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2006 Initiative /
 TANF Reauthorization

Healthy Marriage

Effective Parenting

Economic Stability

Access, Visitation,
 & Child Support


Research, Evaluation,
 & Data

Program Development

Other Resources

Promoting Responsible Fatherhood
Home Page

The President is determined to make committed, responsible fatherhood a national priority...
[T]he presence of two committed, involved parents contributes directly to better school performance, reduced substance abuse, less crime and delinquency, fewer emotional and other behavioral problems, less risk of abuse or neglect, and lower risk of teen suicide.  The research is clear:  fathers factor significantly in the lives of their children. There is simply no substitute for the love, involvement, and commitment of a responsible father.
A Blueprint For New Beginnings:  A Responsible Budget for America’s Priorities
Released February 28, 2001

Father and son playing basketball.
Father's Day:  President Bush Issues Father’s Day Proclamation, June 6, 2006

2006 Initiative / TANF Reauthorization

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 provides funding of $150 million each year for healthy marriage promotion and fatherhood.  Up to $50 million each year may be used for activities promoting fatherhood, such as counseling, mentoring, marriage education, enhancing relationship skills, parenting, and activities to foster economic stability.

Healthy Marriage

Healthy marriage services help couples, who have chosen marriage for themselves, gain greater access to marriage education services, on a voluntary basis, where they can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to form and sustain a healthy marriage.

Effective Parenting

Involved fathers provide practical support in raising children and serve as models for their development. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.  Committed and responsible fathering during infancy and early childhood contributes emotional security, curiosity, and math and verbal skills.

Economic Stability

Resources for helping fathers improve their economic status by providing activities, such as Work First services, job search, job training, subsidized employment, job retention, and job enhancement; and encouraging education, including career-advancing education.

Access, Visitation, Paternity, & Child Support

About half of all children spend some part of their life apart from one or both of their parents, and most often the parent that does not live with the child is the father.  The laws that cover these relationships are the responsibility of the state (Family Law), but the Federal Government does provide states with funding to assist in the development of programs that help establish paternity, collect child support, and provide non-residential parents with access to their children.


The Department of Justice has estimated that over 7.3 million children under age 18 have a parent who is in prison, jail, on probation, or on parole. Given these numbers, it is important to understand how children and their caregivers are affected by the criminal activity of a parent and their subsequent arrest, incarceration, and release.  Additionally, it is important to know which services and assistance might be available to those under criminal justice supervision to help them be better parents and to return successfully to the community.

Research, Evaluation, & Data

Good research and program evaluations assess program performance, measure outcomes for families and communities, and document successes.  Information on previous and current research and evaluation efforts can help programs and researchers to direct limited resources to where they are most needed, and most effective, in assessing results.

Program Development

The principal implication for fathering programs is that these programs should involve a wide range of interventions, reflecting the multiple domains of responsible fathering, the varied residential and marital circumstances of fathers, and the array of personal, relational, and environmental factors that influence men as fathers.

Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation

ASPE is the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development, and is responsible for major activities in policy coordination, legislation development, strategic planning, policy research, evaluation, and economic analysis.  Pertinent Fatherhood topics found there include:  Child Welfare, Employment, Family and Marriage Issues, and Violence.

Other Resources

Federal information relating to fatherhood is spread throughout multiple departments and agencies.  This area includes the home pages of many of these agencies, related activities in the Regions around the country, and other miscellaneous resources.

A Blueprint For New Beginnings:  Statement on Responsible Fatherhood — (2/28/01)

The President believes that every child deserves to live in a safe, permanent and caring family, with a loving father and mother.  Unfortunately, the dramatic increase in the number of children living without fathers, including in foster care, means that for millions of children, this is not the case.  The result is that countless children are growing up without the stability they need to fulfill their dreams.  The entire Blueprint is available online at:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/usbudget/blueprint/budtoc.html.


This website contains links to fatherhood and related websites created and maintained by other public and private entities.  This information is provided for the reader's convenience.  The Department of Health and Human Services does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information.  Further, these links do not intend or imply endorsement of any views expressed or products or services offered.

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Last Revised: March 05 , 2007

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