Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has partnered with the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and the Ad Council for the the Responsible Fatherhood program, which helps promote the cause of fathers being involved in their children’s lives. This represents the second time the Walt Disney Company has partnered with the campaign which began in 2008, the first being a joint effort with ESPN in 2009.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 24 million children (34%) in the U.S. live apart from their fathers. The PSA campaign is an effort to show fathers the unique and irreplaceable role they play in their children’s lives.
“The President has said there is no more important job he or any other man can have than being a father,” said Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “We are excited to promote fatherhood through this year’s media campaign as we all work toward addressing the crisis of father absence in our communities.”
According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), children who live without their biological fathers are on average at least two to three times more likely to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.
Whether they live together or just see each other occasionally, research shows kids benefit greatly when their fathers are actively involved in their lives. The Responsible Fatherhood campaign urges fathers to be proactive and not wait for their children to ask them to read them a book, play a game, or sit down together for a meal — but take the lead. Spending time with your children can energize the relationship and create a stronger bond between a father and child.
“This Sunday we celebrate fathers nationwide, including those men who are serving in the military,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “By launching this campaign in advance of Father’s Day, we strongly believe these touching PSAs will inspire fathers throughout the year to take the time to be involved in their children’s lives.”
All of the PSAs direct fathers to visit the campaign website, www.fatherhood.gov, or call 1-877-4DAD411 for fatherhood programs, resources and a series of downloadable “Take Time Tips” that are fun and budget friendly, including:
- Create small moments that bring big rewards – Go for a walk, read a story, cook dinner, play a video game or board game, color a picture, or do a crossword puzzle with your child. These everyday activities are easy, affordable and can spark conversation, laughter and lasting memories.
- Be a digital dad – Send your child a text message for no reason at all, other than to say, “I love you,” or “Great job on the test.”
- Come and get it – Eat meals with your children. Breakfast, lunch and dinner create an opportunity to give your child your full attention. It’s a time to share news about your lives, have discussions and make plans for your family.
This year’s campaign also includes a second series of PSAs that were developed in collaboration with The Walt Disney Studios. The new television, radio, outdoor and digital ads feature the lovable animated characters from the movie The Lion King. The PSAs illustrate the important role fathers play in their children’s lives and ask fathers to play a part in “the circle of life.”