Who ARE WE?
Foundations of Fatherhood is a non-profit coalition of Michigan fatherhood groups that began working together after discovering we shared a similar annual event objective.
In 2019, Dads Count! was holding a Fatherhood Think Tank event and inviting all the fatherhood practitioners and stakeholders they could reach in Michigan. The Michigan Action Plan for Father Involvement had just established a goal to rally fatherhood groups from around the state at an annual event and heard about the Dads Count! event.
The two coalitions met at the 2019 event and immediately began working together to provide Michigan fatherhood practitioners an opportunity to meet, network, and share with one another while learning valuable content to better serve fathers.
Soon the Metro Detroit Fatherhood Policy Initiative and the Genesee Healthy Start Fatherhood Program also joined the momentum. One member of both the Michigan Action Plan for Father Involvement and the Genesee Healthy Start Fatherhood Program, Mike Kildee, was a founding member of the previous Michigan Fatherhood Coalition, which endorsed the Foundations of Fatherhood Summit in 2021 with a donation of its remaining funds.
Learn more about each member organization below.
Learn more about the Healthy Kent Dads Count! Fatherhood Coalition
The mission of DADS COUNT! is to encourage and equip fathers in their involvement, responsibility, and commitment towards the well-being of their children.
What dads count! Does
The Dads Count! Fatherhood Coalition is a consortium of the Healthy Kent Infant Health Action Team. Its purpose is to improve the long-term health and success of children by working to enhance fatherhood within our community. The Coalition is made up of non-profit services agencies who meet monthly to develop events and educational materials to reach fathers / father-figures and provide support for them to be involved, responsible and committed fathers to their children. It is a networking group that collaborates to meet fathers' needs through coalition and community partners.
Dads Count! works to:
Build awareness in the community of the importance of fathers to the well-being of their children.
Develop a community-wide network of agencies to provide direct and indirect services to fathers.
Promote father/child interactions by providing family-friendly outreach activities such as Bowling with Dad, Basketball Night, and a White Caps baseball game.
Coordinate group meetings and networks that enable fathers to interact with other fathers.
Provide educational events on topics fathers are interested in such as infant safe sleep, interfacing with Friend of the Court, and internet safety.
Agencies involved include Strong Beginnings, Healthy Start, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, Alpha Grand Rapids Men’s Center, Great Start Collaborative Kent Parent Coalition, Head Start of Kent County, Kent County Friend of the Court, Steepletown Ministries, MDHHS, United Methodist Community House, Messiah Missionary Baptist Church, and the Kent County Health Dept.
The DADS COUNT! Fatherhood Coalition was formed in 2006 to bring awareness to the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. At the time, though not intentional, fathers were often left out of the services provided to mom and baby by prenatal care providers, home visiting, and early childhood (0-5) programming. Our long-term goal was to give equal focus to fathers.
To create and implement a comprehensive action plan promoting healthy and engaging relationships between Michigan children and their fathers.
In 2019, in partnership with the Michigan Office of Child Support, the University of Michigan School of Social Work received a grant from the Fatherhood Research & Practice Network (FRPN). The Michigan Action Plan for Father Involvement (MAP-FI) was created to explore ways of expanding support for father involvement and to guide the establishment of permanent structures for improving policies and programs that benefit fathers and their families.
Visit the MAP-FI website to learn more about who we are and what we're doing.