“Responsible Fatherhood Initiative" Provides $70M to Encourage Responsible and Involved Fatherhood
Tampa-April 11, 2022: Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that will provide $70 million to the state Department of Children and Families to fund the “Responsible Fatherhood Initiative.”
The funding will pay for educational and mentorship programs to encourage responsible and involved fatherhood. The Governor signed House Bill 7065 into law Monday in Tampa.
"If we just snapped our finger and every single child in Florida had both parents present a lot of the problems we see as kids start to get older you would see a dramatic decline," said DeSantis. "So this has huge ramifications for someone’s ability to be able to realize their god given potential.”
Several prominent national and community leaders were on hand for the bill signing including former NFL head coach and all pro dad founder Tony Dungy who spoke about his first visit to a prison with Rev Abe Brown.
“And I remember driving home from that trip and asking Rev. Brown – 'How did those young boys get there?'", said Dungy. "And he told me it’s not socio-economic, it’s not racial, it’s not education. It’s none of that. 95% of these boys did not grow up with their dad.”
Former NFL professional football player and philanthropist Jack Brewer was also there.
"71% of our kids that drop out of high school are fatherless," said Brewer. "Over 90% of our kids that are homeless teenagers are fatherless, our mental health issues are coming because we have fatherless children. And so this bill is changing all that.”
The Governor acknowledged that the bill won't "solve everything," but he said "empowering communities and empowering groups, I think is going to make a real, real, difference.”