In an effort to promote fatherhood and healthy families, the Obama Administration as part of their FY 2011 budget is proposing the creation of the Fatherhood, Marriage, and Families Innovation Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to encourage states to implement comprehensive programs aimed at connecting fathers with their families, which should lead to healthier families and children. In the past many programs have focused on only one parent, especially the mother, but as more and more research is completed, we are discovering, what most have already know, that children need both parents to be economically, emotionally, and medically stable to ensure the best chance in life. With this in mind, the Fund seeks to support research based, comprehensive family self-sufficiency programs. One way to reach this goal is by promoting programs that ensure that fathers are connected to their families and communities in a meaningful way. The Center for American Progress has proposed a number of areas on which these newly funded programs could focus.
- Comprehensive programs that offer help with multiple needs, such as employment, housing, legal issues, parenting skills, managing child support, marriage/family, and substance abuse and mental health services.
- Programs that take a broad definition of family. In other words, programs that define family as both custodial and non-custodial parents, step families, and other non-traditional families
- Programs that build family connections; many times stresses such as housing, finances, and legal issues inhibit family connections. Programs should focus on ways that family connections can help to overcome these barriers.
- Programs that help to reduce poverty, which can tear families apart
- Programs that protect against domestic violence, including protection and support for survivors.
Anyone in the blogosphere have any ideas on how to support fatherhood in low-income communities?