A recent report has stated that a total of 1 million children of England and Wales have lost ‘meaningful contact’ with their father upon their parents separation and divorce.
‘Meaningful contact’ is defined as seeing their father at least twice per year. In certain areas of Liverpool, over 60% of the households are in this group. They are brought up by single mothers and it is reported that they live in male desserts as it is reported that there is no male teachers at their primary school.
How can the government improve this new situation? There are many reasons why parents lose contact with their children:
- They were never involved in the first place. For example, the mother became pregnant and was not in a committed relationship.
- There is extreme acrimony between the parents.
- There is no pressure upon them either from themselves or society to maintain a committed relationship with their children.
- The relationship with the child has broken down either due to their behaviour or their ex-spouse’s behaviour… the term parental alienation is not recognised by the courts but children can be turned against the non-resident parent by the resident parent.
- There is a history of domestic violence.
- Geography, such as the mother living a long way from the father, and finances prevent contact taking place.
People are quick to judge single mothers and also non-resident fathers.
An in-depth study of the profile of this group of children is needed to gather any strategic plan. If a large majority of these children are born to mothers who have no relationship with their fathers with no means of earning to support them, why is this? Is it the fault of the benefit system or the lack of opportunity to these young girls who see having a child as their most favourable financial option? Perhaps this makes it too small minority, and perhaps the vast majority of these fathers are what used to be termed as feckless. How to you prevent young men from becoming feckless? Is it too easy to create a child in today’s sexually free society? So how can we turn the clock back? Is it even desirable to do so? The power of statistics taken out of context creates alarm and prejudice.