Two of the major causes of children living in poverty are too-early parenting and absentee fathers. Our MISSION is to promote the positive involvement of fathers and to educate youth about responsible parenting.VISION: DMAD envisions a future where society values and supports healthy male socialization and the important role of involved, responsible, and committed fathers in children?s lives.VALUES- DMAD recognizes the research that finds that positively involved fathers have an impact on the social, psychological, emotional, and physical well-being of their children and families, as well as on the health of communities.- DMAD believes young people who are engaged in research-based youth development programming like DMAD will build the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and experience that prepare them for the present and for the future.- DMAD believes communities have a responsibility to provide opportunities that empower both boys and girls with the information and skills they need to make responsible decisions about fathering and parenting.- DMAD believes that young people are positive resources capable of making significant contributions to their communities, and are essential to program implementation.- DMAD recognizes the research that finds that peer education training provides leadership skills development for youth.- DMAD respects all aspects of diversity among Minnesota families, and the different cultural norms regarding adolescent sexuality, pregnancy prevention, family formation, and parenting.- DMAD recognizes that its work is strengthened by collaboration and partnership and works with other organizations at the local, state, national, and international level.Dads Make a Difference objectives are to:- Increase the awareness of how the positive involvement of fathers benefits children and families. - Increase understanding of how paternity is established and the benefits it provides for each family member.- Increase the critical thinking and decision-making skills of youth regarding sexual activity and parenting.- Increase planned-for parenting so young people do not become fathers and mothers until they are financially and emotionally prepared for parenting.- Build the capacity of young people and their communities to form healthy, stable families with involved parents.There is a compelling need for DMAD within the fathering and teen pregnancy prevention fields. Research shows that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers (Father Facts: Fourth Edition). Research also shows that the economic impact of teen pregnancy and father absence on children and families is significant. A common consequence of father's absence is a major decrease in the financial resources available to his children (Young Fathers). Two-thirds of families begun by young unmarried mothers are poor (National Campaign to Prevention Teen Pregnancy, analysis of 1999 Current Population survey), and almost 50% of all teen mothers, and over 75% of unmarried teen mothers, began receiving welfare within five years of the birth of their first child (U.S. Congressional Budget Office). The social and economic stability of a family is significantly impacted by decisions made early in life by teens who just didn't think about the responsibilities involved when they have a baby.