Failing Our Fathers

Ronald B. Mincy, Monique Jethwani-Keyser, Serena Klempin


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AutoriusRonald B. Mincy, Monique Jethwani-Keyser, Serena Klempin
Leidimo metai2015

Maligned as <"deadbeat dads>" or sexually and financially irresponsible, inner-city fathers and overlooked in discussions of poverty and family policy, economically vulnerable nonresident fathers are a greatly misunderstood population. Failing our Fathers summarizes the most recent rigorous and ethnographic research and fills in important gaps with new analyses. The result is a comprehensive picture of who these fathers are, what types of relationships they have with their
families and children, and the challenges they face meeting what they, taxpayers and their children and families expect from them. The book argues that in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 Great Mancession, nearly 6 million - almost one of every eleven - men will be unable to provide financial and other kinds of
support for their children who live elsewhere. This population is far larger than the inner city, unmarried, Black and Latino men who have been the focus of the debate on disadvantaged fathers. Because so few could reduce the child support obligations that built up during the mass unemployment and incarceration over the previous two decades, they have long-term debts, which they may never be able to pay. Nevertheless, they play active roles as friends, mentors, educators, and disciplinarians
for their children and they want to do more. However, they face several challenges, including: time and distance, new family obligations, contentious relationships with children's mothers - who just as often have new partners and children of their own - and personal problems with drugs, alcohol and
past or present jail time. Besides requiring these fathers to support their children, we must enable them to do so in ways that parallel how we require and enable vulnerable single mothers to do the same. The book lays out specific reforms required to do this and practical tips for those who are Fathering without Means.

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