As we roll into another Wisconsin summer, it is again the time that we traditionally thank fathers for their positive contributions to their family and society as a whole. Governor Walker has issued a proclamation recognizing Father’s Day, celebrated this year on June 19th, and the important commitment Dads make every day in the lives of their children, whether they are biological, step, foster or adopted. Fathers are there to support and discipline kids, teach them right from wrong, throw around a ball or tell a bedtime story, take them to school or a clinic, and simply to provide love and guidance.
Being a father who is present and actively engaged, both physically and emotionally, in your children’s lives is one of the most important things a man can do to look out for your children’s future well-being. All it takes is a simple investment of time, and your children will thank you for the rest of their lives.
Your influence has other cumulative effects as well. According to the U.S. Census, about one-third of American children live in a home without a father, around 15 million kids. These children have been found to be more at risk of developing emotional, educational and physical problems. But children who have a strong relationship with their father are less likely to use drugs, exhibit violent actions, or take part in in other anti-social behaviors. Children with actively engaged fathers in their lives are more likely to complete their education, go on to higher learning, and achieve success in the workforce.
Studies show that the positive influences of family and marriage, and the structure of a stable home environment set the groundwork for children’s future success. Having a loving home with two parents who provide for their needs is a cornerstone, which is why the role of fathers is so vital to society. Dads who are involved in the life process of raising and providing for their offspring help set examples as good role models. To enhance family values, it’s important that parents have the means to provide for their children by being able to work and ensure kids receive quality care, education, nutrition, and nurturing.
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is working to re-focus structured public assistance programs to address the needs of the entire family, while additionally considering the role of fathers. Some of our efforts include the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program, the Fatherhood Initiative Project, and the Supporting Parents Supporting Kids Program. Through these programs, and many others, DCF is connecting fathers with the resources needed to gain the work and social skills they need to be positive role models for their families.
As we honor fathers this June ― as well as throughout the entire year ― let’s remember the importance of the role you play in creating a foundation for success in your children’s lives, and we as a society must remember the importance of the role that we play in empowering you to be the best father that you can be.
Secretary Eloise Anderson
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families