Mentors as Fathers

June 10, 2014

Fathers play a critical role in the development and well being of their children. Unfortunately, an increasing number of children live in fatherless households. (This post orignally appeared in the June issue of our Newsletter)

Some alarming statistics from the Department of Justice illustrate issues associated with living in a fatherless household. 

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway youth are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes
  • 71% of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes
  • 70% of youths in institutions are from fatherless homes (Wilson, 1999)

    While an ideal world would include a supportive father for every child, this is sometimes simply impossible. However, a good mentoring relationship can replicate many of the same functions that a father normally provides and can help reduce the negative effects of fatherlessness. Mentors can encourage children to focus on education, and do well in school. They can improve a child’s attitude towards parents, teachers and peers. Moreover, a mentor can provide friendship and emotional support when necessary. 

    Mentoring doesn’t just benefit children.  Mentoring can also serve as an example to parents, inspiring active involvement in the development and growth of their children. The value of mentoring fatherless children isn’t going unnoticed. A number of programs are helping to reduce the harmful effects of fartherlesness through mentoring. 

Mentoring Programs Making a  Difference

Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men

    The Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men aims to stop fatherlessness before it happens. The program combines disadvantaged young African- American men and positive male role models. They program aims to teach positive principles, such as integrity, patience, discipline, and respect, with the goal of creating responsible young men and good future fathers. 


The Mentoring Project

    The Mentoring Project is a movement training mentors to connect with fatherless and at-risk youth. Through workshops, national mentor recruitment, and the creation of sustainable mentoring communities, The Mentoring Project aims to confront the fatherless epidemic. 


Don’t Forget, Fathers Day is June 15th!

Wilson, C. (1999, January 5). What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Justice website: