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Did you notice/were you noticed? Taking Welfare Funds to push Fatherhood (to Reduce Poverty) No Longer About Reducing Poverty

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(this blog was a quick post and composed in what appears to be “html” mode — half my formatting buttons are gone. So be it; deal with it!)

I found a 2009 Policy Brief, but not being on the fatherhood conference circuit, I somehow missed this. In fact as a mother, in about 2009 I was barely finding out that fatherhood funding through 1996 TANF welfare reform existed. IN other words, Liz Richards (NAFCJ.net) had it out there — but doesn’t blog, and I came from the land of “California Protective Parents Association” which — until I think I pushed the envelope pretty hard — simply didn’t want to talk about it. They certainly had participants who knew, too (Karen Anderson, of Amador County. Her story was out as of 1999; see http://www.johnnypumphandle.com/cc/visitatn.htm ). Neither did Center for Judicial Excellence (ca. 2008), out of SF Bay Area, want to either, although Cindy Ross, who also (as I heard it, contacted CJE & told them (= a “her”) about it (Cindy’s writing ca. 2002: http://newsmakingnews.com/ross,cindy10,28,02.htm connecting a case to the D.C. Sniper, ). He shot multiple people so that his intended assassination of his wife would appear to have been done by a stranger. Meanwhile (back at the ranch) my HHS is promoting fatherhood nationwide. . . . .

John Muhammad, a Devoted Dad?
Connecting the Sniper case to family court corruption and federal fatherhood program fraud. (Part 1)
by Cindy Ross © October 28, 2002
For three weeks in October, the “Beltway Sniper” terrorized the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Ten people were shot to death and three seriously wounded while they were doing routine activities like shopping, mowing grass, pumping gas, or going to school. The “Sniper” left cryptic and chilling messages referring to himself as “God” and threatening that children were not safe “anywhere, at any time.”

After 22 days, following leads that took them from Maryland to Alabama and New Jersey to Tacoma, Washington, authorities arrested two suspects. John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17 were found at a rest stop sleeping in their car. Rifles confiscated from Muhammad’s vehicle included an XM-15 and ballistic tests linked the rifle to the .223 caliber bullets used to shoot most of the victims.

Although John Muhammad has been described as a Muslim sympathetic to the September 11 attacks, a neighbor who knew him in Washington State described him as “… far less interested in talking religion than he was in complaining about his estranged second wife and the custody dispute over their three children”. See NY Times, “Once Calmed by Faith, Suspect Turned Furious”.
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/27/national/nationalspecial/27RELI.html

I came on the scene a littler later and found CPPA on-line somehow, as I recall, and later (by then my court-enabled contact with my children was zilch — a thing of the past, in practice, if not on paper, and no options to enforce anywhere near. I still didn’t know about these matters). Neither CPPA nor CJE these explained the AFCC, etc. to me. When I found and attempted a little reverse-knowledge infusion (citing some CA NOW work on the same matter, HHS grants) — I was scolded for not being “collaborative” enough. Collaboration sure is the name of the game.

No organization taking VAWA funding was going to talk about this, either. Nor was even the magnificent Child Abuse Solutions group, which, to its credit, at least references PAS and said it’s wrong. They simply don’t talk about how things work.

So, at about the time i started this blog (2009), another organization out of Wisconsin (whose state registration I still can’t find) was doing a policy brief — neatly summarizing where the fatherhood funding came from, and how it was a factor of welfare reform (TANF, 1996). Why are women and mothers in abusive relationships, or leaving them, so often the last people to be given a clue of what’s steering their family court cases, and why the local child support agency keeps compromising on the past due arrears, making that custody battle even harder to maintain, as it’s impossible to be in court and at one’s job at the same time (last I heard).

It’s also just about as hard to maintain work consistently while being ordered to co-parent with a serious, serial abuser when separate from (him) as it is while living there. Living there is worse– but NOT living there ought to be WAY much better — and, while I would NEVER go back again (play it again Sam) and fail to file restraining order, it sure would’ve been nice if all the nice policy setters would instruct their nonprofit (front) groups to instruct all clients who really was calling the shots. After all, when these women are having a hard time holding body and soul together, they sometimes also have a hard time staying on the internet and hunting for answers.

That make sense.

