First Gentleman: Great dads are involved in kids' lives
Keynote address honors Responsible Fatherhood Awareness Month
February 16, 2007
LANSING - Michigan's First Gentleman Dan Mulhern today said the best investment fathers can make in their children's lives is to be involved in their children's daily activities. Mulhern spoke at an open house showcasing fatherhood programming across the state in honor of Responsible Fatherhood Awareness Month.
"Good dads are involved dads," Mulhern said. "As fathers, the best contribution we can make to our children is time - being present in their lives day in and day out."
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm proclaimed February as Responsible Fatherhood Awareness Month to highlight to the critical role that fathers play in their children's lives.
Through the Proud Fathers-Proud Parents program, the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides funds for community agencies to deliver programming about responsible male parenting and other services designed to promote healthy marriages and co-parenting efforts. The program will disburse about $1 million in federal TANF funds in fiscal year 2007 to 22 counties. The agencies were invited to use the open house to showcase their programs and make more people aware of the learning opportunities in their communities.
"Fathers provide a critical influence in their children's lives," DHS Director Marianne Udow said. "Outcomes for children are greatly improved with an active, involved father. Whether parents live together or not, they are connected by their concern and care for their children."
Proud Fathers provides 14 weeks of group-based instruction for fathers or other male caregivers of children who qualify for TANF services. Proud Parents offers a 10-week, group-based program designed for married or unmarried couples. Both programs stress the importance of nurturing relationships between parents and children as well as family self-sufficiency. In 2006, 297 parents in 19 counties participated in the two programs.
"Children with involved parents are healthier, succeed in school, and become involved parents themselves," said Duane Wilson, the Proud Fathers-Proud Parents program coordinator. "Our programs help men find healthy, positive ways to interact with their children and become the best dads they can be."
For more information go to www.michigan.gov/dhs