We do our work by connecting fathers of children, of all ages, who have special needs with each other and with resources, information, and education to assist them as they become more competent and compassionate caregivers for their children.
What does that mean? We do this through:
- Chapter Meetings: In the tab called WSFN Chapters you’ll see that many of our chapters have regularly scheduled meetings that men can attend. These meetings are not therapy but those attending often call them therapeutic. Generally there is not a topic but rather an opportunity for the individuals attending to talk about whatever is important to them at that time. Examples are something personal about themselves, the relationship with their significant other, some behavior or change with their child, or a question or resource being sought. The possibilities are many. And, it’s not a requirement to say something; some men come just to listen. The other men in the meeting often can offer advice, experience or resources that are helpful. You’ll also notice that some of our chapters don’t have scheduled meetings. In those cases contact information is listed for a dad who is available to offer information and support to men in the area. Should there be enough men in the area who are interested, a group can be formed.
- Events: Another way that we provide an opportunity for men to meet other men who have a child with special health care needs is through social events. Some of these are Network wide like the annual Fathers Conference or campout in Anacortes. Others are more local like the Snohomish chapter poker nights or the Bellevue chapter Super Bowl party. And, some are family events while others are just for men.
- Personalized Assistance Finding Information: Besides getting information and resources from other dads in meetings or from friendships developed out of the meetings, dads can contact the Fathers Network manager who can provide information or do research on a topic or question.
- Advocacy: We actively seek opportunities to promote the interests and needs of the fathers, families and children we work with relative to issues such as inclusion, legislation and information to the larger community.
- Social Media and Email
- The Network Facebook page can be found by searching for Washington State Fathers Network
- Kindering Dads – a closed Facebook group for dads whose children are or have received services from Kindering
- P2P Dads of Special Kids – a closed Facebook group created with our affiliate dad organizations, Parent to Parent and the Arc of King County
- Monthly emails sent to our mailing list about upcoming events and other topics that are of interest to dads and families, categorized by Articles, Workshops/Classes/Conferences, and Miscellaneous. You can join our mailing list here. Information that you’d like to have communicated to the mailing list can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Affiliations with Other WA Dad Groups: We are proud to be affiliated with a number of other organizations who work to support men who have a child with special health care needs; you can find them listed under the Affiliate Organizations tab. This affiliation provides a wide net of resources for men to tap into.