MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County will receive a $10 million “New Pathways for Fathers and Families” Administration for Children and Families grant that will build on and enhance the County’s successful Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood project.
County Executive Chris Abele yesterday announced the grant award at an event at Next Door Foundation.
Milwaukee County is the only child support agency in the U.S. to receive and administer a “Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood” grant from the federal government. This grant partners Milwaukee County with community organizations to help fathers improve their economic security. With this funding, Child Support Services has piloted a one-of-a-kind model that works to not only get support to kids who need it and strengthen family relationships, but to help fathers receive job training, improve their economic mobility opportunities, and recover lost driver’s licenses.
The New Pathways grant will fully fund an additional $2 million per year, for the next five years, on top of the Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood grant, allowing Milwaukee County to build on this success, add more in-depth services, and provide more hands-on case management with an increased level of measurement and evaluation.
“There’s no greater joy in my life than being a dad and being involved in my kids’ lives. I want every father to have the opportunity to provide for their children and help them succeed,” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. “In the first three years of our Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood program we have provided job training, employment services, and family counseling for thousands of fathers. The additional funding from the New Pathways for Fathers and Families grant will allow us to empower even more fathers and more families to live a better life.”
Kahlid Crokerhan, a program participant who was able to secure a job through partner organization UMOS and since also enrolled in classes at MATC for the first time, said yesterday that the program has changed his life and improved his relationship with his children.
“Economic security is a major step on the path toward empowering America’s fathers and families. With this critical federal investment, Milwaukee County will have the tools and resources it needs to build on its successful partnerships with community organizations and address the tough struggles and challenges that many face. I am proud to support Milwaukee County’s efforts to strengthen families and the community so that every child has an opportunity to succeed and reach their dreams,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.
“I am delighted to see the federal government join us as partners in providing our fathers and families with the capacity to succeed and foster their own economic security,” said U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore. “When we work together, we can ensure that Milwaukee’s best days are still ahead.”
“Countless studies support what should be simple common sense, children do better when their father is actively participating in their lives. The Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood program in Milwaukee has had a great track record in helping non-custodial fathers gain the skills to find meaningful employment and make consistent child support payments. When non-custodial fathers are able to contribute financially, they feel better about their role in the family and engage more with their children which benefits the entire community,” Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson said.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and representatives from partner organizations Center for Self-Sufficiency, Centro Legal, Community Advocates, Compel Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, My Father’s House, Next Door Foundation, and the Social Development Commission also showed their support for the County’s efforts at the event.