This past June was the third year professionals from across the state and nation came together to talk about Fathers. The Texas Fatherhood Summit had an interactive approach that engaged professionals from different sectors in deep discussions on how to engage men in health-related programs. Prior to now, our dads have felt alienated from health topics having to do with both themselves and their families.
Throughout the day-long event, input from the speakers and audience generated potential solutions on how to increase in father and male involvement. Some of these helpful tips and ideas are:
- Invite dads specifically to your events and sessions
- Use gender neutral language to include dads and male role models
- On parental consents forms, make sure to include enough spaces for more than one parent’s information
- Include images that have father figures in them
- Train organizational staff on fatherhood engagement
- Recruit and include fathers in the discussions on fatherhood initiatives
Healthy Futures of Texas prides itself on being welcoming to all people and supporting entire families in becoming stronger and healthier. We also recognize that we, too, can work on becoming a better “dad-friendly” organization. We took the initiative as soon as we returned from the summit with hopes to continuously improve. Dads and male role-models play a vital role in a young person’s life and we will strive to better assist them in communicating with their children.