Dads Matter Too! Aims To Strengthen Families

Sep 20, 2013

Credit Emily Bell / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Children and Families has organized an event this Sunday in Waterbury called Dads Matter Too!, an opportunity for fathers to enjoy a fun day with their children, and a chance to celebrate the role dads play in their child's life.

The day starts with a 5k road race at 9:10 am, followed by a fun run for the kids, and at 11:00 am, a one mile father/child walk.

Anthony Gay, a social work supervisor for DCF, and one of the organizers of Dads Matter Too!, said while there will lots of fun free stuff for kids to do, there is a very important reason for this event. "Regardless of whether the family is intact," Gay said, "non-custodial fathers still being involved with their children, they have better outcomes across the board." 

Thirty-three percent of American children live apart from their fathers. According to DCF, children who have absent fathers are more likely to be impoverished, experience behavioral problems, use drugs, and engage in criminal activity. Most non-custodial fathers go the extra mile to stay in their child's life, but Anthony Gay said far too often, circumstances cause a father and child to drift apart. "It could be the adversarial relationship between the father and the mother that's the biggest barrier that we see," said Gay, "but there's also custody issues and child support issues as well."

Sunday's event aims to bring fathers and their children together for a day of fun, while dads learn more about services from DCF and other resources to inform and empower them to be strong role models for their children. Sunday's Dads Matter Too! event gets underway at 8:00 am in Waterbury's Library Park.