Policy Memo #1-14: Why Strong Families Still Matter



Despite Oklahoma’s reputation as a family-friendly, faith-based state, Oklahoma’s social indicators show that its children and families are in distress. Oklahoma’s rates of child abuse and neglect, childhood poverty, educational success, teen sexual behavior, and youth substance abuse paint a sobering picture of the challenging climate Oklahoma’s children face. Fortunately, one positive common denominator signals an advantage for children: children raised by their biological, married father and mother exhibit the greatest opportunity for success, safety and well-being than children in all other family structures. Bearing this positive common denominator in mind, faith, community and policy leaders focused on strengthening communities should consider how efforts to improve marital stability factor into their community development efforts.