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October 1, 2004

2004 Families in Focus Fall Seminar

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Social Work Title IV-E Child Welfare Program conducted its 2004 Families in Focus Fall Seminar at the Holiday Inn Holidome New Orleans Room Friday, September 10, 2004. The guest speakers were Dan and Gail Tate of the Louisiana Family Council (LFC) in New Orleans, LA. The seminar entitled "Getting Fathers Involved in the Process" was well attended by over 145 attendees throughout the Monroe, Shreveport, Pineville, Grambling and Natchitoches area. Some of the agencies present were Ouachita, Caddo & Grant Parishes Department Social Services/Office of Community Services (DSS/OCS), Swanson Correctional Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Shreveport (VA), GSU Title IV-E, NSW Title IV-E, Promise Specialty, Christus Schumpert, Healthy Start, Family Connections, Family Matters & Family Ties.

This seminar counted as five contact hours of training for OCS workers, foster and adoptive parents, ULM Title IV-E students & Field students, as well as registered (RSW) and graduate (GSW) level social workers throughout the community.

This seminar explored the connection between child well-being and fathers' absence or presence in the lives of their children, as well overcoming issues and barriers to engaging fathers in the OCS process. It also provided practical strategies for OCS and other agencies to involve and strengthen fathers in their role of custodial and non-custodial parents. Participants were also able to explore their own biases regarding father involvement.

Dan, a graduate of Trinity Christian University, is President and CEO of the Louisiana Family Council; while Gail, a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, is the Executive Director. Dan is also a certified parenting facilitator in Parenting by Grace and Parenting of Teens. Dan and Gail are training consultants and co-authors of "Fresh Start" Fathering Skills Curriculum, "1 + 1" Healthy Marriages and Relationships Curriculum, and "Stop the Drama!!!"

Dan, a former CASA Role Model and Junior Achievement Volunteer, dedicated to positively impacting the community currently volunteers at New Orleans high schools and Total Community Action Head Start Centers. Dan's aspiration is to play some part in strengthening families in his home state of Louisiana and across the nation. He believes that if LFC can help one father or mother, it has impacted future generations.

Gail, a training consultant and grant writer has worked with companies such as Time Warner Cable, Louisiana Department of Labor, Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support and Southern University at New Orleans. Gail's other experience includes being a news anchor, reporter, talk show host and radio personality. She combines all her skills and experience into creating effective programs to meet the needs of the families LFC serves and assist them in becoming more literate, employable and stable.

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