While great dads will be celebrated this weekend on Father’s Day, there are a number of kids who don’t have dads around to dote on. One organization is working hard to change that.
“We absolutely need to do everything we can as a culture to support the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives,” says Vince DiCaro with the National Fatherhood Initiative.
DiCaro tells 770 KTTH’s David Boze that 30 years of research shows that kids without fathers have a tougher time.
“What the research has shown unequivocally is that on average, when kids grow up without involved, responsible and committed fathers in their lives, they face just an enormous number of risks across pretty much every measure of child well-being,” says DiCaro.
For fatherless boys, DiCaro says they see a greater percentage falling into gang activity or drugs. For fatherless girls, many experience more trouble with broken relationships and there is a higher population of teen moms in this group, he says.
“Girls who grow up without fathers are actually seven times more likely to become teen moms,” he says.
Children from a fatherless home are also more likely to experience poverty. But even if they grow up in a wealthy single-parent household, DiCaro says it doesn’t make up for the father’s absence.
“Money is not a replacement for a positive relationship with your father, it just isn’t. A dollar bill can’t tuck you into bed at night, it can’t read you a bedtime story, it can’t help you understand who you are, what your place is in the world.”
While mentors are a great resource for a fatherless child, DiCaro says the numbers just don’t add up to get every child covered.
“If the problem that we’re having as a culture is that it’s very difficult for us to actually get men who are related to a child to remain in that child’s life, what do you think the chances are that we’re going to be able to get men who are not related to that child to step in and take care of that child?” says DiCaro. “It’s just not logical.”
As they say at the organization, “Every child has an involved father at conception.” DiCaro and the National Fatherhood Initiative want to make sure those men stay in the picture. To do that, they try to educate people about the importance of dads and offer resources to help fathers be the best dad they can be.
To learn out more about the National Fatherhood Initiative go to fatherhood.org.