A Message from the President
The most disturbing social trend of our times is the dramatic increase in fatherlessness in the United States.
In 1960, less than 8 million children were living in families where the father was absent. Today the number of children living in father-absent homes stands at 24 million. That means that tonight one out of every three children in America will go to sleep in a home in which their father does not live. While it is at times easy to throw around statistics such as these to make a point, the plain truth of the matter is that for every one of these frightening statistics, there is a child attached to it, and, on average, the consequences of father absence for each of these youngsters are not good. Children who grow up in father-absent homes are significantly more likely to do poorly on almost any measure of child well-being. For example:
- Almost 75 percent of American children who grow up in single-parent homes will experience poverty before they turn 11-years-old, compared to only 20 percent for families where there are two parents.
- Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers, including 72 percent of adolescent murderers and 70 percent of long-term prison inmates.
- Children living in father-absent homes are also more likely to be suspended from school, or to drop out; be treated for an emotional or behavioral problem; commit suicide as adolescents; and be victims of child abuse or neglect.
The National Fatherhood Initiative, supported by its members, is working to change all this. We serve as a catalyst for engaging America in a public and forthright discussion about the necessity of reversing these trends. National Fatherhood Initiative encourages and supports family and father-friendly policies, develops national public education campaigns to highlight the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, provides motivation for national and local coalition-building, and provides resources to men to help them be better dads.
I extend to you my personal greeting and invitation to support the National Fatherhood Initiative
. Ensuring that more children grow up with involved and committed fathers is the best way to ensure that every child has what should be their birthright: a happy and secure childhood.
Roland C. Warren
National Fatherhood Initiative