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Father's involvement is vital, from birth through teen years

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Father and two young children hugging in the park

It may seem simple really. Just a name on a form. But babies whose fathers are identified on their birth certificate have a much better chance of surviving that first precious year of life compared to their peers, research reveals.

And that’s only the beginning.

The statistical connection between father involvement and child development, while often underplayed in our society, is startling. A father’s impact touches every aspect of a child’s life: health, safety, happiness, and success in school and in relationships.


  • Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor than their peers.
  • Infants without a father’s name on their birth certificate are 2.3 times more likely to die in the first year of life compared to their peers.
  • Living in a single-parent home doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional or educational neglect.
  • Children in father-absent homes are 1.6 to 1.8 times more likely to use tobacco and are 1.5 to 1.9 times more likely to use alcohol.
  • Teens without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant.
  • Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Click here for more insight on the importance of dads and for tips on how to become a more involved father from the National Fatherhood Initiative.

You also can learn about Community Voice, a grassroots program that uses community volunteers, including men and fathers, in targeted ZIP codes to reduce black infant mortality rates through health education.

The Father Factor, from the National Fatherhood Initiative

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For a listing of all resources, click here.
Additional Resources
  • Organization Name

    National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

    This federally funded national resource is for fathers, practitioners, programs/Federal grantees, states, and the public at-large who are serving or interested in supporting strong fathers and families. The website, Fatherhood.gov, offers information, programs and activities for families.

  • Organization Name

    United Way of Palm Beach County

    Mentor Center — support and services for mentoring organizations, as well as mentor matches

  • Organization Name

    Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County & Treasure Coast

    Community Voice — grassroots program with volunteers who share health information to reduce black infant mortality rates

  • Organization Name

    Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County

    Positive Parenting Program, known as Triple P, offers free seminars and one-on-one guidance to help families improve the parent-child relationship

  • Organization Name

    Community Partners

    Positive Parenting Program, known as Triple P — free seminars and one-on-one guidance to help families improve their parent-child relationships

  • Organization Name

    BRIDGES of Palm Beach County

    Ten neighborhood hubs help parents raise children healthy, safe and strong

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