Elections 2016 Candidates’ policy positions that directly address families.

Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Supporting Families

With the focus during this presidential race on Obamacare, immigration reform, terrorism, and the economy, it’s not surprising that the leading Republican and Democratic candidates have had little to say about what they would do to support strong families. Moreover, the media haven’t been particularly interested in what the candidates would do once elected to build and maintain what is arguably the most important institution in American culture.


Given my role as president of National Fatherhood Initiative, you might not be surprised that I’m concerned by this lack of attention. I became further concerned as I watched the results roll in during the Iowa caucus. That’s because Ted Cruz‘ win on the Republican side was helped greatly by Iowa Republicans’ desire to vote for a candidate who shares their values. There’s no doubt that Iowans — Republicans and Democrats — have long-shared the value of promoting strong families. The issue — which was certainly more prominent in the last election cycle — has been lost on pretty much everyone except, of course, the people who matter most — voters.

To be fair, I’m convinced that each of the leading candidates believes in the importance of supporting families. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say. And I have no doubt they’d go about supporting families a bit differently. So I decided to conduct a review of the five leading candidates’ stands on promoting strong families and, most importantly, how they would help build and maintain strong families if elected. I not only wanted to know for myself where they stand. I wanted to help you and others who care about this issue to be better informed when deciding who will get your vote.

To conduct my review, I went straight to today’s political version of the horse’s mouth — the candidates’ “for president” websites. While acknowledging that some positions each of the candidates has articulated might indirectly strengthen families — such as policies to get more Americans working — I looked for policy positions that directly address strengthening families.

The Republicans

  • Ted Cruz seeks to “restore a culture of life, marriage, and family.” Unfortunately, Mr. Cruz offers nothing substantive on how he would restore that culture. His website simply touts his record on family planning (primarily his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood), anti-abortion legislation, and strengthening marriage.
  • Donald Trump says absolutely nothing about strengthening families. Period.
  • Marco Rubio offers the most substantive, detailed position on strengthening families among the leading Republicans. Mr. Rubio would seek to reform the tax code to treat parents fairly with, for example, a new $2,500 per child tax credit. He would seek to increase the availability of 4 to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for new parents upon the birth of a child, to care for ailing parents, for seriously ill employees, and for military families. He would pay for this leave through tax incentives for businesses that offer such leave rather than through legislative mandate. And he would promote marriage by allowing states to use federal anti-poverty funding for programs that use marriage as a means to lift families out of poverty.

The Democrats

  • Hilary Clinton‘s efforts to strengthen families would rest on guaranteeing paid family and medical leave. Specifically, Ms. Clinton would like to see up to 12 weeks of paid family leave under most of the same conditions as Mr. Rubio — leave for new parents, for those caring for elderly parents, and for seriously ill employees. She would pay for the cost with increased taxes on the wealthy to avoid burdening businesses with the cost.
  • Bernie Sanders position also rests on guaranteeing up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for the same reasons as Ms. Clinton. In contrast to Ms. Clinton and Mr. Rubio, he would pay for it through an insurance-style program that would be funded by a deduction from workers’ paychecks. Given that he likens it to Social Security, I assume workers would not be able to opt out of this deduction.

Depending on whether you tend to look at the proverbial glass as half full or half empty, you might be encouraged that three of the leading candidates would seek to implement reforms that would directly strengthen families. On the other hand, you might be discouraged that two of them have chosen not to address this important institution with specific reforms. Either way, I hope this post has given you a little more information to chew on as you decide which candidate to support. And maybe, just maybe, the candidates will have more to say on this issue as the campaign moves on to New Hampshire and beyond.

FatherSource Email Sign UpThis post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

Christopher A. Brown discusses the presidential candidates and where they stand on supporting families in his latest post.

Source: Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Supporting Families

Be Good to Yourself. You’ll Be Better to Your Kids.

Emotional burnout is a consistent concern for parents, but the added pressures of a hectic holiday season can make things worse. With a new year beginning, it’s a perfect time for fathers to regroup and remember to take care of yourselves, so you can be the best possible parent for your children.

