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City puts new focus on fathers

Wanted: Father-in-chief.

The city is seeking a coordinator to help fathers stay involved in their children’s lives, including dads who are homeless or behind bars, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.
The coordinator will work with 13 city agencies on dad initiatives, such as papa days at public housing facilities.

“Parenting is not just sending a check. Parenting is providing guidance … a chance to have some fun together,” Bloomberg said.

About a third of city children live in households without a father, with 54 percent of black kids and 43 percent of Hispanic children growing up in a fatherless household, officials said.
“There is this enormous group of … mostly males out there with no hope, no education. It’s just not right. It’s a time bomb for society,” Bloomberg said.

The new push dovetails with the Obama administration’s Fatherhood Initiative that launched last year, officials said. A city spokeswoman could not say Thursday how much the city’s program will cost or when the coordinator will be hired.

As for his children, Bloomberg said he is spending Father’s Day with his one daughter and son-in-law, and expected a phone call from the other one. He didn’t expect to receive a tie.

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