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Panel to examine role of fathers at LCCS Fatherhood Summit

A panel of community leaders, child welfare experts, and local fathers will discuss the important contributions that fathers make to the lives of their children at an upcoming Fatherhood Summit, sponsored by Lucas County Children Services (LCCS).

The discussion, which is open to the public, is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2009, at the LCCS Conference and Learning Center, 711 Adams Street, Toledo, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

WTOL-TV news anchor Jerry Anderson will facilitate the discussion. He will be joined by keynote speaker Bill Harris, a local financial consultant; a panel of three fatherhood advocates: Ernest Banks, prevention specialist for the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP) of Lucas County; the Reverend Kenneth Rupert of the Toledo Correctional Institution; and Harry Barlos, former Lucas County Commissioner and mayor of Maumee.

They will be joined by three fathers from the community. The discussion will include strategies to overcome the fears, barriers and obstacles to successful fatherhood.

“Too many people underestimate the important role that fathers play as parents,“ says Dean Sparks, executive director of Lucas County Children Services. “They provide nurturing, guidance and inspiration in our children’s lives, and children who grow up without fathers end up at greater risk for a variety of ills, including violence, academic
difficulties and drug abuse.

“Our community needs to do more to encourage fathers to be involved in their children’s lives, and be there to help them when they need support,“ he adds.

Registration for the Fatherhood Summit is available by calling 419-213-3543 or by visiting www.lucaskids.net.





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