In many family situations, a child looks up to that child's father during the influential years of youth. A father can be not only a role model for his child but also a friend, philosopher and guide. However, this is usually true only when a father is responsible and caring. Federal and Texas authorities understand the importance of this responsibility and thus a number of policies, strategies and programs have been implemented in order to promote responsible fatherhood.
The Responsible Fatherhood Grants program is one such initiative, which is run by the United States Department of Health and Human Services through its Administration for Children & Families' Office of Family Assistance. The purpose of the program is to encourage fathers to become responsible parents by means of a number of programs, both at the state and federal levels.
According to the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, the Responsible Fatherhood Grants Program receives annual funding of $75 million from the federal government. The funds are used by various state and federal initiatives to promote responsible fatherhood among fathers in Texas and the rest of the country. Those initiatives are aimed at fathers of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
In Texas, for example, the state funds various programs that encourage fathers to be responsible parents. They are trained in parenting skills, spreading awareness about fatherhood in general and providing necessary training that will help fathers become financially independent. At the same time, those initiatives also spread awareness about the various difficulties associated with unwanted fatherhood, which ultimately has detrimental effects on the best interests of the child.
The Responsible Fatherhood Programs also deal with other issues, which fathers' rights advocates often discuss, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, paternity establishment, child support assistance and enforcement and child custody and visitation schedules for divorced or separated fathers so that children can benefit from the various advantages of a healthy father-child relationship.