Michigan Fatherhood Activities

Michigan Family Forum - http://www.michiganfamily.org/fatherhood.htm


Michigan Fatherhood Coalition - http://michiganfatherhood.org/


State of Michigan Fatherhood Information - http://www.michigan.gov/parenting

Michigan's First Ever Fatherhood Policy Forum

The first ever Michigan Fatherhood Policy Forum was an invitation-only event held on September 19, 2009 at the Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, MI.  A networking reception was held the evening before the Policy Forum.


The Michigan Fatherhood Policy Forum was sponsored by Michigan Department of Human Services, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children and Families, Region V.  Other collaborative partners were the Michigan Fatherhood Coalition, the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, the Michigan Network for Youth and Families, the Governor’s Office on Community and Faith Based Initiatives, the Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan, Michigan Head Start Association, and the Midwest Center on Workforce and Family Development, Inc.


The purpose of the event was to create an opportunity for fathers receiving various types of services to dialog with policy makers about ways in which state policies either promote or hinder the establishment of healthy family relationships.  Particular attention was given to ways in which policies in the areas of child support, child protection, and child custody/parenting time either discourage or encourage healthy involvement of fathers in their children’s lives, particularly in times of significant transition such as after incarceration, divorce, return from military service, or employment change or loss.  The event presented a unique opportunity for legislators, administrative authorities, and other policy makers to dialogue directly with fathers, and with each other, to develop recommendations for change that will improve the lives of children in Michigan.


The keynote speaker was Dr. Oliver Williams, University of Minnesota School of Social Work, who spoke on the topic of What is Responsible Fatherhood?  The moderator of the Forum was Juan Carlos Arean from the Family Violence Prevention Fund. 


Child Welfare Panelists included Ted Forrest, Department of Human Services; Robin Wright King, Author; Rich Tolman, University of Michigan School of Social Work; Mikel Zank, father. 


Child Support Panelists included Senator Alan Cropsey; Dwayne Hoosier, father; Mark Jasonowicz, Department of Human Services; Honorable Lita Popke, Wayne County Circuit Court; Dennis Schrantz, Department of Corrections. 


Child Custody/Parenting Time Panelists included Beth Arnovitz, Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency; Honorable Carol Hackett Garagiola, Livingston County Probate Court; Suzanne Hollyer, Michigan Friend of the Court Association; Diego Morales and James Walters, fathers.


The 142 Policy Forum participants included fathers, legislators, judges, clergy, prosecutors, Proud Father Proud Parent service providers, representatives from the State Bar of Michigan, representatives from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan,attorneys, Department of Corrections staff, State Court Administrative Office staff, Department of Veterans Affairs staff, and Legal Aid staff.  The networking reception the evening before the Policy Forum was attended by 148 participants.


The Honorable Jon A Van Allsburg, 20th Circuit Court wrote this article following the forum: Fathers' Perception of Bias in Michigan Family Courts


2008 Statewide Conference - "Shifting the Paradigm: Strategies for Addressing Batterers as Fathers"

This Conference was held September 17 – 19, 2008 at the Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire, MI and was co-sponsored by the Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan.  National faculty presented on topics such as:

  • Setting a Better Example:  Teaching Fathers to Model Respectful Behavior Toward Their Children’s Mother
  • The Languages of Forgiveness
  • Talking to Fathers About What Children Need From Them
  • Child Support and Paternity Laws
  • Culture and Class Considerations for Engaging Men
  • Batterer’s Perceptions of their Children’s Exposure to their Violence
  • Fathering after Violence:  Guidelines and Tools for Batterer Intervention Programs
  • Constructing a Process for Collaboration Between Parents After Violence. 

The audience of 320 participants included Proud Father Proud Parents service providers, domestic violence service providers, batterer intervention service providers, judges, probation officers, clergy, law enforcement, Department of Human Services staff, Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative staff, Friend of the Court staff, Department of Corrections staff, Head Start staff, Attorney General staff, Safe Haven Visitation Center staff, and U.S. Department of Justice staff.

State Connections and Information

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