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[IWS] CRS: FATHERHOOD INITIATIVES: CONNECTING FATHERS TO THEIR CHILDREN [16 January 2015]

IWS Documented News Service

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Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

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This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children

Carmen Solomon-Fears, Specialist in Social Policy

January 16, 2015

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL31025.pdf

[full-text, 26 pages]

 

Summary

In 2013, almost 25% of families with children (under age 18) were maintained by mothers.

According to some estimates, about 60% of children born during the 1990s spent a significant

portion of their childhood in a home without their father. Research indicates that children raised

in single-parent families are more likely than children raised in two-parent families (with both

biological parents) to do poorly in school, have emotional and behavioral problems, become

teenage parents, and have poverty-level incomes. In hopes of improving the long-term outlook for

children in single-parent families, federal, state, and local governments, along with public and

private organizations, are supporting programs and activities that promote the financial and

personal responsibility of noncustodial fathers to their children and increase the participation of

fathers in the lives of their children. These programs have come to be known as “responsible

fatherhood” programs.

 

Sources of federal funding for fatherhood programs include the Temporary Assistance for Needy

Families (TANF) program, TANF state Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE) funding, Child Support

Enforcement (CSE) funds, and Social Services Block Grant (Title XX) funds.

 

Beginning with the 106th Congress, bills containing specific funding for responsible fatherhood

initiatives were debated. President George W. Bush, a supporter of responsible fatherhood

programs, included funding for such programs in each of his budgets. Likewise, President Obama

has also included responsible fatherhood initiatives in each of his budgets.

 

P.L. 109-171 (the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, enacted February 8, 2006) included a provision

that provided up to $50 million per year (FY2006-FY2010) in competitive grants to states,

territories, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and public and nonprofit community groups

(including religious organizations) for responsible fatherhood initiatives. P.L. 113-235 (the

Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, enacted December 16, 2014)

provides $75 million for responsible fatherhood grants for FY2015. (Responsible fatherhood

grants have been funded at $75 million per year since FY2011.)

 

Most fatherhood programs include media campaigns that emphasize the importance of emotional,

physical, psychological, and financial connections of fathers to their children. Most fatherhood

programs include parenting education; responsible decision-making; mediation services for both

parents; providing an understanding of the CSE program; conflict resolution, coping with stress,

and problem-solving skills; peer support; and job-training opportunities (skills development,

interviewing skills, job search, job-retention skills, job-advancement skills, etc.).

 

The federal government’s support of fatherhood initiatives raises a wide array of issues. This

report briefly examines the role of the CSE agency in fatherhood programs and discusses

initiatives to promote and support father-child interaction outside the parents’ relationship.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

What Are Fatherhood Initiatives? .................................................................................................... 4

Research and Evaluation .................................................................................................................. 5

MDRC Parents’ Fair Share Demonstration Project ................................................................... 5

Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study ............................................................................. 6

Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Responsible Fatherhood Programs .................. 8

Partners for Fragile Families Demonstration ............................................................................. 9

Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated

and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners........................................................................... 10

Other Evaluations .................................................................................................................... 11

Issues.............................................................................................................................................. 12

CSE System and Noncustodial Parents Often at Odds ............................................................ 13

Noncustodial Father Involvement vs. Promotion of Marriage vs. Maintenance of

Fragile Families .................................................................................................................... 14

Appendixes

Appendix. Legislative History of Federally Funded Responsible Federal Fatherhood

Programs ..................................................................................................................................... 17

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 23

 

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This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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