $150 million for responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage programs, will end in 2014. You can trust that the overall record of responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage programs (privately funded, federal, state, local) will be under serious examination in consideration of future public investments in this arena. 

In addition to the above, this year’s conference will again provide an opportunity to come together and exchange information and ideas on how best to advance our work in these uncertain times. The opening session will be a policy forum hosted by the National Fatherhood Leaders Group. The forum will engage experts from the research and evaluation communities, and practitioners to share the best of what we know about what works, why it works and how it works, and what holds great promise for the future of responsible fatherhood and healthy families’ programs. Additionally, there will be a general session focused on the role of fathers and grandfathers in safeguarding our children, and, two super-sessions which will highlight evidence-based practices in working with incarcerated parents and statewide solutions to engaging  fathers and strengthening families. There will be 13 tracks featuring practical and evidenced-based workshops. There will also be a local Job Fair and free workshops for parents. Conference attendees will also be inspired by our Favorite Fathers of 2013, the national father of the year, as well as this year’s Spirit of Fatherhood Hall of Fame inductees.

Finally, you will greatly benefit by attending this year’s International Fatherhood Conference which is being held in the beautiful and exciting city of Orlando, Florida, where the stories of happy children and families are celebrated. Bring the family, network with great people, have fun and help us make our children’s future brighter than ever before. We look forward to seeing you their!!

2013 SPIRIT OF FATHERHOOD HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

NPCL SPIRIT OF FATHERHOOD LEADERSHIP AWARD

RECIPIENTS: Lance Dickson, Founder & CEO
Committed Father Alliance, Takoma, WA

Holly Zwerling, Founder & CEO
The Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida
Miami, FL

CHARLES A. BALLARD PIONEER AWARD

RECIPIENT: David Lawrence, President
Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, Miami, FL

RONALD B. MINCY AWARD

RECIPIENT: Virginia Knox, Director
Family Wellbeing and Child Development Policy Area
Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY

JUDGE DAVID GRAY ROSS AWARD

RECIPIENT: Earl Johnson, Director
Office of Family Assistance,
Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC

 RONALD F. JOHNSON AWARD

RECIPIENTS:
Haki Nkrumah, Director
Young Fathers of Central Florida, Orlando

James Worthy, Director of Training and Technical Assistance
Center for Urban Families, Baltimore, MD

THE PARTNERSHIP AWARD

RECIPIENT: Bridges of America Inc., Orlando, FL