P.A. 22-138 AAC Oversight and Funding of the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative. (S.B. 289)

Home P.A. 22-138 AAC Oversight and Funding of the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative. (S.B. 289)

This bill repeals the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative under current law and replaces it with the “Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative” or “CFI” with the same or similar purposes and objectives. It also establishes a (1) council to provide general oversight of the initiative, generally codifying existing practice, and (2) dedicated office within the Department of Social Services (DSS) for administrative support.

Whereas the current initiative was established within available appropriations under DSS, the bill creates the Office of the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative within DSS to be overseen by its commissioner. Although its funding is unspecified, this new office must perform administrative duties on CFI’s behalf in accordance with a strategic plan developed and implemented by the initiative with the council’s approval.

In comparison to the current initiative’s emphasis on children eligible or formerly eligible for services funded by the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant (i.e., Temporary Family Assistance, the state’s cash assistance program for low-income families), the new initiative broadens this emphasis to children from low-income families, regardless of their eligibility for TANF-funded services. The bill also partially changes the new initiative’s charge. Whereas the current initiative must identify certain services, including those that increase the ability of fathers to meet the financial and medical needs of their children through employment services and child support enforcement measures, the new initiative must instead identify services that increase fathers’ abilities to meet their children’s financial and emotional needs.

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