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Into the Ocean

History of MFFN

Milestones of the Network
Since the mid-1990s, fatherhood practitioners and advocates in Minnesota have envisioned a statewide organization to support the development of the fatherhood movement.

2000: Three Minnesota state agencies host the first “summit” — a statewide conference focused on fatherhood. This conference format is later replicated as MFFN’s annual conference, the Minnesota Fatherhood Summit.

2001: Based, in part, on the energy of the statewide conference in 2000, MFFN is initiated in 2001. Leaders from local, statewide, and national entities gather, in public meetings around the state, to develop a Minnesota practitioners’ network for fathers and families.

2002: MFFN convenes regional fact-finding discussion forums throughout Minnesota with the goals of identifying a core of supporters and developing a list of fatherhood issues and resources. These discussion forums later evolve into the annual Fall Fatherhood Seminar Series.

2003: The Network hires its first staff and elects its first Board of Directors, with representatives from each of Minnesota’s 7 regions (parallel to the regions of the Minnesota Initiative Foundations).

2004: The Network becomes a federally registered non-profit organization, 501(c)3, in the state of Minnesota. MFFN becomes a state affiliate of the National Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families. MFFN hosts its first independent annual professional conference, the Minnesota Fatherhood Summit.

2006: MFFN moves its offices to one block from the state Capitol building in St. Paul.

2007: MFFN staff, board, and stakeholders engage in a year-long Strategic Planning process that reaffirms the organization’s purpose and results in a new mission statement and 3-year strategic plan. This year, MFFN releases its first major publications, “Do we count fathers in Minnesota?” and “Fathers to the Forefront”.

2008: The Network hires a Policy and Program Director to expand work with public policy decision-makers and fatherhood services programs across Minnesota.

2009: MFFN demonstrates a high level of integrity and transparency by meeting all 16 Accountability Standards of the Charities Review Council

2010: MFFN initiates a new project, the Minnesota Fatherhood Leadership Circles, with the year-long capacity building taking place in Brainerd, Fergus Falls, and Grand Rapids. New sites will be selected for 2011.

2011: MFFN releases two new Linking Fathers sector analysis publications: one focused on fatherhood in Minnesota’s child welfare system, and the other on Father Involvement in Early Childhood Programs; both share success stories from Minnesota practitioners on effective ways to involve dads.

2012: MFFN focuses its work on two leading-edge fatherhood issues: fathers’ reentry to communities following incarceration and the father’s role in the health and well-being of their children and families. MFFN was a key partner in a federal demonstration pilot project, Mind the Gap.

2013: The Board of Directors develops and begins to implement a new Strategic Plan for 2013-2015.

2014: MFFN develops resources and offers regional workshops for informed practice in Preventing ACEs: Supporting Fathers as a Protective Factor.

2016: Hired new program manager, Tammy Dunrud.

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