Sunday, June 19, 2011


Mayor Bloomberg wants low-income fathers to step up and be good dads - and the city is willing to help.
Classes on changing diapers are available for dads at New York City homeless shelters. And probation officers are being urged to quiz recently sprung prisoners about their relationships with their children.
The Human Resources Administration even recently released a rap song urging young fathers to care for their tots.
The multiagency campaign is part of Bloomberg's year-long effort to make New York "father friendly," according to a report released yesterday by City Hall.
"We know when fathers are actively involved, we are going to see children who are thriving, more likely to succeed, less likely to end up in the criminal justice systems or have children of their own too young," said Alan Farrell, head of NYC Dads - the mayor's fatherhood initiative.
In New York, about 33% of children live in fatherless homes. For blacks and Hispanics, the figure is closer to 50%. Studies show that kids who grow up with absent fathers are more likely to drop out of high school and land in prison.
That's why last Father's Day Bloomberg hired Farrell and charged a dozen agencies with coming up with ways to get low-income dads involved in their kids' lives despite challenges like previous jail time or unemployment.
The city is also celebrating dads who do the right thing.
Bloomberg and New York Knicks baller Carmelo Anthony honored 10 fathers Thursday night at a Gracie Mansiongathering. City officials called them role models for their kids.
"We are saying, we found 10 and we are sure there are many others," Farrell said.
One of those dads was John Gallagher, 50, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, a single father of two teenagers. One of his kids is a diabetic and the other has ADHD.
The recognition was humbling.
"It's definitely been a struggle," Gallagher said.

No comments:

Post a Comment