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Fatherhood Policy Working Group: DRAFT vision, mission, goals

Vision for the Working Group
We envision a Minnesota where every child is emotionally connected to and financially supported by their father(s).
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Mission for the Working Group:
Develop and support the implementation of effective state and local policies to support fatherhood across Minnesota

Rationale for the Working Group
Fathers are a largely untapped resource for producing healthier children, families and communities. There are presently a number of public policies that act as barriers to positive father involvement. A collaborative effort to change these policies has a better chance of positive outcomes than individuals and organizations working independently.

Goals for the Working Group:

  1. Expanded and consistent funding for fatherhood programs and services so all communities in the state have high quality services to support fatherhood.
  2. Each government agency in Minnesota that works with fathers and families in Minnesota is accountable for the impact of their services on supporting responsible fatherhood. The budgets and services of each agency adapt to reach this goal. Impacted systems include Early Learning, Schools, Corrections, Public Health, Child Support, and Child Welfare.
  3. Services impacting fathers, in both government and nonprofit agencies, are aligned and connected to maximize their positive, collective impact
  4. Develop permanent, sustainable capacity in Minnesota for continuous alignment and improvement of services for fathers in Minnesota (such as a State-wide Fatherhood Commission)

Key Messages of the Working Group:

  • Mothers and fathers each have important roles in raising healthy children
  • Fathers, particularly low and moderate income fathers, need more services and support in order to stay emotionally and financially involved in their children’s lives
  • Paternal support and father involvement contribute to positive maternal and child health outcomes
  • Better services and supports for fathers has proven to result in cost-savings for the State
  • It’s the right thing to do for kids

Potential strategies for the Working Group:

  • Draft and introduce legislation that would positively impact fathers.
  • Analyze present policies and their barriers to father involvement. Suggest strategies to overcome these barriers and potential implementation plans for those strategies.
  • Establish a Fatherhood Commission in Minnesota
  • Legislative Hearings
  • Advocate for continued support for MFFN
  • Listening/information sessions for interested elected officials on what the needs are for fathers and the fatherhood field in MN
  • Listening/information sessions for interested members of the public, including MFFN members
  • Invite subject matter experts and stakeholders to participate in our policy efforts.