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Wed, Apr 17


Online Event

Missing Fathers: The Absent Parent Trauma with System Involved Youth

Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW

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Missing Fathers: The Absent Parent Trauma with System Involved Youth
Missing Fathers: The Absent Parent Trauma with System Involved Youth

Time & Location

Apr 17, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW

Training Description

Develop a better understanding of the importance of fathers to the youth with whom we work in our systems of care.  This epidemic of the often-absent father doesn’t mean that the father doesn’t fulfill an important role in the system involved youth and family’s life.  We often leave the paternal side of the youth’s family completely out of planning with youth in out of home care even though the father is very much a part of the youth’s “picture” and impacts their day-to-day functioning. Remember, the pain of the missing father is a big reason for the behaviors that we are trying to ameliorate so we can’t forget this area of pain if we want to make the most positive impact on outcomes for system involved youth.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify at least 2 reasons that fathers are important and at least 2 barriers as to why they don’t get included, in a meaningful way, within our continuums of care that serve system-involved youth: child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and school systems.
  • Participants will be able to explain, using a family tree and historical timeline, the extent of the absence of the father as the other “half” of where a system involved youth comes from.
  • Participants will be able to explain the connection between the Pain in the Heart (PITH) Theory and the absent father trauma and how to reach out and include fathers.


10:00–10:15AM  Sign In and Introductions

10:15–10:30AM  Overview of family history and trauma with an emphasis on the absent father.

10:30–10:45AM  Group work practice on family trees and timelines.

10:45–11:00AM  Video about the Myth of the Absent Black Father and discussion.

11:00 –11:30AM  Brainstorming and discussion of reasons that fathers are important in the healthy development of system-involved youth and cultural influences on father involvement.

11:30: 11:45AM  Brainstorm and Identification of barriers to including fathers in the support of their children.

11:45AM–12:00PM  BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

12:00–12:30PM   Group work on addressing the barriers to including fathers and discussion of the challenges in transitioning from being a biological parent to a committed father.

12:30–1:00PM  Video presentation on the messages that males in our society receive that can interfere with becoming a committed father and debrief of the video as a group.

1:00–1:30PM  LUNCH (CE hours will not be issued for this time)

1:30–2:00PM  Our field’s bias regarding including fathers in the work to support their kids and why mothers don’t have this same bias.

2:30–3:00PM  Viewing of another video and beginning to apply PITH theory in a way that can heal the absent father trauma.

3:00–3:15PM  BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

3:15–3:45PM  Small group work to integrate our understanding of the pain which the youth feels because of having an absent father; then, creatively 

developing strategies for how to include the system involved youth’s “other half” of their family in our work.

3:45–4:15PM  Review & discussion regarding these strategies for outreach to fathers.


Meet Our Trainer

Pamela Parkinson, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, whose specialty area is working with youth and their families. Dr. Parkinson has spent most of her career working with system involved youth in our Continuum of Care (foster care, juvenile justice, mental health and the kids struggling in our school systems). She is a certified PCOMS evidence-based practice trainer. Pamela currently works as a child/family consultant to CBO’s in the Bay Area and has worked in level 14 residential, NPS, hospitals, and a variety of community-based settings including outpatient clinics, schools, diversion, kinship, etc.

This course meets the qualifications for (5.5) BBS CE hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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