Working with fathers and families for over ten years 2NOT1 recognized the need to get resources to fathers. Once a year 2NOT1 hosts an annual fatherhood conference. In 2016, 2NOT1 will transition from a conference to a young father’s summit. The intent is to provide some of the same resources as before, but also provide additional services specifically for young fathers.
The national statistics for fatherhood include 72.2 % of the U.S. population, view fatherlessness as the most significant family or social problem facing America (National Center for Fathering, Fathering in America Poll, January, 1999), an estimated 23.6 million children (32.3 percent) live absent their biological father ( U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Survey Reports. "Household Relationship and Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years, by Age, Sex, Race, Hispanic Origin: 2004), Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39 percent (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers (Nord, Christine Winquist, and Jerry West. Fathers' and Mothers' Involvement in their Children's Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. Table 1. (NCES 2001-032). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, 2001), and the local landscape mirrors the picture painted by the rest of the country. However, I see a change coming, a natural progression taking shape that puts men back in their role as fathers to their children.
This work through collaboration and partnerships has allowed 2NOT1 to flourish over the years. Due to the success of these relationships fathers now have avenues to travel for training, support, and advocacy, while fatherhood practitioners now have a vehicle to help facilitate their efforts.
This young father’s summit is a way to showcase the progress we are making as a team, so thank you for being a team player. As this year wraps up and the next one follows I look forward to continuing to patch the potholes left by the void of fathers not in the lives of their children.