On Father’s Day 24 Million American Children Without Dad

Father And Son At The Park (Photo: Jon Akhtar/Flickr)
Jon Akhtar/Flickr

Father’s Day is time set aside to celebrate fathers and what they do for their family all year long. But for some 24 million American children — or one in three — there is no father in the home to honor on Sunday.

These statistics come from the United States Census Bureau, federal agencies, advocacy organizations and studies compiled by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), which works to promote the importance of fathers in children’s lives and the harm that can result from growing up with one’s biological dad.

The NFI website calls it a “father absence crisis in America” and states the “father factor” is in nearly all social ills facing the country today.

The mission of NFI is to educate the public, the professionals who work with fathers, and to encourage fathers to have an active role in their child or children’s lives.

But the website is also filled with grim statistics about the possible consequences for children growing up without their father, including:

— Children in female-headed households without a spouse are at a 47.6 % or four times higher poverty level than children who live with a married mother and father. (U.S. Health and Human Services)

— Girls who grow up without a father are seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen.

— Children who grow up with a non-biological man (social father) are more likely to suffer abuse and neglect that those who live with their biological father.

— Children without their father are two times more likely than their peers with fathers to drop out of school.

— Children without their father are more likely to go to prison at some point in their lives, and 92 percent of men who are incarcerated are fathers.

— Children in a fatherless family are 279% more likely to carry guns or use and deal drugs than those who grow up with a father.

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