Fox 13 Good Morning Memphis 'Families Matter Program' 2/15/11

Healthy marriages lead to healthy families, and healthy families are the foundation of a healthy vibrant community. But, modern life places enormous strain on marriages and families, and the results can be catastrophic. Families Matter exists to establish a united, sustained community wide effort to strengthen and restore marriages and families in Memphis and Shelby County.

Families Matter is a resource center that provides tools to build up every member of the family. Educational offerings include everything from workshops for couples and single parents to offerings for youth and a parenting boot camp for new dads. They also connect individuals and couples to counseling services around the area, should they need one-on-one attention. Families Matter provides an active program of family education and advocacy by collaborating with a broad cross-section of community organizations, groups and individuals, including churches and schools, that leads to changes which increase the opportunity to become more productive, enriched citizens. How can we promote optimal brain development by supporting families in our community? In our community, births to unmarried moms continue to increase. As a group, children of single moms do not fare as well as other children. Being born to an unmarried mom remains an important risk factor for children's health and development. Starting with conception, kids of single parents face more health risks than other babies.

These include maternal prenatal smoking, maternal substance abuse, low birth weight and poverty. Research shows that they are also more likely to have academic, emotional and behavior problems. In TN, consistent with national trends, infants born to unmarried mothers have an IMR that is twice that of infants born to married moms.Since 2002, the percentage of births to unmarried moms has increased in Shelby County (22%) and across TN (14%). - To contact Families Matter, please call 901-260-8520 or visit