The United States, the richest nation and arguably the epitome of Western civilization, has roughly 24 million children-or 34 percent of all children in the U.S.-living in homes in which the father is not present. This is the highest percentage of fatherless families in any country in the world. The number of single mothers raising children has tripled since 1960, a heartbreaking statistic when coupled with the fact that children are five times more likely to be living in poverty when the father is absent. Just one of the symptoms of the crisis of fatherlessness is the growing violence in inner-city neighborhoods.

Acknowledging the problem of fatherlessness is a beginning, but taking action to stem the problem is imperative. The Dad’s the Man program was created to attack the situation head on by pairing new fathers with a fatherhood mentor and involving urban pastors as well. The program teaches young men how to become good fathers, providing hands-on instruction about parenting and responsibilities.