ANCPR News Release
ANOTHER MISGUIDED GOVERNMENT PROGRAM
HHS LAUNCHES PROPEGANDA CAMPAIGN
ENLISTING HELP OF AD COUNCIL, OGILVY AND MATHER
April 13, 1999
The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched
a propaganda campaign called 'Be Their Dad' in an attempt to support more of their
misguided interference in family matters. "HHS 'Be Their Dad' is the ultimate
in hypocrisy," noted Lowell Jaks, Director of the Alliance for Non-Custodial
Parents Rights. "Theyre telling fathers to "be their dad" at
the same time as they are increasing child support fines and penalties aimed a
noncustodial parents, which are primarily fathers. Child support forces parents into
exile. This campaign really shows how out of touch Secretary Shalala and Undersecretary
Kevin Thurm are with reality." John Smith, ANCPR researcher added "HHS has done
more damage to children than drug, alcohol and child abuse combined. For the good of the
country, they should submit their resignations effective immediately."
The campaign urges fathers to "remain emotionally and financially connected to
their children even if they do not live with them." "It appears that HHS is
making excuses for not enforcing visitation," said Smith. "They allow mothers to
move away with the children, then blame fathers for not staying involved. They demand
fathers pay child support, but do not enforce visitation violations. They help custodial
parents locate noncustodial parents so they can collect money, but they wont help
noncustodial parents locate their own children. And they wonder why fathers arent
more involved? Kids need both parents and long distance relationships wont do."
said Jaks. The campaign is supported by Ogilvy and Mather, The Advertising Council, the
Office of National Drug Control Policy and the states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and
Maryland. "This is what I would expect from the people who brought us the Tidy Bowl
man," Smith said.
HHS and the ads sponsors have clearly bought into popular myths and
stereotypes. They are asking fathers to stay around while at the same time laws are
stacked against fathers. Women initiate divorce 3 times that of men, so 3 out of 4 times,
its women who are creating broken homes. And why not, they are handsomely rewarded
for divorcing or otherwise splitting up the family. They receive child support - a
tax-free bonus - with no accountability as to how the money is spent. Its like
Christmas every month. HHS is promoting what Dallas psychologist Dr. Richard Warshak calls
"The Motherhood Mystique." Its the mistaken belief that mothers have
special, innate skills for raising children. Nothing could be further from the true. Men
and women are equally equipped to raise children. Judges and lawmakers propagate the
motherhood mystique myth everyday.
"Why is the Barry McCaffreys Office of National Drug Control Policy
involved? Are they inferring that fathers are drug addicts?" wonders Smith. "The
whole premise is that dads are bad, dads are irresponsible. Why arent welfare
mothers considered deadbeat moms? Why is welfare treated as a grant to mothers, but a loan
to fathers? Fathers are held responsible for the mothers actions, which they have no
control over. If they drug test anyone, it should be the custodial parents receiving this
money. Better yet, they should drug test Shalala, Thurm and company."
Ironically, HHS press release boasts "Since taking office, the Clinton
Administration has made child support enforcement a high priority." Child support -
with its excessive awards and draconian punishments - only serves to force noncustodial
parents into exile, irreparably harming the children. Even radical feminist and author
Karen Winner agrees that child support is excessive. "So the Clinton Administration
is proud to have done more to destroy families than any previous administration.
Great," said Jaks.
Mr. Thrum, who leads the HHS fatherhood initiative, states "Fathers need to
understand that even if they do not live with their children, their influence is profound.
"No, Mr. Thrum, you are wrong. Fathers dont need to understand this; you and
your fellow bureaucrats need to understand this and fashion the laws accordingly,"
Visitation violations must be enforced with the same vigor as child support
collections. "These are the same clowns (HHS) who proudly announced they have
allocated a whopping $10M to "study" visitation programs. Thats $10M for
the entire nation. Los Angeles county alone spends $120M annually on child support
collections. That shows exactly how serious HHS is when it comes to supporting fathers and
families. Adding insult to injury, several of these visitation grants have gone to
battered womens shelters and domestic violence programs. False abuse allegations are
routinely used to gain custody of the children. Whoever makes the charge wins - they get
custody without a trial or physical evidence. Its all based on hearsay. Unprosecuted
false abuse is the most serious problem in domestic violence cases today."
"No-fault divorce must be ended. When a couple has a child, they
have made an 18-year commitment. Our laws discourage personal responsibility. We think
throwing money at a problem will solve it. It wont," added Smith.