The Washington Interagency Fatherhood Council was founded in the fall of 2018 as the direct result of the two day Washington State 2018 Fatherhood Summit, attended by 140 people, including 35 dads and representatives of 24 service providers. The council has evolved over time to include 30 members, including dads and service providers, and hosts an annual Fatherhood Summit.
Council Priorities For The Next Year:
Cultural shift to recognize the importance of fathers and reduce stigma
Whole family approach to policy and practices
Balance/equity in child support orders, residential parenting plans and visitation orders between parents, co-parenting strategies and support
Pre-natal and newborn care support for fathers
Equitable family leave and flex time for fathers for newborns, adoptive children and caring for sick and school age children
Father specific focus services, resources, support, recognition
Vision - Fathers and father figures in Washington become the parents they aspire to be for their children and families.
Mission - We amplify the voices of fathers and father figures in Washington State to promote fatherhood inclusion, equity, diversity and research activity that strengthens families and maximizes children’s potential.
Role - To bring together a broad spectrum of fathers, public and private agencies, academics, and advocates to: Collectively raise awareness around the essential role of fathers; nurture a father inclusive culture in our communities, agencies, and policies; develop leaders at all levels to carry messages; and welcome diverse cultures and experiences of fathers to drive change.
Diversity – we understand and value the varied cultures and experiences fathers and father figures have while raising children
Inclusion – we appreciate the diverse spectrum of races, cultures, and experiences of fathers and father figures on the council and in the design of father friendly services in Washington
Equity – we recognize the need to transform family support service systems, improve access to opportunities and resources, and dismantle barriers for all fathers and father figures
Belonging - we connect people, build safe relationships, and co-create possibilities with fathers and father figures to foster a better tomorrow for their families
Education – using the power of fathers’ stories and research activity that together reshape the fatherhood narrative, we strive to compel to action community members, public and private service providers, and elected officials in the achievement of our state’s collective long term goals
Partnering – we recognize it will take a broad spectrum of fathers and father figures, community members, public and non-profit service providers, academics, and national thought leaders to achieve our collective goals
Leadership - we understand that leaders exist in all roles and that it is essential to leverage lived experience to advance transformational change in policies, practices, and programs for families
How You Can Help
The Fatherhood Council is moving steadily forward in our goal to positively influence service providers in their effort to provide equitable services for fathers, children, and families. We need your help through:
Use our membership when you need to gather input from fathers on policy or programs
Participate in and support the annual fatherhood summit
Conduct a Father Friendly Checkup to assess the degree to which your organization encourages father involvement in your services and programs
Support your staff attending the council meetings and provider learning series
Distribute appropriate information about our program and services
Invite our speakers bureau to come talk to your group or organization