What the NFL Can Teach You About Fatherhood Programming

As we wind down another NFL season and get ready to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl, there’s a vital lesson for efforts to implement fatherhood programs. The lesson comes from an unlikely source: the link between the salaries made by NFL players and their play time. Does that link seem odd? Stay with me for a moment.

8 Ways an Involved Father Helps His Child

Father absence has many negative consequences for children, which is why we, at NFI, often often talk aboutThe Father Absence Crisis in America. But, what about the benefits of an involved dad? Well, we definitely focus on that, too.

Time and again, practitioners have told us that they would like a tool they can share with their clients (both moms and dads) that focuses on the benefits of an involved father. In this post, I’ll show you eight ways an involved father helps his child, and get you up close and personal with our newest brochure entitled The Importance of an Involved FatherSide note: We think every leader reading this post should have this brochure in their office to help fathers and families!

Free Tool Helps You Be a Better Dad [Google Play App]

In my almost four years of working at National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), I’ve learned that every dad struggles with being a great dad. Often, us dads make connecting with our children too complicated. We think we have to plan some major vacation or spend a fortune. We’re lying to ourselves. What if we could simply change our fathering habits? This tool can help.

NFI’s Top 5 Blog Posts of 2015

We love blogging. Apparently, you love us blogging. We had a lot of traffic, shares, and comments on our posts this year. We pulled our top five blog posts of 2015 and think you will enjoy going down memory lane with us. It’s been a fun year. Thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting on our content.

Here are our top-performing posts of 2015…

The Top 5 Leadership Books I Read in 2015

One of my goals for 2015 was to read one book per month. In working toward my goal, I fell in love with reading again. I read over 20 books this year. I haven’t read that much since seminary. My top five books include a mix of business, marketing, and fatherhood. Basically, they all fit under leadership. Here we go…

Research to Application: Planning Prompts

Sometimes the simplest changes can have a big impact. Such is the case with planning prompts, which involve prompting people to plan when they’ll follow through on and engage in a beneficial behavior.

Why Involving Fathers in Child Welfare Cases is a Matter of Ethics

Involving fathers in child welfare cases is a matter of ethics for child welfare workers, so say researchers who recently completed a study of fathers involved with the child welfare system in the San Francisco Bay area. National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) can help workers meet this ethical challenge.

The study involved focus groups with 37 fathers that concluded child welfare workers had difficulty connecting with fathers because of the different cultural backgrounds of workers and fathers. The study also concluded that female workers in particular had difficulty relating to fathers because of their different gender and fathers’ socioeconomic status (i.e. fathers’ disenfranchised status).

14 Critical Issues to Discuss With Moms

I’ve been been married over 12 years. I get it. It takes two people, working their butts off, to make this parenting thing work. The end-goal has to be the child’s best interest. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Especially if mom and dad aren’t married…or even “together”.

You, the fatherhood leader, know this all too well. If mom isn’t on board with dad being involved, his hands seem to be tied. The most well-meaning dad can only do so much if mom isn’t willing to come half-way.

So, the biggest questions become: How do I convince a mother to allow the father to be more involved? How can I talk about dad being involved when mom seems so angry at dad? How do I talk with a mom who can’t seem to say one nice thing about the father of their children?

To help answer these questions, we’ve created a new resource for practitioners working with families to discuss 14 critical issues with moms around involving dads. It’s a tool that helps practitioners feel equipped and confident to talk with moms about the tough issues of relationships and parenting. Let’s talk about it…

The Four C’s of Parenting [Infographic]

Being a parent is a huge undertaking that requires sacrifice, time management, and an incredible amount of responsibility.

It goes without saying that parenting is a challenging and, on more than one occasion, overwhelming job.

With so many resources available to parents, it’s difficult to know where to look or what advice to believe or adhere to.

How to Raise a Resilient Child

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

The discussion today around parenting often centers on “helicopter parents,” those parents who hover over every aspect of their children’s lives to such an extent that they organize and monitor every minute of their children’s lives. As a result, their children have little or no space to explore the world on their own and learn how to effectively navigate life’s challenges from one of life’s great teachers — learning from failure.

How Can I Keep My Teen Safe with Their New Smartphone?

