Over the last year, MFFN’s public policy and advocacy committee members have been meeting with a number of other professionals interested in changing public policy to encourage more positive father involvement in families.
The result of these meetings has been the formation of a Fatherhood Public Policy Working Group. This group has had representation from a variety of governmental agencies, direct service providers, social services, and MFFN. See our vision, mission, key messages and goals document here.
We have two major goals; to establish a State Commission on Fatherhood in Minnesota, and to significantly increase funding for fatherhood services.
Five other states have commissions on fatherhood, and a Fatherhood Commision Brief comparing the genesis and structure of these commissions has been written.
The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood was chosen by our working group as the best model for Minnesota to emulate. To see the work of their commission, go to fatherhood.ohio.gov. We have been in communication with Ohio regarding their accomplishments and processes. They have been very helpful and have offered to support our effort.
Based largely on the success of the Ohio Commission, we have also produced Why a fatherhood commission advocating for the establishment of a Minnesota Commission.
Our working group has also developed conceptual language for establishing a fatherhood commission. Fatherhood Commission Concept Paper – Oct. 16 draft outlines the framework for the establishment of a commission.
As part of our plan for bringing forth legislation establishing a state commission in the 2015 session, we will be holding six public meetings and listening sessions around the state. More information on the locations, dates, and times will be available as those details are confirmed.