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Children's Institute, Inc.: News Article: 7th Annual Fatherhood Solution Conference Addresses Issue of Absentee Fathers

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June 13, 2014

7th Annual Fatherhood Solution Conference Addresses Issue of Absentee Fathers

Hosted by CII and Co-Sponsored by First 5 LA

Engaging disadvantaged fathers and strengthening their parenting relationships was the focus for more than 500 hundred attendees at the 7th Annual Fatherhood Solution Conference held on Friday, June 13. The event, hosted by Children’s Institute, Inc., (CII) and co-sponsored by First 5 LA, featured nationally-recognized professionals and a first-ever workshop track for fathers. Eleven community fathers were recognized for their extraordinary commitment to fatherhood, including three who received the Hershel K. Swinger Fatherhood Award.

View photos of the conference!

“To see a huge room filled with men and women committed to the issues of the family is just extraordinary,” said Dr. Earl Johnson, Director of the national Office of Family Assistance, Administration for Children and Families, and noted for his work with impoverished families. “We’ve got to recognize that all family members—mothers, fathers, grandparents, and others—are essential for our children.”

The conference was the brainchild of the late Dr. Hershel K. Swinger, CII’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, a leader in the field of clinical psychology and the founder of the agency’s nationally-recognized Project Fatherhood. The program has provided help and support to more than 12,000 low-income, culturally diverse fathers, giving them the skills and confidence to rise above their adverse life experiences and play a meaningful role in the lives of their children.

Moving testimonials were heard during the day from fathers who participate in Project Fatherhood groups lead by Los Angeles-area organizations trained in the Project Fatherhood model. Fatherhood award recipients include Thomas Enriquez, CII; Ben Henry, Jordan Downs; and Victor Key, Homeboy Industries.

Conference presenters covered clinical as well as topical issues, including Historical Trauma: Impacts on African American Fatherhood (Dr. Daryl M. Rowe), Intimate Partner Violence from a Trauma-Informed Lens (Susan Hess, MSW and Elizabeth Eastlund, MSW), Culture Specific Models of Service Delivery and Practice (Dr. Joy Angela Degruy), and for fathers, Poor Start, Strong Finish—Not Letting the Past Dictate Your Future (Delvyn Crawford). Other speakers included Judge Michael Nash, presiding judge, Los Angeles Superior Juvenile Court; Cheryl Grills, PhD, professor of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University; and Mary Emmons, president and CEO of Children’s Institute, Inc.

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