I AM Fatherhood

Fathers are central to the emotional well-being of their children; they are capable caretakers and disciplinarians. A recent study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) indicates that dads are more engaged in caretaking than ever before.

While there are many issues in our community, such as violence, racial injustice, and prejudice in the community; fathers who are not actively involved in their children’s lives remains a relatively unknown, yet widespread situation.  Dan Petrie, the founder of the Fatherhood Encouragement Project, notes that “…if there is one need for our city, it is the involvement of more fathers in their children’s lives.” He goes on to explain how there are many children who don’t have fathers actively involved in their lives due to a variety of reasons ranging from divorce, poverty, drugs, and incarceration.

Dan started the Fatherhood Encouragement Project in Rockford in order to help fathers reconnect into their children’s lives. ‘We’re not here to judge, this is a space where fathers can come together and get connected in their children’s lives’ States Dan Petrie. “We need to make sure we are not becoming a statistic for the negative for our city, we want fathers to be involved…and we need a community that is in support of these young fathers.”

Dan believes that one of the keys to addressing this issue is for more open discussion amongst the community as well as promoting relationships within other community groups to address the situation.  “Until we address it together as one community, we are always going to be divided.”

The Important Role of Dad See more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/the-important-role-of-dad_b_5489093.html

Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center of Education Statistics;

57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers. Source: Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements 2012.