Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated Fathers and their Partners (FY 06-10)


Funding Mechanism: Grant

Total Available Funding: $4 million

Number of Awards: 12

Average Award Amount per Year: $400,000

Length of Project Period: 5 years, 2006-2011

Federal Partners: None

Summary: These grants, part of the larger ACF Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, funded programs with the primary purpose of promoting and strengthening marriage. In addition to marriage strengthening activities, grantees may also provide other authorized activity areas that improve parenting and promote economic stability. These grants focus only on fathers who are currently or very recently under criminal justice supervision. Additionally, marriage activities are the primary focus of these grants, although parenting and/or employment services can also be provided in order to strengthen the viability of the family unit. Grantee approaches involve stakeholders from the criminal justice system, as well as include diverse community sectors (e.g., government, schools, faith-based communities, healthcare and businesses). Grantees address and consider issues of couples separated by geography; the continuity of services between prison and the community; the integration of MFS services into existing reentry programs; linkages with other service approaches to families with an incarcerated parent, (e.g., mentoring children of prisoners); and the risk factors that must be considered in program planning, (e.g., domestic violence).

Background: The purpose of the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, funded by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006, is to promote responsible fatherhood by funding programs that support healthy marriage activities, promote responsible parenting, and foster economic stability. The Fatherhood programs enable fathers to improve their relationships and reconnect with their children. The programs help fathers overcome obstacles and barriers that often prohibit them from being the most effective and nurturing parents. While the primary goal of the initiative is to promote responsible fatherhood in all of its various forms, an essential point is to encourage responsible fatherhood within the context of marriage. Research shows that two-parent married families are the most effective environment for raising children.

Grantees: Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, Indiana Department of Corrections, Maryland Department of Human Resources, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Shelby County Division of Corrections (Memphis, TN), Centerforce (Bay Area, CA), Council on Crime and Justice (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN), Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (MI), Osborne Association (New York), People of Principle (West Texas), Ridge Project (Northwest Ohio).

Evaluation Activities: Seven-year implementation and impact evaluation being performed by RTI International, under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). For more information on this evaluation, see the ASPE section of this compendium.

Future Prospects: None


Charles Sutton, Project Officer
Phone: (202) 401-5078
Email: Charles.Sutton@acf.hhs.gov

Robin McDonald
Phone: (202) 401-5587
Email: Robin.McDonald@ach.hhs.gov

Geneva Ware-Rice, ACF
Phone: (202) 205-8354
Email: Geneva.Warerice@acf.hhs.gov

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