In this post, I combine the third article from "The Father Factor" series by The Atlantic and The Deseret News, with today's announcement from President Obama of a program called "My Brother's Keeper" which is designed to bolster the lives of young minority men.
The Father Factor article discusses whether welfare programs should pay more attention to dads. It describes a situation that is all too common. Children are being raised in poverty conditions without their fathers but possibly with the boyfriends of their mothers. The welfare system helps but does not repair these families. Their offspring are destined to repeat the scenario.
The president's “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative "will bring foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies to support such young men, taking steps to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system". It is aimed mostly at the black community where the problem is most out of control.
I'm hopeful something positive comes out of the Brother's Keeper program! While welfare will always be with us, it is a patch, very expensive, and not an answer to our social issues. In 1950, only 4% of children were born outside of marriage. Today that percentage is around 41%! Educating, mentoring, and preparing young men (and women) to be responsible is the only way we can stop the cycle of despair we see growing by leaps and bounds. Otherwise, we will be stuck in a spiraling welfare nation and deteriorating society.