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YOU Fathers: WE NEED YOU in Education! Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator West Virginia Parent-Educator Resource Center (PERC) Project Office of Special.

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Presentation on theme: "YOU Fathers: WE NEED YOU in Education! Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator West Virginia Parent-Educator Resource Center (PERC) Project Office of Special."— Presentation transcript:

1 YOU Fathers: WE NEED YOU in Education! Betsy Peterson, Parent Coordinator West Virginia Parent-Educator Resource Center (PERC) Project Office of Special Education * West Virginia Department of Education April 21, 2006

2 Fathers have a unique and crucial role in child development. The advantages of nurturing father/child bonds include schools success, healthy self-esteem, mental health and avoidance of drug use, to name a few. Horn (2002)

3 Think about this school year…….. What activities have you participated in with your child (children) recently?

4 Facts about Fatherhood An estimated 24.7 million children (36.3%) live absent from their biological father. There are almost 17 million children (25%) living with their single mothers million or 32% of all births in 1995 were out-of- wedlock. Today nearly 4 out of 10 first marriages end in divorce, 60% of divorcing couples have children, and over one million children each year experience the divorce of their parents. One out of every six children is a stepchild. There are nearly 1.9 million single fathers with children under 18.

5 More Facts about Fatherhood 26% of absent fathers live in a different state than their children. About 40% of the children who live in fatherless households haven't seen their fathers in at least a year while 50% of children who don't live with their fathers have never stepped foot in their father's home. Children who live absent from their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor, experience educational, health, emotional and psychological problems, be victims of child abuse, and engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological mother and father.

6 A New Wave of Evidence Family Strengthening Policy Center-December 2005 Students whose fathers are involved in their lives: Perform better in school (especially sons); Complete more years of school; Have fewer behavioral problems (from acting out to delinquency); Have better cognitive and psychosocial development; Are less likely to drink, use drugs and initiate sex; Have the skills to take initiative and control of themselves; Experience less poverty.

7 General Research Findings James A. Levine, The Fatherhood Project Fathers participation enhances children's ability to make choices and solve problems. One of the best predictors of whether kids succeed academically is the fathers involvement. When a father shows an interest in a child's schoolwork, the fathers values are clearly communicated to his child. Teachers take notice when fathers show up. The whole support system around the child gets more engaged.

8 At Issue At Issue : WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF THEIR NATURAL FATHERS Compared to children in male-headed traditional families where their natural parents are married to each other, children living in female-headed single- parent, lesbian or other environments where they are deprived of their natural fathers are: 1. Eight times more likely to go to prison. 2. Five times more likely to commit suicide. 3. Twenty times more likely to have behavioral problems. 4. Twenty times more likely to become rapists times more likely to run away. 6. Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances. 7. Nine times more likely to drop out of high school times more likely to be seriously abused times more likely to be fatally abused. 10. One-tenth as likely to get A's in school. 11. On average have a 44% higher mortality rate. 12. On average have a 72% lower standard of living. 1. Eight times more likely to go to prison. 2. Five times more likely to commit suicide. 3. Twenty times more likely to have behavioral problems. 4. Twenty times more likely to become rapists times more likely to run away. 6. Ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances. 7. Nine times more likely to drop out of high school times more likely to be seriously abused times more likely to be fatally abused. 10. One-tenth as likely to get A's in school. 11. On average have a 44% higher mortality rate. 12. On average have a 72% lower standard of living.

9 Fatherless Homes Breed Violence According to a publication called Getting Men Involved: The Newsletter of the Bay Area Male Involvement Network,, Spring 1997: 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control) 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p , 1978.) 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.) 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all Gods Children.) 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988) 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)

10 Effects of Fatherlessness (US Data) 1) BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS/ RUNAWAYS/ HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS/CHEMICAL ABUSERS/ SUICIDES 2) JUVENILE DELINQUENCY/ CRIME/ GANGS 3) TEENAGE PREGNANCY 4) CHILD ABUSE 5) POVERTY 6) KIDNAPPING

11 Educational Achievement In studies involving over 25,000 children using nationally representative data sets, children who lived with their mother had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poor attendance records, and higher drop out rates than students who lived with a mother and a father. School children from families without a father are absent more, are more anxious, hostile, and withdrawn, and are less popular with their peers than those from intact families.

12 Family Disruption Increases Dropout Rates

13 Social Effects of Lack of a Fathers Influence on Girls: Adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 years reared in homes without fathers are significantly more likely to engage in premarital sex than adolescent females reared in homes with both a mother and a father. A survey of 720 teenage girls found: –76% said that their fathers were very or somewhat influential on their decision to have sex. A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.

14 Fathering IQ Test How well do you know your child and what their world is like? To find out, take this Fathering IQ Test. 1.Have I met my childs teacher and principal this year? Yes / No 2.Do I know the names of my childs best friends? Yes / No 3.Do I know my childs favorite subjects at school? Yes / No 4.Do I know my childs grades from their last report card? Yes / No 5.Do I know what my child likes least about school? Yes / No 6.Have I visited my childs classroom this year? Yes / No 7.Have I eaten lunch with my child at school this year? Yes / No 8.Have I helped my child with homework or read to them this week?Yes No 9.Have I praised my child today?Yes / No 10.Have I participated in a fun activity with my child this week? Yes / No

15 Barriers to Fathers Involvement Some men see work at school as womens work Schools do not always welcome Dads Parent groups are often skewed toward mothers Many fathers work and are unable to attend school functions during the day There are few opportunities for nonresident fathers to participate in their childs education Many fathers dont know what to do in a school setting Lack of transportation.

16 Group Activity Identify the barriers to father involvement that you have experienced in your parenting career. What keeps you from initiating, sustaining, or increasing levels of involvement in the education of your children?

17 What CAN I do to be more involved? 1.Read with your children 2.Establish a routine that the children can look forward to 3.Attend Parent-Teacher conferences 4.Volunteer at school 5.Join the parent group at school 6.Pitch in to help meet school and program needs 7.Become involved in community activities with your children 8.Take time for family outings

18 DADS HOMEWORK: Read a short story, Readers Digest article, or essay to your kids. Have your child read to you, or take turns reading a narrative where you can use a variety of voices for the characters. With an older child, read a newspaper article or editorial and discuss it. For non-custodial dads, get a copy of a book that your child is reading in school. Read it on your own and be ready to ask your child some questions about it. Or, read it with your child over the phone. Put an I love and appreciate you because... note in your childs lunch box or book bag. Visit your childs school at least once this month. Write an encouraging note or to your childs teacher(s). Learn the names and something about your childs 3 best friends.

19 Resources for Fathers West Virginia Department of Education West Virginia Parent-Educator Resource Center (PERC) Project Institute for Responsive Education National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) Annie E. Casey Foundation National Fatherhood Initiative FINE Network ml The National Center for Fathering

20 Resources for Fathers, continued All Pro Dad Family Man US Department of Health and Human Services National Center on Fathers and Families

21 Thanks for your time!! Betsy Peterson __________________________________________________ Parent Coordinator Office of Special Education West Virginia Department of Education Building 6, Room Kanawha Boulevard East Charleston, WV (304) (800) Fax: (304)


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