An analysis of data from the U.S. Census has some people in Connecticut worried about what the futures of the state’s children look like. According to the report conducted by the Yankee Institute, the percentage of households led by single mothers in the state has increased by 5 percent over the last decade, from 19 to 24 percent. In addition to the statewide statistics, the Yankee Institute reported that the rate is 50 percent or higher in the following cities: Waterbury, Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven.
Child support, or unpaid child support, may play a central role in whether these single mothers live in poverty or can maintain a middle-class status. With these statistics, this means that nearly a quarter of the state’s children are living without an active father in their lives and some of this is probably due to divorce. Studies suggest that children who do not have a fatherly figure in their lives are more likely to have mental health problems, physical health problems, trouble with the law, and trouble in school and drug usage issues. They are also more likely to live in poverty. This makes the task of being a single mother quite hard, which is likely why so many people respect the plight of the woman raising a child without the father.
Some believe that the dads of Connecticut should try harder to become part of the lives of their children. But the best route to achieving this is unclear. The report notes that the government of Connecticut provides less than $200,000 per year for efforts to make fathers more responsible. Some advocates believe that more should be spent so that fathers can attend classes on parenting, counseling sessions on co-parenting, mentorship programs and cooking classes. Such efforts could instill some fathers with the desire to be more a part of the development of their children.
Source: New Haven Register, “EDITORIAL: Are Connecticut dads doing their part?,” Feb. 5, 2013