TOMMY G. THOMPSON
For Immediate Release - August 27, 1998
Contact: Kevin Keane (608) 266-8110 or Gene Kussart (608) 261-4576
GOVERNOR LAUNCHES NEW FATHERHOOD INITIATIVE
Milwaukee - Gov. Tommy G. Thompson today unveiled the Wisconsin Fatherhood Initiative, a comprehensive effort to encourage fathers to be dads to their children.
The governor named Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Sal Bando chairman of the new initiative, which will coordinate new and existing programs to encourage more fathers to financially and emotionally support their children.
"Our children need their fathers to get a good start on life," Gov. Thompson said. "The Fatherhood Initiative will encourage fathers to be good dads to their children throughout their lives."
Gov. Thompson said his Fatherhood Initiative will:
"Strong fathers make strong families - and strong families make a strong Wisconsin," the governor said. "The entire community has a stake in supporting responsible fatherhood."
Gov. Thompson and Bando were joined by the president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, clinical child psychologist, author and lecturer Wade Horn, at todays announcement at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Horn announced that his organization plans to open its first state chapter anywhere in Wisconsin.
The governor noted that a recent study found that 14 to 22 year-old young men raised in homes without fathers are twice as likely to be jailed as their peers who grow up in traditional, two-parent households. "Research confirms what many of us have known for a long time: dads make a real difference," he said.
Almost 75 percent of children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11 years old, compared with 20 percent of children in two-parent families. A 1991 study showed that for children in mother-only families, just one child in six saw his or her father in the past year.
Gov. Thompson said the National Fatherhood Initiative will provide a clearinghouse for effective programs, resources and funding.