Florida is Launching a Focused Effort to Help Men Become Responsible Fathers
Florida is launching a focused effort to help men become the responsible fathers in their homes that their families need them to be. This often overlooked area is becoming a crisis in our country and state — and Florida leaders are acting.
Governor DeSantis has signed into law HB 7065, which includes educational programs, mentorship programs and one-on-one support to encourage responsible and involved fatherhood in Florida. The law includes nearly $70 million in funding to provide a wide spectrum of family and youth support through the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
“There are more than 18 million children in our country who live without a father in their home,” Governor DeSantis said. “This has a severe impact on children, and often leads to dropping out of school, crime and substance abuse. Incredibly, there are those who diminish the importance of fatherhood and the nuclear family. We will not let that happen in our state. I am proud to say we are doing everything we can to support involved fatherhood in Florida.”
“We cannot legislate fatherhood, accountability or character, but we can provide support for fathers to equip and encourage them to take an active role in the lives of their children,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls, who brought attention to the fatherhood crisis during his 2019 designation speech.”
“This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida,” said Coach Tony Dungy, Former Head Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “This bill is so important. I want to thank all of the men and women that have been behind this. It is going to allow groups like All Pro Dad and people like those here today to do great things for our fathers here in Florida.”
One of the law’s main provisions is supporting and creating mentorship programs at DJJ for at-risk youth. For many of these youth, their mentor may be the closest thing they have to a father. The law provides a wide spectrum of family support, including fatherhood classes, a statewide campaign on the importance of responsible fatherhood, helping non-profit organizations that use evidence-based parenting education to help fathers engage with their children, find employment, transition from incarceration and manage their obligations.