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Dads’ Resource Center Hosts ACF Listening Session

Federal Administration for Children and Families heard from 24 participants from 15 counties

Harrisburg, PA (6-28-24) On Thursday, June 27, 2024 – The Dads’ Resource Center hosted a listening session with fathers and families living in rural Pennsylvania for the Federal Administration of Children and Families (ACF) at The Keystone Building in Harrisburg, PA. Twenty-four participants from 15 counties participated in sessions for Fathers, mothers, and service providers.


“I take my relationship with my daughter seriously.” Said Joe Walls (Chester County). “There have been struggles at times learning to coparent. But I know there are people who have it harder than I do and figured maybe me coming here and telling my story can help in some way.”


“I am excited to be part of this,” said Steven Kurtz (Lycoming County), “to not only hear others, but to share my story and empathize with others and for us to learn about resources and help for coparenting and what is best for children.”


This was the second of two sessions organized by the Strong Families Commission that the ACF region 3 (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) held in Pennsylvania. The first was on May 17th in Pittsburgh. According to ACF Region 3 Administrator, Chad Sawyer, the session had four learning objectives.


How does living in rural Pennsylvania and surrounding communities:

1) Effect the human services experience of fathers.


2) Effect parenting.


3) Effect providers that serve fathers and parents.


4) How best to communicate with fathers and to increase father involvement.


“Everyone has a story to tell. A story that depicts how we are different and unique, but also similar,” said Sawyer.


According to the 2024 Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count report, 34% (837,000) of children in Pennsylvania live in single parent families. The Dads’ Resource Center was created to provide education, resources and advocacy for single fathers struggling to be in the lives of their children due to the challenges they face in the Family Court, County and Human Service Systems. This is for the benefit of their children, who will have the greatest chance of being happy and successful in life if both parents are actively involved in their upbringing.


“We were blessed to have an extraordinary group of citizens take time out of their day to travel to Harrisburg and provide candid feedback on their personal experiences and observations of how our systems work with fathers and families,” said Dads’ Resource Center Executive Director Jeff Steiner.


Click here to access the 2024 Annie Casey Kids Count Report 


Visit our website for full information about the Dads Resource Center 


Media Contact Only

Jeffrey Steiner, M.Ed., Executive Director