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UIS to host forum on responsible fatherhood

April 18, 2005

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Springfield Social Work program, will host a public forum from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Public Affairs Center conference room H, on the UIS campus. The forum is free and open to the public; however reservations are required.

One of the first government programs of its kind, the Council is designed as an attempt to address the ill effects on society that can occur when fathers are largely absent from their children’s lives. It was established as a statewide commission by the Illinois legislature in 2003 and is chaired by Chicago attorney Jeffery M. Leving.

In the Council’s first annual report to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Leving noted: “The deterioration of responsible fatherhood over the last half-century has had a devastating effect on American families. … Mounting evidence demonstrates how children who grow up in father-absent homes are much more likely to be poor; to use drugs; to experience educational, emotional, and behavioral problems; to be victims of child abuse; and to engage in criminal behavior.”

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Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood

In an effort to build a statewide network of legislators, educators, and community leaders and to develop strategies for promoting responsible fatherhood throughout the state, the Council is holding three regional events – public forums in Carbondale and Springfield and the 2005 Fatherhood Empowerment Conference, which is set for June 4 in Chicago and will be held in collaboration with U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis.

The forums in Springfield and Carbondale are designed to establish a network of groups and individuals who will work to promote responsible fatherhood, to pinpoint challenges that hinder fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives, to develop ideas for programs that would support fathers, and to determine opportunities for legislative reform.

Drawing on feedback from these meetings, the Council will bring representatives of state agencies -- such as the departments of Public Aid, Human Services, and Children and Families Services -- together at the June conference to focus on making state policies and programs more father-friendly.

To make a reservation to attend the forum at UIS or for more information, contact Joe Englert by e-mail at responsiblefatherhood@hotmail.com or by telephone at 847/644-1534. Additional information about the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood is available by calling 312/296-8656, or online at www.responsiblefatherhood.com.



    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.