Singapore to Create a "Better Fathering Index"
January 7, 2013
In an effort to encourage dads to play a more active roles in their families, a non-profit organization in Singapore plans to launch a "better fathering index" to measure how involved dads are in bringing up their children there.
The Center for Fathering, which is launching the initiative, plans to carry out a survey of the fathers in Singapore in the second half of 2013.
"Of course, we wouldn't know the outcomes till many, many years later and that will be borne by how stable families are, how resilient are families and to what extent can we manage dysfunctional families," Lim Soon Hock, the center's chairman, told Channel News Asia. Hock pointed to research that shows involved dads benefit children emotionally as well as academically.
The survey comes at a time when more and more mothers have entered the workforce full time in Singapore.
Among the factors the center will consider when building the index include the amount of time that fathers spend with their kids on a daily and monthly basis, as well as the kind of activities fathers engage in with children.
Beyond simply monitoring the evolving state of fatherhood, the center also trained about 40 dads in the last quarter of 2012 to work with others to become better fathers. It hopes to increase its outreach by up to 20 percent in the new year, in part by putting together an International Advisory Panel.
The idea of mandatory paternity leave has recently gained traction in Singapore, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong voicing his support so that fathers can be more involved.
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