The First Father: Perspectives on the President's Fatherhood Initiative
Family Court Review, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 297–309, April 2012
13 Pages Posted: 27 May 2012 Last revised: 4 Mar 2013
Date Written: April 20, 2012
This short article presents an analysis of the thirteen-year-old President's Fatherhood Initiative utilized by the executive branch to tackle the problem of absent fathers in America. It argues that this social policy attempts to recapture the economic incentives central to the controversial Moynihan Report of 1965, emphasizing patriarchal and classist solutions to America's family crisis. The programs instituted by the Fatherhood Initiative stigmatize black and brown fathers and fail to address underlying government policy issues that impact their ability to be present and financially supportive in their children's lives. The programs still emphasize the marriage dyad as a cure-all rather than seeking to support the various family forms that exist today, calling into question whether the Fatherhood Initiative has contributed to the improvement of children's well-being.
Keywords: fatherhood initiative, responsible fatherhood, marriage, child well-being, family, incarcerated parents, President, Moynihan Report, Obama, Clinton, Bush, child well-being
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