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The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative


The Fatherhood Initiative includes educational programs, mentorship programs and one-on-one support to encourage responsible and involved fatherhood in Florida. The initiative highlights the important and critical role that fathers have in their children’s lives and provides a wide spectrum of family support. The Department is working in collaboration with Family First to create a statewide awareness campaign to call attention to the importance of responsible fatherhood, and to equip fathers with resources to stay engaged in their children’s lives.

Family First, a non-profit organization in Tampa, Florida that provides parenting, marriage, and relationship resources that help people love their family well, and gives them greater hope for the future, has been selected to be the implementor for the first portion of the Fatherhood Initiative.

Studies have shown that when fathers are involved in their children’s lives, there are undeniable benefits – children are statistically less likely be abused or neglected, and they have fewer behavioral and psychological problems.

Fatherhood Initiative
Last year the Florida Legislature appropriated over $68.9 million to support services for fathers, create a public awareness campaign related to responsible fatherhood, and provide evidence-based parenting education to meet the individual’s needs of the fathers.

A portion of that funding is going toward three grants. The Comprehensive Needs of Fathers grant will fund services that address the needs of fathers such as assisting them in finding employment, managing child support obligations, understanding child development, and enhancing parenting skills. The Evidence-Based Education Programs for Fathers grant will fund educational programming that focuses on topics such as parent coaching, co-parenting collaboration, newborn and infant care education, and parenting skills training. The Mentorship Programs for At-Risk Male Students grant will assist at-risk male students who are in middle school or high school in developing economic, social, emotional, and cognitive skills to prepare them for future success.