October 29th, 2012 by Michael Sherron
On Oct 4, 2012, New York City Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar sat down with John Stossel on National TV to talk with him about what his agency is doing about Welfare and how he wants everyone in New York to understand that there is a mandatory work requirement for those receiving Welfare. During this interview, John Stossel grilled Commissioner Robert Doar about whether his agency was really making a difference in New York City and actually used a undercover intern who posed as a job seeker in the system to make his point that applicants would rather receive benefits than work. The purpose of this article is not to debate Welfare and it’s effectiveness in New York City, it is more about what the New York Human Resources Administration Commissioner diverted to when he started to feel the heat on information brought out in the segment.
Below is a link to a Youtube video that shows the entire exchange between Commissioner Robert Doar, John Stossel, and his Intern that we encourage you to watch in it’s entirety. But, we also want you to really pay attention to the 5:35 mark in the 7:13 minute video (You can fast forward if you are not ready to watch the entire segment) in which Commissioner Doar states “We do child support enforcement which goes after deadbeat DADS to make sure they support their children.” Be sure to fast forward to the 5:35 mark in this video if you are not prepared to watch the entire segment.
Clearly, New York City Non-Custodial Dads should be very astonished that Commissioner Robert Doar only singled them out as ones that need to be enforced over child support as we are sure there are many Non-Custodial Mothers who also do not pay child support, but there is a bigger picture here that needs to be addressed for New York City Non-Custodial families.
It seems that child support enforcement is the golden child of the Welfare system not only at the New Your City Human Resources Administration and Social Services agencies, but at similar agencies across the USA. And, it seems that the enforcement of non-custodial “Deadbeat” dads is the “go to” catch phrase that Commissioner’s use when talking about Welfare expenditures as if these fathers are the real reason why more and more people end up on social services Welfare roles. Fathers and Families is pretty sure you will never hear Commissioner Robert Doar speak a derogatory term about any other group of people, much less so on a national television program. However, each day, across the United States, you hear Judges, Politicians, and other using this derogatory term in an effort to lay blame on the rising cost of Welfare being handed out to primarily custodial mothers. But, here is what we really think is the reasoning behind excoriating non-custodial fathers and using terms like “Deadbeat Dad” publicaly. In essence, Commissioner Robert Doar, the NYC Human Resources Administration, and Social Services NEEDS for these fathers to exist so that they can ramp up child support enforcement efforts that they then use for political reasons and to secure greater Title IV-D money from the federal government which is then used to replenish human services programs in New York City. In short, non-custodial fathers via performance based child support collection trigger greater funding so that jobs and programs within his agency can flourish.
Fathers and Families thinks that it is pretty irresponsible for Commissioner Robert Doar to use a hateful derogatory term for one group of people to secure funding for programs at the NYC Human Resources Administration and Social Services agency, while giving women who do not pay child support a pass.
And then there IS THIS
In one breath the NYC Human Resources Administration Commissioner is calling non-custodial fathers derogatory names on TV, while at the same time he is appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to lead a Fatherhood Initiative?
It seems that the only Fathers Commissioner Doar recognizes is married Fathers, and Divorced or Putative Fathers as ones that should be kept at a distance so that they fund his agency.
Let’s dissect some of the data on this website:
“Part of being a responsible parent is providing financial support for your children.” This is TRUE, but Fathers and Families wants Commissioner Robert Doar to know that the GREATER responsibility lies in DIRECTLY supporting kids via equal parentage instead of through your agency so that you can get federal Title IV-D money.
“It’s best to be involved with your child from birth, but it’s never too late to become a responsible and caring parent.” Again correct, but Commissioner Doar should realize that hourly in the NYC Family Courts we are removed as Fathers and given a shiny badge of visitor 5 days a month and forced into a federal enforcement program.
“…or you want to learn how to handle a diaper.” Really Commissioner Doar, in 2012 Fathers know how to handle a diaper, we know we need to help with schoolwork, and empower kids. Why is Commissioner Doar and the NYC Human Resources Administration thinking that Fathers do not know this stuff in 2012? Is it an opportunity to socialize Fathers and the public into thinking that we need to be taught these things and pointed to as the less than capable parent who should be denied equal parentage?
Fathers and Families believes that if Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Commissioner Robert Doar, and others at the NYC HRA truly wants responsible fathers then they should stop calling them derogatory names on national television programs, pretending like we are inept child care providers who don’t know how to change diapers, and stop capitalizing on our inability to get equal parentage and access to our kids so that we pay child support and trigger federal funding for housing assistance, job assistance, educational assistance, medical assistance, financial assistance, and psychological assistance that are increasingly used by custodial mothers.
If you truly want responsible fathers in New York, then you will use your efforts to elevate the NYC Father to a status of equal parent.
Fathers and Families believes that far greater resources, opportunities, emotional support, psychological support, financial support, and physical support for New York children is realized when both parents (and extended families) have equal access and parentage of their children, and that these are things that federal child support enforcement or NYC social services agency can never deliver.
Fathers and Families believes that using non-custodial families child support efforts as a means to generate federal money for Welfare programs is misguided.
Fathers and Families has concerns that as more and more Welfare applications are received at the NYC Human Resources Administration and Social Services Agencies in New York, there will be even more aggressive child support enforcement tactics used in the future that is designed to secure federal money from Title IV-D legislation to pay for these programs.
In an effort to help Fathers and Families educate New York City Legislators, Judges, and Commissioner Robert Doar on these facts, we hope that you will join our organization, as well as getting involved with others across this great nation using our social media sites like Facebook where you will have the opportunity to collaborate with us and others who are also in the child support enforcement system. Additionally, we ask that you extensively share this article on commissioner Robert Doar and New York City Human Resources Administration with others via email and other social networking sites to help bring about greater awareness of our mission.
NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.