Studies have shown that it is not only crucial for a father to be physically in the home but to also remain engaged with the family. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative:
“Children from father-absent homes are two to four times more likely to be poor, use drugs, be obese, drop out of school, be abused or neglected, or suffer from emotional and behavioral problems than their peers living in two-parent homes. For example: Girls from father-absent homes are 7 times more likely to become pregnant as teens Children from father-absent homes are twice as likely to drop out of school Therefore, one sure-fire way to address some of the toughest social problems we are facing is to ensure that fathers are connected to their children.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services:
“Children living in female-headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over four times the rate of children in married-couple families (10.9 percent).”
The National Center for Fathering states that
“Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.”
Sources: http://www.fathers.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=391 • The Lancet, Jan. 25, 2003 • Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, MD, Centre for Epidemiology, the National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden • Irwin Sandler, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe • Douglas G. Jacobs, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and founder and director, The National Depression Screening Program • Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH, professor of child psychiatry and public health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University; and research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute. http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030123/absent-parent-doubles-child-suicide-risk.
These statistics only scratch the surface of the devastating effects of fathers not remaining engaged with their children. The ancillary effects upon local communities and national welfare programs is staggering. The volunteers of High Country Ministries have experienced real-life examples of fathers not being fully equipped to effectively engage with their families – spouse and children alike. The mission of High Country Ministries is to provide environments where individuals and families can be encouraged and mentored in their relationships with one another and God through challenging outdoor activities.
Examples of activities that support our mentoring environments are: Family camping trips Spring and fall father & son/daughter hunting/fishing trips Men’s retreats preformed throughout the year Hiking trips Each of these activities will have specific times focused on specific aspects of fathering.
These aspects will be aimed at enriching that family experience, addressing many of the root-cause issues that lead fathers to leave the home thus having a positive impact on the decrease of single family homes.