It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.


The number of boys growing up without fathers in their lives has reached epidemic proportions...


The Magnitude

High rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have created a generation of fatherless boys...
  • One in three children are born to unmarried parents. [i]
  • An estimated 24.7 million children do not live with their biological father. [ii]
  • 43% of urban teens live away from their father. [iii]
  • 42% of fathers fail to see their children at all after divorce. [iv]
  • Since 1960 the rate of U.S. boys without fathers has quadrupled. [v]
  • 1 in 6 black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, 1 in 3 black males born today will spend time in prison in his lifetime. [vi]



A recent Newsweek article “The Trouble with Boys” states “one of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school rests on a single question: does he have a man in his life to look up to? Too often, the answer is no.”
  • 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [vii]
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [viii]
  • 80% of rapists with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [ix]
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [x]
  • Gang membership increased from 50,000 in 1975 to 1,150,000 in 2008. [xi]
  • 90% of homeless children are from fatherless homes. [xii]
  • 85% of children with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [xiii]
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [xiv]
  • Fatherless boys are 4 times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [xv]

The Financial Cost

The cost of corrections in the United States to tax payers is staggering.
  • 5% of the adult male population is in or has been in prison, costing taxpayers $75 billion a year[xvii]
  • The prison incarceration rate more than quadrupled since 1975. [xvi]
  • A boy leaving high school to enter into a life of crime or drug abuse can cost his community $1.7–$2.3 million in his lifetime. [xviii]


[i]Youthviews, Gallup Youth Survey 4 (June, 1997)
[ii] National Fatherhood Initiative, Father Facts, (3rd Edition): 5
[iii] Youthviews, Gallup Youth Survey 4 (June, 1997)
[iv] Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. and Christine Winguist Nord, “Parenting Apart,” Journal of Marriage and the Family
[v] U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007. Households and Families, Historical Statistics
[vi] Criminal Justice Fact Sheet. NAACP 2011
[vii] Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992
[viii] National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools
[ix] Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978
[x] US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
[xi] National Youth Gang Center
[xii] U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
[xiii] Center for Disease Control
[xiv] Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985
[xv] US D.H.H.S. news release
[xvi] Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? Raphael Goldman School of Public Policy 2008
[xvii] The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration. Schmitt, Warner, Gupta, June 2010
[xviii] Cohen’s The monetary value of saving a high-risk youth, Journal of Quantitative Criminology