May 5, 2022Share
Governor DeSantis Signs a New Law Addressing “Fatherhood Crisis.”
On April 11, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law aimed at addressing the “fatherhood crisis” in the state.
The bipartisan initiative, HB 7065, will provide educational resources, mentorship programs, and one-on-one support to encourage responsible fatherhood and involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. The bill is tied to nearly $70 million in funding geared toward supporting fathers, families, and foster youth through the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Under the bill, the Department of Children and Families will create the “Responsible Fatherhood Initiative”, which is designed to provide fathers with resources and information on effective parenting and includes a media campaign to raise awareness around the importance of fatherhood that “may include appearances by and involvement from public figures and influencers.”
A significant portion of the money tied to this Law, about $32.6 million, will be utilized to fund grants to assist fathers. Specifically, the Law requires the Department of Children and Families to award grants to not-for-profit community-based organizations to address the needs of fathers. Under the Law, there are two types of grants available to not-for-profit community organizations:
- Grants to comprehensively address the needs of fathers, such as assisting them in finding employment, establishing appropriate child support obligations, transitioning from incarceration, accessing health care, and obtaining parenting education. Services provided must be tailored to the needs of fathers being served. These grants shall require case management services to be provided to fathers.
- Grants to provide evidence-based parenting education specifically for fathers.
A portion of the money will go to the Department of Juvenile Justice to allow the agency to create mentorship programs for at-risk youth. The Law also increases a monthly stipend, from $1,256 to $1,720, awarded to young adults who were previously in foster care and are pursuing post-secondary education.
“If you look over the last many decades, one of the worst social trends has been the decline of fatherhood,” DeSantis expressed in a press conference on April 11, 2022. He said this new measure will have “huge ramifications” for helping young Floridians reach their potential.
DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg, nor its individual attorneys or staff, are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.