We do our work by connecting men with each other and with resources and information, by training men to tell their story and advocate for change and by working to promote inclusion.
We do this through:
Chapter Meetings: In the tab called WSFN Chapters you’ll see that some of our chapters have regularly scheduled meetings that men can attend. These meetings are not therapy but those attending often call them therapeutic. There may be a meeting topic but generally the meetings are an opportunity for the men 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 other men in the meeting often can offer advice, experience or resources that are helpful. And, often, the conversations are about current events, vacation plans, or something funny that happened, the possibilities are endless. In addition, it’s not a requirement to say something; some men come to listen. 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 in their life with special health care needs is through social events. Some of these are Network wide like the annual Fathers Conference and campout in Anacortes. Others are more local like a chapter poker night or a Super Bowl party. Some are family events while others are just for men.
Other Sources of Information and Resources: Besides getting information and resources from other dads in meetings or from friendships developed out of the meetings, dads can find resources in the resources tab of this website, on our Facebook page, and a twice a month email is sent out with resources and information to those on our mailing list. Joining the mailing list is an option under the About Us tab of this website. In addition to these options, dads can contact the Fathers Network Director who can provide information or do research on a topic or question.
Advocacy and Raising the Voices of Men: We are always looking for men who are willing to tell their story about raising a child with special health care needs and for opportunities for them to share those stories. In addition, 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. As part of this work, we offer a workshop called Telling Your Story with a Purpose. More information about this workshop can be found on the events page of this website.
Social Media and Email:
The Network Facebook page can be found by searching for Washington State Fathers Network
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 are sent to our mailing list about upcoming events and other topics that are of interest to dads and families. 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.