Let’s Defund FATHERHOOD Programs, Marriage Promotion Programs, All Faith-Based Funding

With the debt ceiling crisis and the uproar over what programs to cut it's a good time to email your senators & representative and tell them what programs you would like cut and what programs you want to keep.

Let's defund Fatherhood programs, marriage promotion programs, all faith-based funding (faith-based charities are funded by church contributions, which aren't taxed)

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Obama (and Congress) you are killing children with the tax payer’s money. STOP FATHERHOOD FUNDING NOW!

Here is a sample letter that all can write:

Washington DC 20510

Re: Cut $500 Million from the Fatherhood Initiative and Hold Congressional Hearings


I am writing to you today to urge you to cut five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000.00) in funds administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services for Fatherhood Initiative programs.

These programs are designed to improve the lives of children by promoting responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage, authorized under 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Public Welfare.

45 CFR Section 260.20  The TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) program  has the following four purposes:

(a) Provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives;
(b) End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage;
(c) Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and
(d) Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

45 CFR Section 263.2(a)(4)(ii) Pro-family healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood activities enumerated in part IV-A of the Act, sections 403(a)(2)(A)(iii) and 403(a)(2)(C)(ii) that are consistent with the goals at §§260.20(c) or (d) of this chapter, but do not constitute “assistance” as defined in §260.31(a) of this chapter….

(g) State funds used to meet the Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grant match requirement may count to meet the MOE requirement in §263.1, provided the expenditure also meets all the other MOE requirements in this subpart.

Despite the stated positive goals, these programs lead to frighteningly negative outcomes for children. Goals of these funds are for fathers (especially ex-prisoners) to get jobs and pay child support.

Instead, gender-biased legal services are provided solely to fathers.  Opportunistic male batterers, molesters, felons and drug addicts seize the opportunity to use free legal services to avoid paying child support by gaining custody. This is the precise opposite of program goals.

On February 14, 2011, a non-custodial mother testified to Senate aides that she was refused legal services from an HHS federally funded grant program simply because she was a mother. This is an illegal use of federal dollars.

Approximately 70% of batterers who ask for custody receive custody.

Federal funds fuel this litigation.  Because aggressive fathers are able to access free legal assistance through federal Fatherhood Initiative programs, fathers have a distinct advantage in family court.  Custody is given to fathers who have legal representation, regardless of whether they pose a risk to their children.

A self-represented mother has no chance against a father who is advised and represented by an attorney. The result: Every year, 58,000 children (including nursing infants) are taken away from safe mothers and given to violent, abusive men.

This does not improve the lives of children. Rather, it causes immeasurable harm to them. Children live in situations that would break a seasoned soldier. They are beaten and raped. At least one per week is killed.These programs also lead to widespread fiscal waste, fraud and abuse.

Due to the lack of oversight and clearly defined and monitored outcome measures, these funds are commonly misused. An example is the defunded access to visitation program in Amador County CA.  The program was designed to foster a relationship and ensure contact between children and non-custodial parents, and provide victim protection through supervised visits. Instead, the grant program manager (a family law facilitator who illegally represented a private client, an admittedly violent father) used federal funds to:

1) benefit her custodial father client, rather than the non-custodial victim mother and victim   children;
2) block the mother’s access to her children;
3) suppress clear evidence of domestic violence and child sexual abuse;
4) pay other individuals who she used as witnesses against the mother;
5) collect money from the father for legal representation while billing the access to visitation program $16,000.00 for the father’s litigation costs; and
6) pay $6,000.00 for a wine drinking event disguised as training.

This is one of many programs throughout the country that are subverting the intent of the law. A federal investigation is needed to determine whether this subversion by fatherhood programs is unintentional or deliberate.

During a time of deep fiscal crisis, this pork barrel project, replete with waste, fraud and abuse that produce outcomes that harm children, is a travesty that needs to be defunded. We urgently request you to cut the Fatherhood Initiative funds immediately.

We further request Congressional hearings to allow testimony on the damage done to children due to the failure of family courts, assisted by federally -funded legal services, to protect them from violent and incestuous fathers.