The pediatric and social science research continue to confirm that responsible father involvement ‘being there’ from birth onward for caretaking, comforting and play is central to the development of happy healthy children. Absent father homes are a national crisis which number 25 million. Social science research continues to confirm that when fathers are not active participants in the family, children are at least twice as likely to drop out of school, live in poverty, end up in prison, use drugs and have health and behavioral problems. One out of three children in America and seven out of ten African American children live in fatherless homes. In 1990 the federal government launched a program which encourages fatherhood; father involvement in families which is responsible, nurturant, comforting and protective. The National Fatherhood Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing fatherhood in America and has thousands of chapters throughout the country. They offer fatherhood skill-building resources. However, more private and public funding that strengthens proactive work that connects fathers to their children is urgently needed.
Many years of research continue to provide evidence that fathers who give their children quality time; are warm and engaged, and listen to their children will have happy healthy children. School-aged children whose fathers were engaged in their caregiving as infants, show a positive self-image, are better learners and have a higher degree of empathy for others. Moms also play a vital role in helping the fathers of their children be good fathers. Research shows that when mothers are supportive, dads are more likely to be involved. Today’s generation of children need involved responsible fathers in their lives, from birth onward. The benefits are positive and far reaching.