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General

What are Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations?
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Community Conversations are high-energy, collaborative forums that take place in communities across the country with the goal of engaging and inspiring father-serving providers, advocates, and the broader community. You can apply to hold Community Conversations in your community! Organizations that apply and are approved to host FLAME Community Conversations are called Champions and will be equipped with the FLAME Starter Kit.

Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations is an initiative of the Office of Family Assistance (OFA), under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF). It aims to promote and advance father engagement efforts across the nation. FLAME stands for Family, Leadership, Affirming Marriage, and Employment.

What is the FLAME Starter Kit?
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The FLAME Starter Kit is a complete package of all the content and materials you need to produce a local fatherhood event. It includes session content, such as professionally produced video presentations, facilitated group discussions, and energizing networking activities. It also includes event planning tips and how-to guides, sample event schedules, and design templates for branded event materials.

What kind of event can be held using the FLAME Starter Kit?
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FLAME Champions have a lot of flexibility in designing their Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations event! The FLAME Starter Kit includes three sample event agendas — each geared toward a different audience type — with content for a one-day, 8-hour event. However, if your organization wants to customize its event to a different duration or focus, you can mix and match session content to accomplish that. Audience sizes can range from a small group of people to hundreds of attendees, depending on the scope of event your organization wants to market and support.

Each of the three suggested event agendas have somewhat different content, organized to address the needs of the recommended audiences. Those three event types are:

  • Inspire: Elevating the Role of Fathers, catered to local community members, fathers, educators, nonprofits, and stakeholders — whether or not they are engaged in fatherhood work
  • Do: Building Better Fatherhood Services, geared toward fatherhood programs and practitioners, as well as nonprofits and organizations that take part in father-engagement efforts
  • Influence: Advocating for Responsible Fatherhood, targeted at policymakers and institutional advocates for family well-being, such as state agency leaders, lawmakers, foundations, and other thought leaders
Are fathers themselves the audience for FLAME Community Conversations events? Or the people who serve fathers?
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While some session content will appeal to dads in the community, much of the Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Starter Kit content is geared toward the practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and community stakeholders who work to support family well-being and father engagement.

Are there any restrictions on FLAME Champions or events organized using the FLAME Starter Kit?
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Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations events should be free to attend and are expected to be fatherhood-focused. That means that individual FLAME session content should not be incorporated into a larger event that is not focused on fatherhood. In addition, FLAME Champions will receive a Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations branding guide, and all materials related to the event should follow the branding requirements in that guide.

Who do I contact if I have a question not answered here?
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Please contact flame@publicstrategies.com with any questions related to Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations.

Becoming a FLAME Champion

What is a FLAME Champion?
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A FLAME Champion is an individual from an organization or an entire organization committed to father engagement and family well-being, that serves as a host for a local Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations event. Individuals or organizations can apply to become FLAME Champions here and, once approved, have access to the FLAME Starter Kit at no charge. FLAME Champions are interested in serving as local leaders in the fatherhood and family sphere, and, ideally, have a strong local network of individuals and organizations who are likely to attend the FLAME Community Conversations event.

What are some of the benefits of serving as a FLAME Champion?
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Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations can expand the reach and impact of your organization’s work in the community, without the burden of organizing your event from scratch. The FLAME Starter Kit makes it extremely easy to host a high-quality, meaningful fatherhood event that will strengthen your future work. We know that engaged fathers are an important but undervalued element of family and community well-being. We also know that local events make it possible for father-involved stakeholders to come together, resulting in valuable collaboration and relationship-building. Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations represents a unique opportunity to produce a signature event without a heavy organizational lift.

What is a FLAME Champion responsible for?
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A FLAME Champion is responsible for executing a Community Conversations event using the FLAME Starter Kit. You won’t be starting from scratch — an event planning checklist, tip sheet, promotional materials, and other guides are included in the kit to help you organize your event. Tasks include: identifying your event goals, format, and audience; engaging partners; securing an appropriate venue; promoting the event; making logistical arrangements; staffing and emceeing the event; and gathering audience feedback.

Fatherhood isn’t the main mission of my organization. Can it still become a FLAME Champion?
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Yes! Any (nonpartisan) organization with a heart for supporting fathers and their families can be a FLAME Champion! Bolstering fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives benefits the whole family, and offering father-friendly services has advantages for all kinds of social service programs. Our materials speak to a wide variety of audiences, including those not currently familiar with responsible fatherhood services.

My organization works to support a particular political party or candidate. Can it be a FLAME Champion?
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No, FLAME Champions must be nonpartisan organizations.

My organization is a faith-based organization/for-profit business/state or local agency. Can it be a FLAME Champion?
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Absolutely! (Note that organizations cannot engage in inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the Community Conversations. If your organization conducts such activities, the activities must be offered separately, in time or location, from the Community Conversations, and participation in these activities must be voluntary.)

Planning a Community Conversations Event

How much does the FLAME Starter Kit cost?
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Nothing! The Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Starter Kit is FREE to organizations who apply and are approved to serve as FLAME Champions.

What if we want to include different types of sessions in our event?
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You can do that! With the templates and guides provided in the FLAME Starter Kit, you can customize an event that features Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME content but also includes sessions that you design to fit your local needs.

Are Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations supposed to be virtual or in-person events?
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The FLAME Starter Kit provides the resources to execute an in-person event, and the session content is intended to be delivered in person. However, if your organization or community is more comfortable holding a virtual event, you can adjust your planning to accommodate that.

Is there any time limit on when we can host a Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations event?
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Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations events should be held in 2021. FLAME Starter Kit content may not be available after that.

Are there any funds available to support my organization in hosting a Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations event?
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No, there currently are no financial supports for Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations events. However, a large portion of the cost for an event is the creation of content and promotional materials, and FLAME Champions will receive that at no cost through the FLAME Starter Kit.

Can we charge for tickets to our Community Conversations event?
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No, FLAME Community Conversations events must be provided at no cost to attendees.

Can we name our event something other than Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations?
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No, events that use FLAME Starter Kit materials should use the Fatherhood FLAME brand, although your organization’s name and logo can be added to the materials.

Can we co-brand the event materials with our organization’s name, logo, and colors?
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All the Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Starter Kit materials have prominently placed fields for your organization’s name as the FLAME Champion. You may design materials that feature your organization’s logo, but the FLAME colors and logo should always dominate, and you should follow the FLAME Style Guide provided in the FLAME Starter Kit.

Can we have exhibitors or vendors at our event?
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Yes, as long as you include the following disclaimer:
Inclusion or mention of organizations, trade names, or commercial practices at this Focusing the Fatherhood FLAME Community Conversations event does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance.

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