Little Rock Grantee and Community Roundtable
On May 29, 2013, we partnered with several organizations in Arkansas to host a Grantee and Community Roundtable: Strengthening Families using Best Practices in a Culturally Competent Way, in Little Rock, AR. Kenneth Braswell (pictured here), Director of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Executive Director of Fathers, Inc., delivered an emotional and powerful message on the importance of fatherhood work in family strengthening at the Roundtable. In making a strong appeal for father engagement and involvement, Mr. Braswell told the audience that children should always be the lenses through which things are viewed; problems are resolved when our children’s problems are resolved; and a momentary piece of time with a child can have a significant, even life-forming impact.
On the campus of a roundtable partner organization, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, seventy-eight family practitioners, many representing statewide programs, assembled for one and one half days to acquire and share knowledge on state supported military services, the Affordable Care Act and its implications for Arkansas, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, Child Care and Child Welfare efforts in Arkansas, Integrating Asset Building in all programs, the Grade Level Reading Campaign, and the necessity of using data to drive decisions.
The event concluded with a facilitated discussion led by Mr. Braswell where conferees, in roundtables, addressed three issues related to program development: obstacles faced, mechanisms used to address, and resources needed to make program development more effective and efficient. Participants were excited to have a tool that could be used, long after the roundtable, for ongoing communication and partnerships to enhance program development in the state.
A variety of vendors were on hand with family strengthening information, products, and services: Lake Shore Learning, HIPPY Arkansas, National Fatherhood Resource Center, AR HS Assoc/Collaboration Office, AR Department of Human Services-Div of Child Care/Early Childhood Education and Tips for Great Kids.