Dads Make a Difference ... a youth development, leadership program building youth capacities for healthy futures & responsible parenthood
Focusing on the role of fathers in raising children, Dads Make a Difference educates young men and women about the responsibilities of parenting and the challenges of parenting too soon. Young people who understand parental responsibility are more likely to form strong families that are emotionally and financially secure. These families are the backbone of productive, nurturing communities.
DMAD has been doing this important work for 19 years, training nearly 3,000 teen peer educators and teaching over 73,000 middle school-age youth! We provide financial assistance so youth from all income levels can participate in our training.
DMAD trains high school teens, male and female, to be peer educators for middle school youth, empowering teens to be volunteers, leaders, and resources in their communities. DMAD develops positive attitudes about the important role of fathers and about responsible parenting that are reinforced when teens teach the 4-lesson curriculum. DMAD is a youth development program in the purest sense, by informing young people about the consequences of their choices and by involving them as teachers of the message. DMAD provides important protective factors for youth including connections with caring adults, a way to develop their talents, honest and respectfully presented information, the opportunity to look at life planning, development of skills useful in a variety of life arenas, connection with an engaged community of young people, the chance to be a role model for younger youth, and a safe environment in which to learn and explore new concepts. DMAD provides information so youth can make informed, responsible decisions about their futures, increasing their likelihood of becoming healthy, productive adults and effective parents, and builds the local capacity of schools and agencies to address issues of importance to the broader community – building strong, stable families with involved fathers and prepared parents.
Two of the major causes of children living in poverty are too-early parenting and absentee fathers. Research shows a family headed by a teen mother will likely have reduced educational attainment, reduced income, and increased reliance on public resources. Research also shows children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers. Preparing young people to become caring, competent parents may also be the single most effective way to prevent child abuse and other violence, increase mental health, advance school preparedness, and achieve future academic success.
Your donation to Dads Make a Difference is fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.