A Message from the Executive Director|
I read an article yesterday written by Michelle Teheux. In the article, she discusses the differences between "mothering a child" and "fathering a child". Mothering implies nurturing and caring for the baby; fathering implies simply being a part of the DNA that makes up achild. She goes on to write that this notion of fathering is changing, and I believe it is thanks to MFFN and similar organizations and initiatives around the country that put more value on the role of the father. Link to the article: http://www.pekintimes.com/article/20130507/OPINION/
However, May is for mothers. MFFN has done a wonderful job of supporting the relationship between dads and their children without minimizing the role of the mother. Mothers bring life into this world, and it is a unique privilege that only mothers possess. While other roles for moms fluctuate, this privilege has remained constant. MFFN also looks to mothers to help support fathers in fostering that relationship with their children. In this society, mothers are trained from a very early age to be nurturing and care for children, from the moment they received their first baby doll to their first babysitting gig. Females are trained to care for children. Conversely, men are not. Even in my own home, my wife finds ways for me to build a stronger connection with my children by suggesting they go with me to run errands or signing us up for father/son activities. For that I am grateful!
Minnesota Fathers & Families Network
enhances healthy father-child and family relationships by promoting initiatives that inform public policy and further develop the field of fatherhood practitioners statewide
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A movie about transformation and redemption: http://www.homerunthemovie.com/
Mind the Gap Regional Training Event For Corrections and Child Support Practitioners
Minnesota has just completed a pilot program to improve outcomes for incarcerated fathers with a child support obligation. Learn more about events around the state where speakers will share what they have learned in this program and practical tips that can be used when working with this population to better ensure re-entry for the non-custodial parent along with emotional and financial support for children. Speakers at this one day event will include representatives from the Department of Corrections, Child Support, Goodwill Easter Seals, Father Project and Mind the Gap/Father Project Participants. More information: Training Flyer Mind the Gap.pdf
Mind the Gap
On any given day, there are about 77,000 children in the U.S. with a parent who is incarcerated. Research demonstrates that children benefit in a variety of ways when they have significant positive involvement with their father, including when he is incarcerated. Research also demonstrates that fathers accrue a variety of benefits by being positively involved. Child support, corrections, community organizations, and families can play a critical role in supporting and empowering fathers coming out of corrections to succeed as parents and in their own lives. For the past two years, MFFN has been a part of a partnership called Mind the Gap, which promotes fathers’ reentry into community and re-engagement with families. One outcome of this partnership has been four one page handouts, which describe best practices for working with incarcerated and recently released fathers. Separate handouts for child support, corrections, community agencies, and families can now be found at Mind the Gap.