Dads Really Matter
In 2010, COMPEL was awarded one of only 26 capacity building grants from the National Fatherhood Initiative. As we prepare to launch our Fatherhood division, we will concentrate on what we do best, educational programming, and refer our participants to agencies that can mentor them from needs assessment through goal attainment, including job training/placement, and navigation of the child support system.
As a member of the Milwaukee Fatherhood Collaborative, we have partnerships with the entire spectrum of fatherhood agencies. As always, our focus is on children and giving them the family heritage and optimal futures they deserve. Father involvement in children's lives can have tremendous benefits for dads and kids.
Other program partnerships, such as those with Wells Fargo Bank and United Healthcare, offer the opportunity to meet fathers' needs for financial stability and healthy living.
Dare to Be King is a program for teens already on a detour to "destination jail". One such detour is unplanned fatherhood coupled with unpaid child support. It is a reason men go underground and sever family ties. Boys want to be great fathers but are missing the connection that good fathers are also responsible men. This program addresses the interrelated root causes of risk behaviors so participants can connect the dots between behavior choices and outcomes,. Fatherhood, even when unplanned, can be a strong motivator to abandon the detours and turn onto the responsibility highway.
In the black community, generational fatherless has depleted role models while women heads-of-household has diminished the importance of fathers. Young men now have to be taught skills that will give them the confidence, sensitivity and understanding to be dads. By providing Doctor Dad and Bootcamp for New Dads, COMPEL, in partnership with local hospitals and the Black Nurses Association, will help create the fatherhood role models for the future. Doctor Dad will also be used in domestic violence prevention and to lower Milwaukee's infant death rates.
All research shows children thrive with the love and support of both parents. But intact families are becoming a rarity in lower income levels. In the current job market, "dead beat" dads are really "dead broke" dads. However, with the innate ability of children to infuse paternal responsibility into a daddy with hugs and kisses, the desire to provide becomes a powerful incentive for employment. Inside/Out Dad, Families Forever, and Mom as Gateway are programs that help parents reconnect to increase the access of their children to both parents and two sets of grandparents. Uninvolved dads explore new concepts and attitudes while learning the skills to make them confident fathers.
A child with a nonresident father is 54 percent more likely to be poorer than his or her father.
Source: Sorenson, Elaine and Chava Zibman. “Getting to Know Poor Fathers Who Do Not Pay Child Support.” Social Service Review 75 (September 2001): 420-434.
Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. Source: Harper, Cynthia C. and Sara S. McLanahan. “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (September 2004): 369-397.
After controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.
Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.
Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P200-547, Table C8. Washington D.C.: GPO, 2003.
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10815 W. Fiebrantz Ave. Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53222
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