2013 President Obama’s National Fatherhood Buzz Initiative | The Retreat


2013 President Obama’s National Fatherhood Buzz Initiative

June 13, 2013 (Hauppauge): According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of three — live in biological father-absent homes. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the social issues facing America today such as education, mental health, incarceration, substance abuse, etc. The Fatherhood Buzz Initiativeis an effort to promote responsible fatherhood and disseminate parenting information to fathers, families, and the community at-large via one of the most trusted community resources for men, barbershops. This June, the Retreat’s Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative is collaborating with the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and six barbershops in Suffolk County to disseminate critical parenting tips and community resources that barbers can use to promote responsible fatherhood and provide support and information to their customers.

The Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative is a community-level program of the Retreat Inc and is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Family Assistance. A major emphasis of the program is to enhance economic stability, responsible parenting, healthy relationships that will provide positive outcomes for fathers and youth. The goal of the program is to assist low-income, at-risk fathers to prevent incidences of family/domestic violence and overcome challenges that inhibit them from being a responsible father to their children and positive support to their intimate partner/wives.

“90% of all domestic violence is men perpetrating violence against women.  Domestic violence is a man’s issue, not a women’s issue.  The Retreat is proud to be working at the forefront of domestic violence prevention by help at risk fathers avoid the path of violence and destruction. We honor the institution of fatherhood by celebrating with the hundreds of fathers we helped become better parents this Fathers Day.”, said Jeffrey Friedman, Executive Director, The Retreat.

The Fatherhood Buzz project is part of President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. The Fatherhood Buzz is a national effort to increase awareness of fatherhood and parenting issues with its focus on the local barbershops, which has been a traditional setting for men and their sons to visit and discuss family and community issues.  Neighborhood barbershops are hubs for many men in the community and are a trusted space to discuss both personal and public issues, ranging from family to politics, health, money, etc.  Visit any barbershop and most of the time you will find an intergenerational dialogue among men and boys. On June 16- Father’s Day, the SCFI program will take this unique opportunity to partner with the following barbershops and share healthy information about fatherhood and invaluable resources in the community:


The Retreat, since 1987, has been a community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides domestic violence services and support for victims of domestic crimes on eastern Long Island and beyond.  The Retreat provides a wide array of direct services, including five core offerings of Crisis Hotline, Domestic Violence Shelter, Legal Advocacy, Counseling, and Domestic Violence Prevention Education including programs such as the Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative (SCFI), Structured Health Anti-Violence Reeducation Program and Self Sufficiency Trainings. The Retreat’s mission is to provide safety, shelter, and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence.

Contact Information:

Romarie McCue, Deputy Program Director of Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative

Phone: 631-761-8518

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