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Fathers' Involvement in Children's Lives, Child Protective Services and Family Court Reform
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November 25, 2015

NPO Logo National Parents Organization improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting every child's right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.
The Root Takes a Stand for Fathers’ Involvement in Children’s Lives
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Understanding the true role of fathers in children’s lives got a boost this week here (The Root, 11/22/15). Writing for a largely African-American audience, Sheehan Fisher takes on many of the current-day myths about fathers as uninterested in their children. His main point is that this has never before been the case and isn’t now, pop culture notwithstanding.
The movement in this country to treat fathers as equal participants in the parental team is not new. Yet our culture continually projects the view of fathers as secondary or peripheral parents.

The phraseology of the “maternal-child” health care system ignores the father’s relevance to the family. The lack of baby-changing tables in men’s bathrooms is not conducive to early paternal child care. Our country ignores these needs of fathers based on the belief that they aren’t as crucial to a child’s development.
Fisher points to the recent spate of social science and “news” about young fathers who are more involved in their children’s lives than were their own dads. But then he asks the crucial question “But is it New?” The answer of course is that it’s not. Read more...

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New York State Reduces Secrecy of Child Protective Services
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
New York has struck a small blow for sanity and against the secrecy in which the state’s child protective agency operates. In so doing, it’s brought to light yet another detriment of that secrecy, one that hadn’t occurred to me before.

As readers of the NPO blog well know, I’ve long inveighed against the secrecy every state grants its child protective employees. The stated reason for that secrecy is that the abuse and neglect children suffer at the hands of caregivers shouldn’t be a matter for public consumption. That theory has it that children would be traumatized a second time if their stories appeared in the newspapers and on television.

I very much doubt that such a thing would happen because the vast majority of those cases are simply too repetitive and mundane for the news media to be interested in. Yes, there are lurid ones that could provide clickbait and market share for news outlets, but for that there’s a simple fix. Media sources could simply be required by law to provide anonymity to the child in question, or anyone whose identity might serve to identify the child.

That simple, straightforward approach would solve the problem — if there is one — of re-traumatizing the child, while providing much-needed information to the public and lawmakers about the doings of CPS. In short, it’s much less restrictive of the flow of information than is the current system. Read more...

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Indian Activists Demand Family Court Reform, Shared Parenting
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Meanwhile, half way around the world, family court reform activists in India are mounting a movement for shared parenting in that nation of over one billion people. Read about it here (The Times of India, 11/19/15).
A century ago, women had started feeling the need to assert themselves and their needs. Today, men have started to feel the same pressure and the need to speak about the problems they face everyday for belonging to the gender they do. Men's rights activists believe that over the last few decades, the tide has turned against men, making them the subject of much social discrimination.

Phrases like 'Be a man' and 'Don't cry like a girl' seem as offensive to the men these days as they do to feminists. The social expectations from men and the pressure to fulfil them are lopsided, according to several men's rights organizations. It is because of these reasons that they find it important to mark International Men's Day, which falls on November 20 this year.

"The contributions and sacrifices that men make for their families, and the society at large, are generally taken for granted or trivialized. This is because they are 'supposed' to do these things. In the name of promotion of women's rights, the society has become indifferent towards the welfare of men," said men's rights activist and founder member of NGO Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) Kumar Jahgirdar.
So CRISP and other shared parenting organizations have made a list of demands, not only for legal reform but to raise awareness of the issues faced by fathers and their children. Read more...

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The International Council on Shared Parenting 2015

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National Parents Organization is working to build a strong affiliate in every state. What will it take to bring National Parents Organization to your state? Leadership. It takes a team of volunteers to organize in your state and to reach out to legislators, media, and other groups who will work with us to make shared parenting the norm.

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Recent NPO Blog Posts

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Tsimhoni, Part 2

 

 
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“There is nothing more tragic than a child who has been abandoned by his father, except those children who are prevented by judicial neglect, from being a part of their fathers' lives.”

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Louis Kiefer, Esq., Member, Connecticut Executive Committee
 

The opinions expressed herein are those of our guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Parents Organization or its Board of Directors.
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