ANYHOW. . . . . . I would be negligent not to post this treasure. Enjoy — and mothers not up to speed, read it!

If the Fatherhood (and Marriage) promotion in order to stop poverty isn’t stopping poverty — or even aimed at poor people any more (despite using funding designed to alleviate poverty) . . . . .– then why not just shut down the programs, huh?

Well, far be it from any institution to voluntarily shut itself down, so perhaps we’ll have to, and let the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (which helped pay for this nice 2009 report) understand that we don’t think that’s honest!

Fatherhood Programs
and Healthy Marriage Funding
MARGUERITE ROULET

Policy Brief (2009)

What’s also fun about this is it comes from a group called “CFFPP.” Search my blog — interesting history. Just search the initials.

My WordPress Compose mode isn’t working right these days (a whole row of options seems to be toggled off). This is an incidental find, but good enough to go back and post.

THIS is the Executive Summary, or part of it:

Introduction
Over the past two decades, community-based programs that provide services to low- income fathers have been supported through a broad variety of funding sources. Each of these funding sources has come with a somewhat different objective (e.g., parenting support, employment assistance) and has targeted a specific clientele (e.g., fathers of children in Head Start programs, un- or underemployed fathers with child support debt). Although these funding streams have focused on different aspects of fathers’ situations, they have had a common focus on low-income fathers and on enhancing their ability to be involved with their children. Programming for low-income fathers may include parent-child activity groups, parenting support, employment assistance programs, education and training services, help with housing and transportation, mentoring programs, and/or assistance with child support and other legal matters. By virtue of working with low-income fathers, any of these activities also focus on the barriers that result from poverty.
In recent years, however, the direction of support for low-income fathers has changed. Even as many of the earlier funding initiatives (both public and private) have come to an end or have ceased to identify low-income fathers as a target clientele, the direction of public support for low-income families in general has come to focus less on meeting the recognized needs of men and women in regard to their roles as parents, and more on addressing nuclear family structure. This shift in funding has changed not only the orientation from parents and children to couples and nuclear families, but has also lessened the poverty-reduction focus of the earlier initiatives. While originally represented as a means to address poverty, the focus on nuclear families and marriage has increasingly become a goal in and of itself, as a means to enhance general family and child well-being.

Focus on the nuclear family was encouraged with passage of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Even more recently, marriage programs have received substantial public and private support, particularly following the federal Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) 2002 launch of the broad-scale Healthy Marriage Initiative, which provided over $90 million in marriage-related programming support. Moreover, under the reauthorization of the TANF program in 2006, $100 million per year over a 5-year period was set aside to support Healthy Marriage Demonstration grants, and $50 million per year over a 5-year period was set aside to support Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration grants that include a significant focus on healthy marriage activities.

While fatherhood programs could continue to provide parenting and economic support services with these funds, they could also choose to devote some or all of their resources to activities designated as healthy marriage activities. Over one-third of the programs that were awarded such grants chose to provide healthy marriage activities as a part of their services.

As an agency concerned with understanding and improving the situations of low-income fathers and their families, the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP) has followed these changes with interest.

{{Yes, you most certainly did – up to and including changing the organizations’ NAME (while keeping the same acronym, a rather awkward change) eliminating the word “Fathers” from the organization’s name. That’s OK — we know the main content and interest remained the same, anyhow. 🙂 }} http://www.cffpp.org (as of today, this shows a picture of a Dad with his arms around a boy).

990s: 2009 shows program purpose:
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, POLICY RESEARCH] TRAINING,- AND PUBLIC
EDUCATION ON LOW INCOME FAMILY_DYNAMICS

or,

THE MISSION OF THE CENTER FOR FAMILY POLICY AND PRACTICE IS TO STRENGTHEN SOCIETY THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOW-INCOME PARENTS-MOTHERS AND FATHERS-TO PROTECT AND SUPPORT THEIR CHILDREN.

Between the two paid officers, only $108K salary: Jacquelyn Boggess — $73K, and David Pate, $35K.

http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/364/364038873/364038873_201006_990EZ.pdf


David J. Pate, Ph.D
Co-Director
Phone: (608) 257-3148
Click to e-mailhttp://www.insightcced.org/

Center for Family Policy and Practice
23 North Pinckney Street, Suite 210
Madison, WI 53703
David Pate has worked in the field of social work for over twenty-five years. He has experience as a practitioner, administrator and public policy advocate in the areas of low-income adolescents and adult males, fathers and families. He has made numerous presentations and written articles on the issues that relate to the provision of service to minority males and the effects of social welfare policy on their day to day existence. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. He holds a doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a W.K. Kellogg fellow in the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship program.

