‘Promoting family values’ has been the catch-cry of both well-intentional and vote-hungry politicians throughout the ages. In Australia in recent years, it has had a particularly strong and enthusiastic resurgence. Who can forget Bob Hawke’s emotional electoral promise that, “by the Year 2000, no Australian child will be living in poverty”? In 1989, the Hawke Labor Government introduced the Child Support Scheme, which had the effect of engineering and accelerating the disintegration of the traditional family unit.

The response has been to simply redefine the family as any co-dependent social and economic unit. Single parent and step-parent families are promoted as a viable alternative to the traditional family unit.

What impact does this have on the well-being of children?

I recently came across an article which demonstrates, from study after study, that family dissolution harms children and shatters the social fabric of our society. (Barbara Da Foe Whitehead, ‘Dan Quayle Was Right’, Atlantic Monthly, April 1993). The author argues convincingly that the social-science evidence clearly indicates that the two-parent home is the best defence against despair, social destruction, poverty and crime.

Today in Australia, there are one million children who are not living with their biological father. 40% of these children have lost all contact with their father. This is a scandal, a disgrace and a matter for national shame. It is a greater crisis than the impending war on Iraq. The solution begins with a renewed recognition of the value of fatherhood in the lives of our children.

[Photo by PNW Production from Pexels]

About the Author: Roland Foster

Roland Foster is an non-custodial father, separated since 1997, with 5 young children aged between 6 and 14 years. Roland is a passionate father and an active social reformer who believes Australia's current laws are contributing to the creation of our fatherless society.

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