Anne Mosle and Jessica Seinfeld, Ascend - The Aspen Institute, May 30, 2019.
In fall 2018, Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the GOOD+ Foundation convened fathers, researchers, thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners to explore “The Father Factor: A Critical Link in Building Family Prosperity.” The convening was born of the recognition that while the important role of fathers in society has been increasingly documented in recent research and by experts working with families, it has not gotten the attention it needs from a broader range of policymakers, practitioners, and funders.
Together, we unpacked questions like: What situations and circumstances prevent fathers from being fully engaged in the lives of their children? What are the hallmarks of engaging fathers effectively? How should we think about reimagining public systems and services to work for 21st-century families?
This brief summarizes answers to these questions and highlights innovations from GOOD+ grantees and Ascend Fellows and Network Partners. These leaders are reshaping family narratives to elevate the importance of mothers and fathers in children’s lives, building new and adapting old education and career pathways to serve fathers and families more holistically, creating opportunities for justice-involved fathers as they re-enter communities, and so much more.