DeSantis Signs Bill Addressing ‘Fatherhood Crisis’

DeSantis Signs Bill Addressing ‘Fatherhood Crisis’

By Ryan Dailey, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — As state leaders take on what they are calling a “fatherhood crisis” in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will provide about $70 million to bolster programs aimed at equipping dads with parenting resources and helping foster youth.

The measure (HB 7065) received bipartisan support during the 2022 legislative session, passing unanimously in the House and Senate.

Under the bill, the state Department of Children and Families will be directed to contract for the creation of the “Responsible Fatherhood Initiative.” The initiative will be geared toward providing information on effective parenting and will include a media campaign that “may include appearances by and involvement from public figures and influencers.”

A significant portion of the money earmarked for the program, about $32.6 million, will go toward funding grants aimed at assisting fathers. The grants will be targeted at issues such as helping fathers find employment, manage child support obligations and transition from a period of incarceration. The measure also accompanies funding in the state budget for grants that “provide evidence-based parenting education specifically for fathers.”

The law also increases a stipend, from $1,256 to $1,720, for young adults who previously were in the foster care system and are attending postsecondary schools.

DeSantis said the measure will have “huge ramifications” for helping young Floridians reach their potential.

“If you look over the last many decades, one of the worst social trends has been the decline of fatherhood. And we do have, in many instances, a fatherhood crisis in this country. The fact of the matter is when you take kids who do not have a father present during their upbringing, the chance of them dropping out of school, getting involved in trouble with the law, having other difficulties, increases dramatically,” DeSantis, the father of three young children, said during a press conference in Tampa on Monday.

The measure also aims to boost collaboration between the state Department of Children and Families and Department of Juvenile Justice to better serve children who are “dually involved” with both systems, meaning they receive services from both agencies.

Republican lawmakers and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, who made the measure a top priority during the session, flanked DeSantis at Monday’s event, which took place at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice facility.

“If you look at every social study there is on this topic, whether it is suicide rates or depression or dropping out of school, everything you can think of, mass incarceration — one of the greatest common factors that unites those people is an absent father in their life,” Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, said.

Tony Dungy, a Tampa sports icon who is a former head coach of the Buccaneers and an inductee into the NFL Hall of Fame, also joined the governor to endorse the new law.

Dungy works with the nonprofit group All Pro Dad, which provides parenting information and hosts events. Dungy said the measure signed by DeSantis will be “such a big help” to fathers in Florida and the agencies that help them.

In the record $112.1 billion budget (HB 5001) for the fiscal year that begins July 1, All Pro Dad would receive $1.2 million for literacy and family engagement programs and another $1.92 million to promote adoption and foster care. DeSantis has not received the budget from lawmakers yet.

The literacy program got $1.2 million for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, and the adoption effort received $650,000. Two years ago, the totals were $700,000 for the literacy efforts and $650,000 to promote adoption services.

After highlighting funding and the various programs the bill he signed Monday aims to benefit, DeSantis said the onus is on fathers to be present in their children’s lives.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is. We’re here showing the importance of this. But you’ve got to be willing to do the right thing and be present in your child’s life. You’re not a man by leaving your kids hung out to dry. You need to be there,” DeSantis said.

— News Service staff writer Jim Turner contributed to this report.

14 Responses to "DeSantis Signs Bill Addressing ‘Fatherhood Crisis’"

  1. You people who want to blame thos problem on black people are pretty racist. (FYI–I’m white, so don’t start with more racist remarks.)

    Most of the people collecting welfare are white. There are virtually whole states of poor white people, like WV, who are on assistance. Most Republican states, especially in the South, are the poorest in the nation. (And yet they STILL vote for Republicans who want to cut their food stamps. Go figure.)

    No one in this state has kids for a living. I believe “welfare” here is a whopping $200/month, while max unemployment is $275/ week. I’m sure food stamps aren’t much better. I’m sure all that was adequate in, like, 1970.

    Meanwhile, the average rent is now over a thousand dollars. And almost 50% of households with kids are headed by single moms. And these moms are working 2 and 3 jobs to stay alive. Give them the money for ACTUALLY RAISING THESE KIDS instead of wasting it on more dead ends.

    No doubt, this is some kind of scam for kickbacks to Republican companies just like everything else in this state Republicans run.

  2. Limit unwed mothers who apply for entitlement programs to the number of children they have at the time… if they have more kids, that’s on them. Also, require unwed mothers who apply for entitlement programs to produce verifiable information on the baby-daddy(s)… no info, no entitlements. Then garnish the wages, seize personal property, and even disburse Social Security dollars of the baby-daddy to the mother to care for the child(children)… thus lowering the amount of tax dollar entitlements (including SS) that baby-mamma and baby-daddy get.

    If baby-daddy and mama die poor souls on the street for lack of SS, so be it… we needed it to care for YOUR responsibility(s).

