2014 Vermont Fatherhood Conference 


Thursday September 25, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
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Vermont State House 
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Driving Directions 


Victoria Priganc 
Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties 
802-860-4499 x5141 

Healthy Fathers; Healthy Families

This FREE family-centered conference, held at the Statehouse in Montpelier, will focus on the relationship between healthy fathers and their families.  Workshops are designed for dads, moms, and providers. 

This year's keynote speaker is John Badalament, EdM.  John is the Program Director for the Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the author of the acclaimed Modern Dad’s Dilemma:  How to Stay Connected with Your Kids in a Rapidly Changing World and Director of the PBS documentary All Men Are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood.  Over the last two decades, John has spoken and consulted internationally in schools, government agencies, nonprofit and private-sector organizations. John's work has been featured on ABC News, NPR, in Men’s Health, The Los Angeles Times, and Huffingtonpost.  John serves on the Honorary Board of the Ties Never Broken Campaign, a partnership with The White House.

Space is limited to 150 participants.  

We have a limited number of gift cards to help families attend the conference.  If you have a family interested in a gift card, please contact Josh Edelbaum at edelbaum@vnacares.org.

Conference schedule:
8:30   -   9:00 am          Registration
9:00   -   9:15 am          Welcome Address
9:15   - 10:15 am          Keynote Address with John Badalament
10:15 - 10:30 am          Break
10:30 - 12:00 pm          Workshops (listed below:  you will need to register for a workshop)
12:00 -   1:00 pm          Lunch (is provided)
1:00   -   2:30 pm          Workshops (listed below:  you will need to register for a workshop)                                   2:30   -   2:45 pm          Break
2:45   -   3:30 pm          Closing Discussion with John Badalament

This conference is presented by The Vermont Fatherhood initiative, a group of volunteers inspired by the cause of nurturing the responsible involvement of fathers with their children and their families. Our goals include connecting father services throughout the state, raising awareness regarding the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, and identifying best practice when working with fathers by recognizing institutional bias and emphasizing the value of using a "father friendly" approach.

Financial support provided by Vermont Head Start State Collaboration Office, Child Development Division, Department for Children and Families;  Family Services Division, Department for Children and Families; and the Casey Foundation

Review the workshops below, then register today by clicking on the button below.

Please register for a morning and an afternoon workshop

Big Wheels
Presented by David Bingham & Amy Newton
(Morning only)
How to be a dad and play like a kid.  The emphasis of our time will be on child interaction/child development.  Have fun while making an impact on your child's life.

OCS 101
Presented by Douglas Denniston and Tom Rotella
(Morning only)
This workshop will provide an overview of the services provided by the Office of Child Support to parents.  The interaction between OCS and the Family Courts, and the Work 4 Kids program will be discussed.

An Approach for Measuring Fathers' Engagement in Head Start and Child Care Programs
Presented by Sharon Adams, MS & Shannon Shaw
(Morning only)
In this workshop, participants will receive an overview of tools developed by the Head Start National Center of Parent, Family, and Community Engagement to help measure father engagement.  The tools are based on the Head Start Family Outcomes Framework and can be used by any program including other child care and social service agencies.  Participants will have an opportunity to think about their own program’s performance regarding father engagement.  This information will be useful in developing plans for enhancing family outcomes through increased father engagement. 

Five Things Fathers can do to Strengthen their Families
Presented by Marie Sullivan & Jason Shafer
(Morning only)
Strengthening Families is a research-informed, cost-effective strategy that involves making small but significant changes that strengthen families and prepare children for success.  This approach focuses on developing five Protective Factors:  1)  Parental resilience, 2) Social connections, 3) Knowledge of parenting and child development, 4) Concrete support in times of need, and 5) Social and emotional competence of children.  These factors also promote healthy outcomes.  During this workshop, fathers and other family members will learn how to use the Strengthening Families approach as a practical tool to improve their lives and the lives of their family members.

The Batterer as Parent:  How Domestic Abuse Impacts Family Dynamics
Presented by Colleen Nilsen & Ikey Spear
(Afternoon only)
This workshop will begin with some definitions and will look at how domestic abuse may impact individuals within a family and their relationships.  The batterer as a father, the survivor/victim as a mother, and the effects the abusive behaviors can have on a child will be explored.  Ideas for how service providers can assist each parent and the child will be presented.

The Modern Dad's Dilemma:  Building Healthy, Positive, and Powerful Connections with Your Children and Family
Presented by John Badalament, EdM
(Afternoon only)
Description to follow soon.

Crucial Conversations:  Talking to Your Kids about Tough Topics
Presented by Kristin Fontaine & Ray Coffey
(Afternoon only)
Sex, drug and alcohol use, death - there are many topics that can be tricky to navigate with your kids.  In this workshop we'll discuss ways to keep the lines of communication open with children of all ages while talking about some of these more difficult topics.  

Parenting...It Ain't Always Easy!  Moving from Reactive to Responsive Parenting
Presented by Beth Maurer, MSW & Laurie Brown, LICSW
(Morning and Afternoon)
Parenting can be the most wonderful role we play, yet it is often quite challenging too.  Please join us for a 'hands on' workshop that will balance theoretical information on the impact of trauma with practical application of parenting strategies based on the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) framework.  We will examine how to manage our own caregiver affect management; how to attune to our individual children and their needs; how to build routine and rituals; and how to provide consistency through our responses to children.  

What Fathers Should Know about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
Presented by Kathy Hentcy, MS & Priscilla White
(Morning and Afternoon)
How do you raise healthy, resilient children? Every father wants the best for his children, and knowing the science behind healthy child development reinforces your parenting skills. No parent holds their new-born infant thinking that his child will grow up to abuse drugs or alcohol, become obese and diabetic by age 20, or have a hard time holding down a job. Yet every adult knows of at least one child of a friend or an office mate, who has grown up and found him or herself in just such challenging circumstances.

Why? What leads to such poor outcomes?

During the workshop, conference attendees will learn about adverse childhood experiences as major risk factors for the leading causes of illness, death, and poor quality of life in the United States. Participants will gain an understanding of why positive interactions with children build resilience children. Knowledge about these risk factors is likely to improve efforts towards preventing these adverse childhood experiences and make recovery from such experiences more possible.