WASHINGTON — Men’s Health Network (MHN) is asking members of Congress to support President Trump’s call for nationwide family leave in comments he made during last night’s State of the Union address. MHN is hopeful that Congress will support inclusive legislation and policy that also recognizes the vital role that fathers play in the family structure.
During the Feb. 5 address, President Trump said the following:
“I am also proud to be the first president to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave — so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.”
A father’s ability to bond with a newborn has a profound impact on the child’s life improving school performance, mental health outcomes, and reducing the likeliness of drug and alcohol abuse.
“The role that fathers play in a young child’s life cannot be overstated. Like mothers, fathers need time to bond with their newborns. A child’s physical and mental development is boosted when their father is present from the start,” said Ana Fadich, VP of MHN. “We are encouraged by President’s Trump renewing his call for family leave and urge Congress to support policies that help families and support healthy communities.”
President Trump has previously called for six weeks of paid family. The U.S. remains one of the few developed countries without a national family leave policy.
“By proposing ‘family leave’—as opposed to ‘maternity leave’—President Trump has taken an important step toward recognizing the unique and vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives and the many ways dads contribute to their children’s development,” said Armin Brott, an MHN advisor and author of The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year. “For example, children with actively involved fathers are more successful in and out of school, have fewer mental health problems, and are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or to become teen parents.”