I notice also Oliver Williams was on the Board of Directors (well-known fatherhood advocate).
In this 2008 Batterers Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan, both Jacquelyn Boggess and Dr. Oliver Williams are speakers:

http://www.biscmi.org/stp/ “shifting the paradigm: addressing batterers as fathers”

(Don’t worry — there will always be a way to work fatherhood into SOME Programming, regardless of the fact that it hasn’t been provien to reduce abuse OR poverty, OR child welfare overall. And you can get paid for it, too). I mean, just read the language describing the conference — read its exact words:

Conference Description: Men who perpetrate domestic violence are often willing to violate the law feeling justified when it comes to issues related to their children by invoking the sanctity of “fatherhood.”

The BISC-MI 2008 Fall Conference will focus on shifting the paradigm from blaming battered mothers to emphasizing the importance of developing programs and practices that promote and expect men who batter to be responsible and loving fathers. This includes respectful and honorable interaction with the children’s mother.

This cutting edge conference offers the expertise of nationally recognized faculty with over a century of combined years of experience. Presenters will share studies, tools, theories, concepts, books, and curricula to assist those working with men to understand the intersection between fatherhood and battering. There will be opportunities to discuss intervention and programming strategies and network with others who intervene with fatherhood issues and domestic violence.

Welfare Reform never had much to do about reducing poverty anyhow. It just took a few years to expand into its proper perspective, which was justifying more programming for the teachers, trainers, conferencers and social science theorists. Certainly something which works will be stumbled upon sooner or later.

By the way — how many kids, and women, and men — will die before it’s found? Because they still are dying over this “Family” idolatry.

We have been interested not only in the policy implications of this shift, but also in its effect on services for low- income fathers. In 2008, we conducted interviews with fatherhood programs and program networks throughout the country to gain a sense of their perspectives on these issues and to determine whether they believe this change in funding is affecting the provision of services to low-income fathers.

{{Were you assuming the provision of services to low-income mothers with children was not negatively affected by all this fatherhood focus? Was this at public expense? Were you checking around with the circle of similar organizations to see what they were going to do, given that it appears Welfare Reform and Block Grants to States wasn’t about improving the lot of poor people (male or female) after all, perhaps from the start? Or didn’t you notice who was pushing it through the first round?}} {{I didn’t – at this time I was in an abusive relationship. By the time I got out, the group that helped me got out indicated I’d just squeaked out the door due to feminist backlash. This proved out to be true, and I later read in the press that the same nonprofit had also changed its song and dance — funding is funding if you’re a nonprofit — and the leadership now focusing on helping noncustodial fathers, not mothers fleeing abuse with children but stranded in the court system. After all, go where the money is….}}

We were interested in several issues, including how the change in the focus of funding affected programming, whether the funding direction created opportunities to provide new services, whether it eliminated opportunities to provide certain services, whether program staff believed fathers were interested in receiving marriage/relationship services, and whether program staff members were interested in providing these services.
Fatherhood, Marriage, and Welfare Reform

Much of the support for fatherhood programs in the U.S. dates to the late 1980s and 1990s, when scholarly research, popular culture, and policy agendas conflated to generate interest in the meaning of fatherhood and the roles fathers play in the lives of their children. This interest culminated in the development of what some referred to as a national “fatherhood movement.” Broad-scale national organizations like the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), along with numerous state and local (AND SO ON AND SO FORTH)>

I couldn’t find any corporate filing for CFFPP in Wisconsin under old or newer names, and am wondering what was its home state of registration, if not Wisconsin. Maybe I should try again later, because it did file IRS forms under this name.

Better blogging and more recent finds over at http://thefamilycourtmoneymachine.blogspot.com. I just stopped back by here, because this was a reasonably good one, from back in 2009. Amazing what the public doesn’t know about where its money is going. Not that it’s bona fide money anyhow — it’s a “fiat” currency which is probably about to stop becoming the world’s reserve currency. At which point fatherhood programming is going to be the least of anyone’s worries. . . .

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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