The Montgomery County Fatherhood Initiative is celebrating the success of its Fatherhood Summit. The event brought together local agencies, organizations and community partners to Sinclair College on Tuesday to share insights and strategies for supporting fathers within our community.
The annual summit fosters collaboration to help local fathers overcome obstacles and enhance their relationships with their children. This support is vital to many fathers, especially those involved in the justice system.
"Working closely with the Montgomery County Office of Reentry, I have seen firsthand how the Fatherhood Initiative and its partners positively impact returning citizens and their families," said Montgomery County Commission President Debbie Lieberman. "The resources and services they offer equip fathers returning home with the necessary tools to rebuild and strengthen connections with their children."
The father-child connection determines a child's overall social and emotional well-being. The National Fatherhood Initiative reports children who grow up in a fatherless home are:
- At four times greater risk of experiencing poverty
- Twice as likely to drop out of school or suffer from obesity
- Seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
- More likely to have behavioral problems or commit a crime
- More likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
- More likely to face abuse or neglect
"It's statistics like this that drive us," said Commissioner Judy Dodge. "When we created the Fatherhood Initiative in 2010, we knew the impact would be far-reaching, and we are thankful for all our instrumental partners who help us provide valuable resources our fathers need to excel in their parenting roles."
Presenters from the Montgomery County Office of Reentry, Dayton Public Schools, Public Health- Dayton & Montgomery County, Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and Public Defender's Office participated in this year's summit. They covered topics like child education engagement, fatherhood challenges for returning citizens, mental health and more.
"A father's mental health is so important to the well-being of his entire family," said Commissioner Carolyn Rice. "Recognizing and addressing mental health concerns among fathers contributes to happy and healthier families, positive parenting and better long-term outcomes for children."
The Montgomery County Fatherhood Initiative helps fathers with employment, navigating visitation, child support, license reinstatement, connecting with programs at Job and Family Services and more.
"Recognizing the unique experiences and responsibilities fathers face and supporting them emotionally, socially and economically enhances their ability to be active, engaged parents," said Michael Newsom, Fatherhood Initiative Director. "Our support is essential to creating a more equitable and inclusive society."
To learn more about the Fatherhood Initiative, go to bit.ly/mcohfathers.