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Dakota Fatherhood Summit is April 9 in Bismarck

March 28, 2002

Bismarck, N.D. - The North Dakota Department of Human Services Head Start Collaboration Office and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service are cosponsoring the Dakota Fatherhood Summit, April 9 in Bismarck. Organizers say the event is intended to start a state-level conversation about father involvement and its importance to family, community, and economic well-being. The summit, which features presenters from the fields of human development and family sciences and economics, is from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Doublewood Inn, Bismarck.

Organizer Sean Brotherson, Ph.D., NDSU, explained the purpose of the conference. "We see responsible fatherhood as an asset and a strength to public and personal efforts to benefit children, families, and communities. We are not interested in advancing a focus on fatherhood at the expense of the well-being of women and children. Rather, we are interested in facilitating dialogue about how to meaningfully engage fathers and father figures to be positive, stable, and meaningful influences in the lives of their children and families," he said.

"Involving fathers is not new to Head Start. However, this is an opportunity to talk about enhancing the parenting strengths of fathers and building better relationships and family environments," said Linda Rorman, Head Start State Collaboration Project administrator.

Brotherson said topics to be discussed include research on the role and significance of fathers and father figures in family life, and how money, relationships and work can impact father involvement. Presenters will also discuss attitudes and ideas as possible barriers in working with men, fathers, and families; educational outreach; working with men and fathers in diverse contexts; and public policy initiatives related to fathers and significant father figures.

Individuals interested in attending can register by calling (701) 231-8113 or sending an e-mail to sbrother@ndsuext.nodak.edu.


Sean Brotherson, Ph.D., Family Science Specialist, NDSU, (701) 231-8113
C. Everett Bailey, Ph.D., Acting Director of Family Therapy Program, NDSU, (701) 231-8742
Linda Rorman, N.D. Dept. of Human Services, Head Start Collaboration Office, (701) 328-1711
Heather Steffl, N.D. Dept. of Human Services, Public Information Specialist, (701) 328-4933


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