DeSantis Signs Law To Encourage Fatherhood Through Support Programs

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Levon Satamian Contributor
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new law Monday that would encourage fatherhood through support programs in his state.

A $70 million initiative, house bill 7065, will provide resources for mentorship and educational programs to help children, fathers, and families in Florida through the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice. (RELATED: DeSantis Considers Stripping Disney’s Self-Governing ‘Privileges’ After School Bill Opposition)

The law aims to support fathers and children by connecting boys with mentorships and men with career services, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The Department of Juvenile Justice will construct a mentorship program to help at-risk youth by hosting various programs such as fatherhood classes and barbershop talks, according to the governor’s news release.

The Department of Children and Families will launch a campaign to reach Florida residents statewide, their goal being to raise awareness about the importance of supporting nonprofit organizations to help fathers stay engaged, connect with their children, as well as the importance and impact of fatherhood. Additionally, there will be resources to assist fathers looking for employment opportunities, according to the news release.

The U.S. Census Bureau states that 18.4 million children, 1 in 4, live without a father in their home.

“If you look over the last many decades, one of the worst social trends has been the decline of fatherhood … 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,” DeSantis said at a news conference.

National Football League Hall of Famer and founder of nonprofit organization All Pro Dad, Tony Dungy, made a statement about the new legislation.

“This is going to be tremendous and such a good help to fathers in Florida … 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 … For many of these youths, these mentors may be the only father figure that they have,” Dungy said.