Genevieve Wood with The Heritage Foundation said people need to understand the benefits of marriage and costs of broken families.
"Studies show divorce and unwed childbearing cost taxpayers over $110 billion each year," said Wood.
She said the best chance for children to succeed is to come from families that are intact.
"Marriage reduces the probability of child poverty by 80 percent," said Wood.
She said married people's children are more likely to do better in school, be more mature emotionally and be more financially stable. Children raised in single parent homes are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, poor social behaviors, commit violent crimes and drop out of school.
Wood said programs have encouraged dependency on the system, rather than earning a paycheck. Instead, there need to be more family-friendly public policies.
"One way government can help is by eliminating the marriage penalty. Second, government assistance programs should provide temporary help to families in need, not welfare that spans generations," said Wood.