This paper by ICF International discusses research that demonstrates how fathers' behaviors have direct and significant effects on the emotional, physical, academic, financial, and health outcomes of their children. For children raised with an involved father, those outcomes are more likely to be positive than outcomes for children who grow up without the presence and support of their fathers.
Alarmingly, half of all children in the United States can expect to spend at least part of their childhood living apart from their fathers, putting them at risk for a variety of life challenges. Policymakers, practitioners, and communities nationwide have an opportunity to pursue legislative, program, and funding initiatives to strengthen existing efforts to foster responsible fatherhood and launch additional creative approaches to nurturing healthy families. In the paper, ICF recommends concrete steps to strengthen positive and involved fathering throughout the country.