If you’re a dad or serve dads of teens, they already have a smartphone of their own or have been asking for many months, hoping to join the digital, always connected generation with their own iPhone or Android phone. Kudos to them, but not so fast, because while children eagerly insist that they’re ready for adult responsibilities, they really aren’t, cognitively or emotionally, and that includes the serious responsibility of having a tiny computer in their pocket.

How to Raise a Charitable Child

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post.

What’s the secret to raising a charitable child? It’s simple. Talk to them about charitable giving.

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afla2016

Goals of the Fathers' Rights Movement The fathers' rights movement arose in response to the perception that fathers were not being given equal treatment in child custody litigation. Fathers' advocacy groups typically to focus upon some or all of the following beliefs: A "traditional" division of parental roles during a marriage should not of itself mean that the father should not be considered as a custodian following divorce; Children are best served by being in the care of both parents, and thus there should be a legal presumption of joint physical custody and equal parenting time following divorce; Fathers are at a disadvantage throughout the entire custody litigation process. Fathers' rights groups assert that changes of this nature will create a family court environment where both parents are treated fairly and equally, and diminish the effects of legislation and, in some cases, of judicial bias which favors the mother. Fathers' rights groups also typically point to studies which show that the absence of a father from a child's life can lead to a wide variety of negative behavioral and educational consequences. Because We’re Not Asking You To Make A Career Out Of This Cause. We’re just asking you to show your kids and everyone else what it means to have the integrity to stand up for others and do what’s right; regardless of your personal circumstances. We’re asking you to make a powerful point by speaking with what you do; not with what you say you’ll do. Are you with us? The BEST Parent is BOTH Parents JOIN US~~> www.causes.com/AFLA JOIN US~~> www.causes.com/causes/804504-american-fathers-rights-afla

9 thoughts on “Elections 2016 Candidates’ policy positions that directly address families.”

  1. Every child deserves an involved dad.

    Many people are surprised at the research which shows a connection between father absence and an increase in social problems in America including: poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, physical abuse, suicide, substance and alcohol abuse and a host of other troubling social problems. The sad fact is that not only does father absence hurt children, fathers suffer as well.

    Developing positive relationships with their children encourages and motivates fathers to lead more constructive lives, even in the most difficult of circumstances. For instance, the simple act of regularly writing to their children from prison improves outcomes for incarcerated fathers, including increasing their odds of training for, finding, and keeping a job once they reenter society. Evidence shows that fathers who write to their children once a week have a lower risk of violence in prison and recidivism when released. These positive outcomes are multiplied when we study the impact on the children of inmates, and how father contact can change the trend of their children’s lives – even while the father is still incarcerated.

    In addition, research and experience tell us that there is a strong correlation between lack of father involvement and many larger social challenges. Sadly, trends are against us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, in a study that investigated these trends, 2006 – 2010, “fewer fathers now live with their children” over the period studied. Reasons for this depressing trend include incarceration, non-marital childbearing and other factors.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America, one out of three children in America, now live in biological father-absent homes. Furthermore, according to the national surveys conducted by NFI, 9 in 10 parents believe there is a father absence crisis in America.

    This study, an excellent resource on the impact of father-child involvement, also describes how “increased involvement of fathers in their children’s lives has been associated with a range of positive outcomes for the children.”

    Fatherhood is in crisis in America, and you can help. By using our evidence-based programs your department, agency, or not-for-profit group can increase father involvement, improve the lives of children everywhere, and reverse negative trends in a wide range of social issues. Or, by becoming an individual activist, you can bring fatherhood programming to your community and help to reduce a host of social ills in your neighborhood.

    NFI is a nationally respected, oft-cited, non-profit organization committed to better outcomes for children and our society as a whole. Our research and programs make a positive difference in the relationships between fathers and children – even in cases where a father is not physically present in the home. You don’t have to be a bystander to the fatherhood crisis in America; you can help to turn the tide and help us create a world in which every child has a 24/7 Dad.

    Thank you for your interest and support,

    The National Fatherhood Initiative® Team – http://www.fatherhood.org/social-problems-in-america

    Liked by 3 people

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