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The Department of Health and Human Services Teams Up with the White House and the Ad Council to Launch New Fatherhood Public Service Campaign

Just in time for Father's Day weekend, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a new public service campaign promoting fatherhood that features a PSA by President Obama.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 19, 2009

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

The Department of Health and Human Services Teams Up with the White House and the Ad Council to Launch New Fatherhood Public Service Campaign

PSA Features President Obama Encouraging Fathers to "Take time to be a dad today"

Just in time for Father's Day weekend, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced a new public service campaign today promoting fatherhood that features a PSA by President Obama. The campaign, sponsored by the department's Administration for Children and Families and the Advertising Council, can be found at The public service announcements and supporting campaign materials highlight the critical role fathers play in their children's lives.

In the opening PSA of the campaign, President Obama calls fatherhood "the most important job in a man's life." "Things can get busy, and sometimes we all fall short," he says, "but even the smallest moments can have the biggest impact on a child's life. Take time to be a dad today."

"Dads and father figures can make such a difference in kids' lives and the choices that they make," said Secretary Sebelius. "As the country gets ready to celebrate Father's Day, the President and the Administration are committed to encouraging and supporting efforts by parents and mentors to reach out and connect with kids. The department has a multitude of resources available at and we will be working closely with the White House to support their Fatherhood events and outreach in the coming days and weeks."

The announcements, scheduled to begin airing across the country on Father's Day weekend, are part of a media campaign, supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, to promote and encourage responsible fatherhood.

They are the work of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), the Ad Council and the Campbell-Ewald agency of Detroit. To date, three television and six radio PSAs have been produced, in addition to multiple print, web and viral ads.

The PSAs encourage fathers to visit or call 1-877-4DAD411 for parenting tips and additional resources for fathers. To view the ads, visit or

"President Obama's involvement in the campaign is a continuation of the commitment he has shown to strengthening fatherhood. As our nation's ‘First Dad,' President Obama's words are sure to be an inspiration this Father's Day and beyond," said Roland C. Warren, Media Campaign Director for the NRFC.

"We are delighted to join President Obama and Secretary Sebelius for this poignant campaign as we recognize all fathers nationwide this Sunday," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council. "I believe these PSAs will encourage more fathers this weekend and throughout the year to take an active role in their children's lives."

According to NRFC, an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. 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.

Since its launch in 2008, the NRFC's Father Involvement campaign has received more than $38 million in donated media across television, radio, out-of-home, Internet and print.


Through HHS, the federal government supports responsible fatherhood in diverse ways. Because engaged fathers strengthen families and contribute to healthy outcomes for children, many HHS programs integrate support for fathers. These include Head Start, child support programs, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. HHS also supports programs that focus on responsible fatherhood, such as the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grant program administered by the Office of Family Assistance.


NRFC is funded by HHS' Administration for Children and Families' Office of Family Assistance's (OFA) efforts to assist states and communities to promote and support responsible fatherhood. Primarily a tool for professionals operating responsible fatherhood programs, the NRFC provides access to print and electronic publications, timely information on fatherhood issues, and targeted resources that support OFA-funded responsible fatherhood grantees. The NRFC Web site also provides essential information for other audiences interested in fatherhood


Campbell-Ewald is the nation's eighth largest advertising and digital communications agency, with more than 1,300 employees and offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Washington, D.C. A part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), Campbell-Ewald partners with a score of national brands, including Alltel Wireless, Carhartt, Chevrolet, Farmers Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, Olympic Paints and Stains, OnStar, the United States Navy and the United States Postal Service. For more information on Campbell-Ewald, visit

The Advertising Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit

Content Last Modified: 6/22/2009 11:59:00 AM
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