Gay Fathers
“Empowering Fathers: One size does not fit all.”

Interdisciplinary Conference Workshops

Washington Convention Center, Friday October 28, 2011

Workshops at a Glance

A - Location Room 151  Locating, Engaging, and Advocation for Non-Custodial Fathers  
Panelists James Campbell,  Program Administrator  
       District of Columabia Child and Family Services Agency  
  Kathleen Creamer, Esq., Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow  
       Community Legal Services, Inc. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  
  Howard Davidson, Esq., Director  
       Center on Children and the Law, American Bar Association
Fathers DC Presentation
  Rishaunda Ewings, Program Manager  
       Office of Planning, Policy and Program Support (OPPPS)
     District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency
  Jack Gilmore, Esq., Attorney  
       Counsel for Child Abuse & Neglect (CCAN) Attorney  
  Marlesia Neloms, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for Agency Programs  
       District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency  
Moderator: Honorable Noel Johnson, Magistrate Judge  
       Family Court, Superior Court of the District of Columbia  
  This panel will look at the obligations of attorneys, social workers, and courts in locating, engaging and advocating for non-custodial fathers. The panelists will provide information from both a national and a local perspective. In addition, one of the presenters will offer special expertise on working with incarcerated fathers. The panelists will also discuss reaching out to the mother and relatives for information, using diligence in searches, and using investigators.  
  This panel will then move on to a discussion of how to engage the father once he has been located. This would include how to initiate contact, communicate effectively, maintain communication, and build trust, in addition to providing appropriate service referrals, advising fathers on how to establish paternity, and advising fathers on maintaining a positive bond with their children.  
B -Location: Room 146C Integrating Fathers After Domestic Violence  
Panelists: Juliet Francis, Psy.D, President and Chief Executive Officer Francis & Associates  
  Courtney Hall, Supervised Visitation Program Coordinator  
       Supervised Visitation Center, District of Columbia Superior Court  
  Honorable José López, Presiding Judge  
       Domestic Violence Unit, District of Columbia Superior Court  
  Lisa Nitsch, Director Gateway Project,  
       The House of Ruth Maryland and also the Vice President of Women in Fatherhood, Inc.  
Moderator: Laurie S. Kohn, Professor and Director  
       Family Justice Litigation Clinic, George Washington University Law School  
  This panel will discuss the particular challenges that judges, practitioners, and litigants face when dealing with fathers’ access to their children after domestic violence has occurred. In this panel, we will explore how to determine what kind of custody and visitation should be awarded; how supervised visitation can meet the needs of this population; what comes after supervised visitation; how to make visitation most safe and productive for children and youth; and the best practices of programs aimed at making the integration of fathers safe and successful.  
C -  Location: Room 152A It Takes Two: Including and Advocating for Teen Fathers  
Panelists: M. Victoria Bellard, Program Coordinator  
       New Heights Program, District of Columbia Public Schools  
  Allison E. Green, Staff Attorney, Children’s Law Center  
  Robert Nelson, President and Founder, Daddy’s Corner, Inc.  
  Henry Prempeh, Family Services Coordinator  
       Generations Program/Teen Dads Group, Children’s National Medical Center  
  Dion Wright, Young Father  
Moderator: Kristin Henning, Professor, Co-Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic Georgetown University Law Center  
  Despite the increased attention paid to teen motherhood on the local and national level, teen fathers are a subgroup whose unique needs are too often overlooked or inadequately addressed by the systems serving them. This session will focus on the legal considerations and social service resources that are particularly relevant for young fathers in the District of Columbia. Panelists will address issues such as preparing teen fathers-to-be for parenthood, paternity establishment, custody, child support, school engagement, housing options and parenting supports. The session will be beneficial for lawyers, guardians ad litem, social workers and others who work with custodial and non-custodial teen fathers.  
D- Location 152B The Impact of a Father’s Absence: Psychological, Social and Economic Impact and the Positive Effect of Services to Assist Fathers  
Panelists: Theodore Butler, Public Health Technician  
       District of Columbia Department of Health  
  Derrick Colbert, Family Support Worker  
       Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative  
  Chester Marshall, Founder & Chief Executive Officer  
       Institute for African Man Development  
  Phillip Terrell, Program Coordinator  
       Fatherhood Education Empowerment and Development Program (FEED)
      Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council
Moderators: Jamie Rodriguez, Juvenile Services Program Coordinator  
       The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia  
  Honorable Mary Grace Rook, Magistrate Judge  
       Family Court, District of Columbia Superior Court  
  This panel will explore through local service providers the impact of absent fathers, including the likelihood of poverty, educational problems, emotional and behavioral problems, and the benefits of services to include fathers in children’s lives - including better cognitive outcomes, higher self esteem, academic achievement, assistance to mothers, etc. The panel will also discuss what local services exist and what additional services might be useful to the District of Columbia community.  


Washington Convention Center | October 28, 2011