Child Well-Being in PA and Father Involvement

On September 27, 2017, over 35 delegates from across the state came together for the first statewide symposium on “Child Well-Being in Pennsylvania and the Urgent Need for Father Involvement”. Representing AFN was CEO Ruth Fox and AFN’s Fathers Involved Now Supervisor, George Fleming. Mr. Fleming Chaired the Symposium Roundtable Discussion on Behavioral Health during the event.

George Fleming, Dr.Marcia Sturdivant,  CEO NEED, Jerry Harvey, D.A.D.S

The Symposium was called together by The Strong Families Commission Inc., in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit; AMACHI, Inc.; Child Welfare League of America, Inc.; Delta Community Supports, Inc.; and the Fathers Collaborative Council of Western Pennsylvania. Legislative Sponsors included: Representative Edward C. Gainey (D) – Pittsburgh Leader in the House; and Representative Harold A. English (R) – Allegheny County – Co-Leader. 

Rep. Ed Gainey, John Burwell, Child Development Specialist Children's Hospital, Leigh Hernandez, Dir. Family Suppot Policy Board, Ruth Fox


The National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) declares that the incidence of the impact of bothparents not being “present” in the lives of their children, most often fathers, is a contributing factor to the number of children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems of care. Children with involved Fathers, on the other hand, often experience just the opposite. They are more likely to better perform across every measure of child well-being than their peers in father-absent homes. NFI believes “father-absence” is a major impediment to the well-being of children and families in America, Pennsylvania is no exception.


Justice Max Baer, PA Supreme Court Justice

“,,,fathers have the same responsibilities, and importantly, the same rights as mothers.”  Justice Max Baer, Pennsylvania Supreme Court




Larry Klinger, Fatherhood Collaborative Council of Western PA, with attendees



AFN understands and supports fathers with our Fathers Involved Now Program. Men who are fathers, who have raised or are raising children with mental health and behavioral concerns, as Father Support Partners, work one-on-one with fathers across Allegheny County, providing them with the support they need to achieve their goals whether understanding the court system, employment issues, or learning to become an involved father in their children’s lives.


Ruth Fox , Doug Spenser, Consultant DHS