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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO SUPPORT THE CONVENING OF A
    FATHERHOOD TASK FORCE BY THE HAWAII COALITION FOR DADS TO
    PROMOTE STRONG FAMILIES THROUGH POSITIVE FATHERING
    INITIATIVES.



 1        WHEREAS, policy makers and other persons who help to shape
 2   social policy increasingly recognize that the increasing
 3   numbers of children who are growing up without fathers is a
 4   critical problem; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, while acknowledging that this is a complex and
 7   controversial phenomenon, researchers assert that two facts are
 8   beyond dispute:  that this trend is not a good thing for most
 9   children involved and that the share of children in mother-only
10   families is increasing dramatically; and
11   
12        WHEREAS, in 1994, twenty-four per cent of American
13   children lived in mother-only families, representing 19,000,000
14   children; and
15   
16        WHEREAS, father-absent families are becoming the norm in a
17   growing number of neighborhoods, with more than 4,500,000
18   children growing up in neighborhoods where more than one-half
19   of all families with children are headed by women only; and
20   
21        WHEREAS, this trend toward father-absent families is
22   occurring not only in inner cities or among certain ethnic
23   groups, but in every state and throughout cities, suburbs, and
24   rural areas, and among all racial groups; and
25   
26        WHEREAS, many of the children in mother-only families
27   either do not know their fathers or are disconnected from them;
28   and
29   
30        WHEREAS, researchers agree that father-absence has clear
31   negative economic and psychological consequences for children
32   and is costly for society; and
33   
34        WHEREAS, researchers have posited that the decline of
35   fatherhood is a "major force behind many of the most disturbing
36   problems that plague American society:  crime and delinquency;
37   teen-age pregnancy; deteriorating educational achievement;

 
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                                  H.R. NO.              H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   depression, substance abuse, and alienation among adolescents;
 2   and the growing number of women and children living in
 3   poverty"; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, it is acknowledged that the causes of
 6   fatherlessness are complex and require an examination and
 7   understanding of the multiple institutional, social, and
 8   cultural factors that contribute to fatherlessness; and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, family policy and family service programs have
11   long ignored or marginalized fathers and the important role
12   they play within the family structure; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, this is beginning to change as fatherhood
15   organizations and programs are gaining momentum; and
16   
17        WHEREAS, the Legislature believes that policy and
18   programming must be changed to focus on fathers as an essential
19   component of strengthening and supporting families; and
20   
21        WHEREAS, the Hawaii Coalition for Dads is a collaboration
22   of private and public agencies committed to exploring the needs
23   of fathers and creating initiative supporting fatherhood; now,
24   therefore,
25   
26        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
27   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
28   of 1999, that the Governor, in collaboration with affected
29   state agencies, the counties, the business sector, and
30   communities of faith, is requested to support the convening of
31   a Fatherhood Task Force by the Hawaii Coalition for Dads to
32   promote strong families through positive fathering initiatives;
33   and
34   
35        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature supports and
36   appreciates the efforts of the Hawaii Coalition for Dads to:
37   
38        (1)  Examine public and private employment practices and
39             initiate and support those practices that enhance the
40             importance of fatherhood and father-friendly
41             policies;
42   
43        (2)  Promote the importance of father-friendly policies
44             and stress the importance of fathers in actions and
45             programs by public and private agencies that receive
46             funding from the State;
47   

 
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                                  H.R. NO.              H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        (3)  Declare June Fathers Month with June 26, 1999, as the
 2             date of the first annual Father's Celebration;
 3   
 4        (4)  Evaluate whether the State's education system
 5             promotes the qualities and importance of positive
 6             fatherhood and propose changes to achieve this goal;
 7             and
 8   
 9        (5)  Recommend and encourage other programs and activities
10             by public agencies, community organizations, and
11             communities of faith to promote positive fatherhood,
12             including developing resources for children who are
13             being raised without a positive father figure;
14   
15   and
16   
17        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Fatherhood Task Force is
18   requested to share its findings and recommendations, including
19   any proposed legislation, with the Legislature no later than
20   twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of
21   2000; and
22   
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
24   Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Directors of
25   Human Services and Health, the Superintendent of Education, the
26   Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Mayors of the
27   respective counties, the Chairpersons of the respective county
28   councils, and the Hawaii Coalition for Dads.

 
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