Four great reasons to support the FATHER Project

In this year’s Minnesota state legislature, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is working to secure funding for the highly successful FATHER Project. See some of the reasons why we think supporting the FATHER Project is a good thing.

The FATHER Project has a 16-year record of leading change to help kids and families in Minnesota. It’s created a way for dads to get what they need to become an essential part of raising happy, healthy kids. Increased income, increased child support payments and better parenting skills get passed on to happier, healthier kids and families.

Here are four important reasons we support the FATHER Project:

1) Kids do better
2) Dads do better
3) Families do better
4) Communities do better

1) Kids do better

Children Who Have an Active Father Figure Have Fewer Psychological and Behavioral problems, enhanced cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language development.

FATHER Project participants become better, more involved, more committed parents. That helps their kids do better. In fact, 915 FATHER Project participants completed their 12-session parenting class during the period from 2011 to 2015. Plus, from 2012 – 2015, 97% of participants report that the FATHER Project has increased their commitment to financially supporting their family.

2) Dads do better

From 2012 to 2015, 620 FATHER Project participants were placed in jobs by the FATHER Project.

From 2010 to 2013, 73 FATHER Project participants received their GEDs at the FATHER Project. Wilder Research estimates that GED holders earn nearly $9,500 more annually than those without GEDs. Using those numbers, those 73 FATHER Project participants are projected to earn an additional $10,147,420 in their lifetimes.

3) Families do better

FATHER Project participants become better, more committed parents, which is great for their families. They also pay their child support more regularly, which helps their families. In Dakota County, for example, FATHER Project participant’s child support payments went from 36% in 2013 to 66% in 2014.

Plus, Higher levels of father involvement with their children (i.e., eating meals together, going on outings, helping with homework) are associated with fewer behavior problems, higher levels of sociability, and a high level of school performance among children and adolescents.

4) Communities do better

Participants in the FATHER Project program get jobs and have higher incomes – which means they pay more taxes and reduce the assistance they need from government programs.

In fact, a Wilder study determined that for every dollar spent on the program, the combined total Return on Investment was $3.41. That includes things like additional revenue in taxes for the state, reduced recidivism and increased child support payments.

Sign up for updates on our 2016 legislative initiatives and help us support the FATHER Project.

Meet Guy Bowling, Workforce Development Manager for the FATHER Project.

Guy Bowling

Sign up to receive updates on our progress during this year’s legislative session

Attend Disability Tuesday at the Capitol on April 19.

Read our 3-part series on why we advocate:

part I: Goodwill-Easter Seals’ efforts at the state Capitol.

part II: How we Involve our participants in the advocacy process.

part III: Our 2016 advocacy objectives.