Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 07:17:26 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Men's HOTLINE"
Subject: Teenage parents
To: "Men's HOTLINE"
This from Julian Garcia of New York.
NFI has been featured in the media with excellent pro-father pieces.
Wade Horn, Ph.D., of Maryland, is their Executive Director.
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
FM: Julian Garcia
Fathers Rights Assoc. of NYState, Inc. (FRANYS)
SUBJ: The National Fatherhood Initiative and Welfare Reform
I have just finished reading the latest issue of the National Fatherhood
Initiative (NFI) newsletter, (Fatherhood Today, Winter 996), which has some
very encouraging statements on fathers and welfare reform. I find this of
significance because, if the proposals discussed below are enacted into
law, there will now be two areas where the Federal Government has become
"involved" with domestic relations. The other area is child "support".
We (Father Rights activists) have always been told by the Federal
Government "We can't help you; domestic relations is a matter for the
states to handle".
The following paragraphs summarize the relevant parts of the NFI newsletter.
- - - - - - - - - -Summary - - - - - - - - - - -
There is a long article by NFI's director, Dr. Wade Horn, titled "Fathers
and Welfare Reform; Making Room for Daddy". Dr. Horn makes the following
"To improve the well-being of children in families receiving welfare, more
attention should be focused on that which is missing in about 90 percent of
these families: fathers. But so far, the welfare reform debate has paid
little attention to fathers."
As we all know, the current emphasis is for unwed fathers to declare
paternity so that child "support" can be collected. Dr. Horn argues that
establishing paternity may not translate into economic support because many
of these fathers lack the financial resources. Dr. Horn further argues that
the emphasis on child support may drive fathers away from their children
because these men fear that they will be imprisoned or lose their license
if they get behind on child "support" payments.
For those unwed fathers who want to marry the child(ren)'s mother, Dr. Horn
states that current law prohibits them from doing so because if they marry,
and the father earns a minimum wage, their combined income would decrease
by 30 percent. Dr. Horn states that these laws must change so as to
encourage them to marry and not financially penalize them.
There is also an article in the newsletter by Irene Skriki of the Annie E.
Casey Foundation. For those of you who remember, the Annie E. Casey
Foundation published the "Kids Count Data Book" on or about May of 1995.
Ms. Skriki makes the following statements:
"There has been a growing consensus among people of diverse ideologies that
the involvement of fathers is important in ways beyond just their financial
"Mothers on AFDC must cooperate with authorities in establishing paternity
and child support orders. However, both mothers and fathers may be
reluctant to cooperate, since child support payments after the first $50
are kept by the state as reimbursement for welfare costs. Fathers may
prefer to avoid the system altogether and give support directly to their
Ms. Skriki states that mothers have employment and training programs
available to them. These are not available to fathers. Ms. Skriki argues
that the law must be revised to provide the same opportunities to fathers.
Ms. Skriki concludes by saying "The goal of welfare reform should be to
better the outcomes for children (rather than simply reducing welfare
caseloads and costs) by balancing the needs and strengthening the
involvement of both fathers and mothers with their children.".
The NFI can be contacted at
National Fatherhood Initiative
600 Eden Road, Building E
Lancaster, PA 17601
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