SpoFI - Who We Are and What We Believe
The Spokane Fatherhood Initiative [SpoFI] is a non-profit corporation founded on the principle that fatherlessness is the primary cause of nearly all of our social problems. In 2016 and 2017, SpoFI’s founders convened a series of community conversations about fatherlessness. The outcome of those discussions was that Spokane, the birthplace of Father’s Day, lacked an organization that provided training, support and encouragement for fathers.
The vision and mission of the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative is to restore the value of fatherhood so that every child has a present, loving and nurturing father. SpoFI incorporated as a faith-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit in July of 2017.
SpoFI fulfills its vision and mission by offering
- Relationship Training classes for dads and moms
- Direct Services for Families
- Community Education Events
The goal of SpoFI’s training programs is to help dads and moms adopt the tools, skills and behavioral changes they need to become better spouses, parents and partners. As parents become better equipped to overcome relationship challenges, SpoFI believes our communities will experience:
- Children with better physical, emotional and mental health
- Increased family stability
- Declines in domestic violence, crime and child abuse and neglect
- Increased economic and social prosperity
Through SpoFI’s programs, dads get the tools, training and encouragement they need to restore communication and relationship with their children. We have witnessed father-and-child reunification dozens of times, in many cases after years of separation, much like what we see in Malachi 4:6: “And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers...” Our dads tell us that one the most important benefits they get from our programs is a sense that they are no longer alone, that someone will be at their side to walk with them in their journey of family restoration.
SpoFI’s Relationship Training curricula includes these courses developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative:
- 24:7 Dad AM (Basic)
- 24:7 Dad PM (Advanced)
- Understanding Dad, a communications and relationship course for moms
- Key Behaviors, a workshop that teaches dads the behaviors that are critical to a father's success
In addition, SpoFI:
- Provides guidance, support and technical assistance to dads and moms who struggle to navigate the complex child welfare system and family court.
- Provides active case management and out-of-the-gate financial support to formerly incarcerated men.
- Process groups facilitated by licensed counselors
- Trains and supports foster and adoptive families.
- Promotes the urgent need for additional foster parents through a sub-ministry called Spokane127, spokane127.org
The History of SpoFI
Organizers of the Spokane Fatherhood Initiative consider January 20, 2016 to be the official “birth day” for SpoFI. About 100 Christians from the Spokane region came together that day for a City Impact Roundtable, a forum to discuss ways the church could address and help solve the problems of the city. During a time of table discussion, participants were asked to identify one issue – only one – that was the primary problem facing our community. Without any coordination, table after table declared that the number one issue facing Spokane was fatherlessness.
That event sparked formation of a steering committee that crafted the name Spokane Fatherhood Initiative and its abbreviation, SpoFI (pronounced SPOF-eye). SpoFI was incorporated and received IRS non-profit status in July of 2017.
Major events in SpoFI’s history:
January 20, 2017 -- SpoFI Fatherhood Conference focused on problems of child abuse and neglect in this area; Speakers were from DSHS (foster care), Youth for Christ, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Safe Families, GSAE; conference objective was to call the church to repent.
February 2017 – Spokane127 birthed as sub-ministry of SpoFI. Goal is to mobilize the church to support foster care and adoption. James 1:27 – pure religion is this: care for widows and orphans. Objective is to see at least 127 new families become foster parents, adoptive parents or Safe Families.
February 2017 -- SpoFI begins 2-hour prayer sessions Fridays at DSHS, 1313 N. Atlantic. This practice continues every Friday, 8-10 a.m.
April 30, 2017 -- The Washing, non-stop reading of the Bible for next 90 hours. Culminated at 6 a.m. on the National Day of Prayer.
September 2017 -- Focus on the Family accepts SpoFI invitation to bring the Wait No More Conference to Spokane Sept. 22, 2018
September 7, 2017 -- SpoFI formally launched at luncheon at UGM hosted by The Way of Business
January 20, 2018 -- Second SpoFI Fatherhood Conference convened at Valley Real Life featuring David Murrow, Erin Jones and Ryan Brown and 27 exhibitors
June 5-6, 2018 – SpoFI representative attends first-ever Fatherhood Summit in Seattle which brought together community experts, fathers and father figures, researchers, local agency program providers, state agency leaders, and elected officials to listen to voices of fathers and create a high level, statewide plan for action to strengthen fatherhood programs.
June 7, 2018 – Along with Adopt Idaho and Men’s Ministry Catalyst, SpoFI welcomed Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, at a Coeur d’Alene breakfast for pastors and community leaders. Mr. Daly’s visit was to promote the upcoming Wait No More conference, a Focus on the Family special event promoting foster care and adoption coming to Spokane’s Valley Assembly Church Sept. 22, 2018.
April 1, 2022 - SpoFI moved into it's own office building at 711 E 3rd Ave, Spokane, WA 99202