August 27, 2013 | By: Katie Pratt

Fathers play an important role in their children’s growth and development, but many do not realize the amount of resources available to help them along their fatherhood journey. To better address the needs of fathers on the local level, the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University and Kentucky’s System to Enhance Early Development are hosting the Kentucky Fathering Conference Oct. 18 at the Fayette County office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.

“The Kentucky Fathering Conference is the culmination of two years of work by the Extension Fathering Work Group,” said Chuck Stamper, conference co-chair and extension program leader for community and economic development in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “It has been a goal of the work group to pull resources together that extension agents and practitioners will find relevant to fathers.”

The daylong conference will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. The first session begins at 9 a.m.

Sean Brotherson, associate professor at North Dakota State University and fathering expert, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. He will discuss why fathers matter, the difference they make in the lives of their children and how professionals can effectively reach and work with them to strengthen families.

Topics for the first session include new frontiers in fathering, fatherhood by the numbers, the All Pro Dad program and working with faith-based and community partners. The second breakout session includes a panel of fathers, an overview of 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad, grandfathering and creating lasting family connections.

In addition to the breakout sessions, participants can attend one of the interact sessions, which will give them an opportunity to address topics of interest in smaller groups. Topics in the interact sessions include program evaluation, an overview of the Fathers Reading Every Day program, marketing and recruiting, the  All Star Dads program, military fathers, engaging fathers for kindergarten readiness and single fathers.

Lunch will be provided and will give participants the chance to network with each other and visit booths at the resource fair.

Registration is $30 and is due by Oct. 1. For those who need lodging, a discounted rate is available for conference attendants at the Crowne Plaza in Lexington. Additional information about the conference and the registration packet is available at


Chuck Stamper, 859-257-9511, ext. 233; Kerri Ashurst, 859-257-3032