October 1, 2015
On October 3, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance announced millions in grant awards for Responsible Fatherhood programs. The grants awarded under this funding opportunity would support projects for three years in organizations that have the capacity and proven track record of helping low-income fathers.
In addition, they support projects that are designed to develop a broad approach to overall case management, support services and help fathers build mutually supportive, long-lasting relationships with their children and the children’s mothers, and help fathers overcome barriers to economic self-sufficiency.
Although the Responsible Fatherhood grant program does not explicitly aim to reduce poverty, its stated focus is to overcome or remove the multiple barriers that prevent low-income fathers and families from achieving self-sufficiency and economic stability.
Varying levels of funding for fatherhood programs across states may reflect a number of factors, including the ability of fathers and families in low-income communities to advocate for services, local organizations’ capacity to respond to the needs of people experiencing poverty in their communities, and policy priorities expressed through HHS funding choices. More important, this funding stream could lead to fundamental changes in national policy that would provide sustainable funding for services for men so they can better provide for their children and make a positive contribution to their families and communities.