    … problem on it’s way to being solved

  3. Lena, I see your angle. You are correct. Some of these men would probably never benefit the child in any way. However, you must admit that in our African American families that having children out of wedlock is a profession, and it is profitable. Rewarding irresponsible parenting is killing us, one and all.
    Thomas Sowell put it bluntly, and I write from memory so I’m not quoting, but you can look it up.; Most black children (78%) were raised in two parent families in 1960. 30 years later, after the civil rights act and the liberal welfare state took hold we found that 66% of black children were being raised by a single parent. Namely, a single mother.
    The toxic message of victimhood was spread by liberals to address the “legacy of slavery” to retain control over minorities. Factually, liberals have wreaked more havoc on blacks than slavery ever did.
    Thomas Sowell is an extremely educated and intelligent national treasure. He is also a Black man.

  4. The paid (welfare) destruction of the family structure is the reason for the continued cycle of poverty. We need to support the two parent family structure.

    Having said that DCF is an illegal agency that has NO jurisdiction over families and children. Title 42 states: “(d) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing any Federal official, agent, or representative, in carrying out any of the provisions of this Act, to take charge of any child over the objection of either of the parents of such child, or of the person standing in loco parentis to such child.”

    DCF receives federal funding

    How about not paying for having single parent children but pay more if two parents are in the house hold.

  5. @Pat,

    Somehow, black culture has evolved (devolved) to where there’s enormous pressure on young, single, black women to have babies even when there isn’t a husband or fiance in the picture.

    I don’t know how we change that, but we must. Paying young women to raise a dad-less child isn’t working….

  6. 77 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock according to wikipedia. The vast majority of local arrests are black. And the prisons are filled with black people. I argue the problem stems from their lifestyle and what they see as normal. So we throw money at the problem and tell ourselves it isn’t their fault.
    It is time to cap welfare benefits and build more jails and prisons.

  7. The breakdown of the family, especially the black family, is all part of the Democrat long-term strategy. Recall LBJ’s comments regarding the 1965 Civil Rights Act — “I’ll have those n****** voting Democrat for the next 100 years”. And Democrat policies have ensured that so many millions are dependent upon government money to exist. (Pew Research and The Hill have some excellent articles on this.)

    The U.S. leads the world with the dubious honor of having the greatest percentage of children growing up in single-parent households, with the vast majority of those households led by single moms. The rate is about 3 times what it was in 1960, before that civil rights legislation, and about 10 times what China’s is.

    And what about the former Boys Clubs of America? Where young boys could gather with other young boys and have adult male supervision around them? They were sued out of existence, force to be co-ed and can no longer give the kind of male leadership to boys that they cannot get at home.

    We did this to ourselves. Any effort to correct it should be appreciated.

  8. Everyone knows what the real problem is, but are intimidated out of stating the truth. As I’ve stated before, and will again…

    No matter how much money you throw at it… you can never solve a problem you refuse to acknowledge.

  9. The Govorner’s program will benifit fathers in Leon County 100% more than Sheriff McNeil’s ” hire a friend – do nothing – hey hey look at me I care around election time – border line criminal – unethical BS.”

    Thanks Governor and dueces on you local in the tank for corrupt public officials Sheriff.

    But thats just my opinion.
    You have every right to think the Sheriff is good and the Govorner is bad…but then why are you reading this? Get your trifiling @ss back to CNN!!!

  10. @ Lena,
    You state…
    “This is an insane waste”

    The insane waste is the hours and money spent on the Trump impeachment driven by the Crazy Train of Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, and Schiff. They drove us right into World War 3, Inflation, election fraud, corruption, immorality, supply chain interruptions, and the China bio-weapon.

    You are hilarious attempting to dishonor one of the most decent elected official’s in modern times.

    I bet you voted for Gillum.

  11. Another ridiculous Repiblican waste of time and public funds.

    How many men are going to step up and pay child support and be good dads because an “influencer” told them so? This is going to be just as successful as the 1980s Reagan “Say no to drugs” program. Are we now a drug-free society? Oh, please.

    This is an insane waste.

    Why doesn’t anyone make sure the RESPONSIBLE single moms actually get paid fairly? That’s why many kids live in poverty.

    “Dad” will not show up, and, in many cases where there are abusive and addicted dads, they SHOULDN’T show up. Kids are better off without them.

  12. I want everyone to take a few seconds and reflect on how close we were to having Andrew Gillum as our Governor. Then I want you to get down on your knees and thank almighty god for Governor DeSantis.

  13. “Hope says:
    April 6, 2022 at 3:14 pm
    Here is a free consult…”

    “Fatherless homes are an epidemic”.

    Governor DeSantis … An elected official who recognizes the problem and takes action to fix the problem.

    In Leon County the Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil and Mayor FAILEY failed to recognize the problem; they form committees to search for an answer that involves hiring their campaign managers pretending to be on task. They endow their special interest groups without recognizing there is a problem and give away $27 million Blueprint infrastructure funds to fix Stadium seats.

    Ron DeSantis is the Best Governor, elected official and citizen in the nation!

  14. Here is another way to helping fathers to be present in their Son’s lives. There are Studies out there that say if the Father is Incarcerated there is a very good chance that the Son will soon be Incarcerated as well. Let them be assigned the same Prison Cell.

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