Long before Covid was a household name, children growing up without a father in the home was the underlying condition to many of the behavioral issues we see today. Amongst those behavorial issues were failing grades, high drop out rates, drug use, depression, suicide, and teen pregnancy.
Although divorce rates in the US are steady, the growing number of children born out of wedlock is rapidly increasing. According to a 2019 report by the CDC, Children born to unwed mothers was a staggering 40%. Worst of all, single parent mothers suffer four times the poverty rate of their married couple counterparts, and the never ending dependency on services provided by the government often lead to other risk factors such as child maltreatment, drug use and domestic violence.
It’s difficult today, more than ever to determine or pinpoint the root cause of children’s negative behavior. Covid has certainly served up many unjust desserts, but the most appalling of them all will be how it has disguised itself as the root cause of the social-economical family issues caused by generations of bad public policy and outdated Family Court Laws.
In a white paper publish in Contemporary Family Magazine, Summer O’Brien addresses the negative social outcomes for millions of children, Missing Fathers and the Children Left Behind, where she discusses the failed attempts at reforming these policies here in New York.
Teen suicide rates have skyrocketed over the past two years, resulting in several State and Federal reactions for mental health awareness and inflated fiscal duties for counseling services. However, what is left out is that the pre-covid era saw 63% of all teen suicides are from fatherless homes. These social reactions, post-covid for more resources, more attention and more funding are the results of twenty years of children struggling to survive in a single parent household. Covid was just the catalysis. Unfortunately, post-coivd policy measures are deeming themselves as temporary safety blankets because after the funding dries up, the posters have ripped apart, the media leaves, and the school pushes through another 10,000 students; fatherlessness will still remain the driving force behind failed kids.
The US can get cash checks out to every tax payer within 10-days, yet have failed to even discuss the public health concerns of children growing up within a father figure and the behavioral issues arising from that.
New York alone, has had sponsored Bills in play every year to address this very issue and has never been bought to the floor. Year after year millions of children are separated from their fathers just to turn around and have the Government play daddy.
Visit www.nyfamiliesfortomorrow.org for more resources on divorce, fatherhood support and reform efforts in New York State.