President Obama's proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget maintains funding for fatherhood and healthy marriage grants at $150 million. That's good news for community-based organizations across the country that have committed to improving child well-being by starting or expanding their programs to include serving fathers.
Fortunately, there's even more good news in the President's proposed budget for efforts to strengthen families by increasing the involvement of fathers in children's lives. For the past decade or so, community-based organizations and local and state governments have used other sources of federal funds--distributed through DHHS and other federal agencies--to serve fathers. The President's proposed budget maintains and in some cases increases those funds.
The sources include:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ($16.7 billion via DHHS)
- Children and Family Services Programs, which includes Head Start, Early Head Start, and some child welfare services ($11.7 billion via DHHS)
- Promoting Safe and Stable Families, which includes some child welfare services ($583 million via DHHS)
- Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs ($4.5 billion via DHHS)
- Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program ($400 million via DHHS)
- Second Chance Act Program ($100 million via the U.S. Department of Justice)
- Juvenile Justice Programs ($333.4 million via the U.S. Department of Justice)
- Training and Employment Services ($4.6 billion via the U.S. Department of Labor)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children ($40 million via the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Community-based organizations and local and state governments are not limited to using federal funds specifically designated for fatherhood programs in their efforts to increase the proportion of involved, responsible, committed fathers. Because they can use so many sources of federal funding to serve fathers--and have been able to for many years--the federal government continues to provide critical support for this vital work.
Have you thought about how your agency and its services might be a good fit for different sources of federal funding available to serve fathers?