TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced the availability of $21.2 million through the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. In 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis joined by the Legislature, national, and community leaders signed HB 7065 which created the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative and highlights the important and critical role that fathers have in their children’s lives.
Family relationships play an impactful role in shaping a child’s well-being, and evidence shows that children with involved fathers are at lower risk for poor childhood outcomes, including emotional and behavioral problems, neglect and abuse, poor school performance, and criminal activity. This historic investment has the potential to change the course of families’ lives by shaping fathers and helping them to maintain an active role in the lives of their children. These initiatives will impact future generations and provide a wide spectrum of family support.
Through this historic legislation, 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 needs fathers.
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.
The second part of that funding which totals more than $21.2 million will support three grant opportunities. Applications for the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative are live and details about the grants are below. Community-based non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply through the Vendor Information Portal.:
- The Comprehensive Needs of Fathers grant: This 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: This 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: This 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.
If technical assistance is needed to complete the RFA or training, groups can complete this form.