$1.8M federal grant backs county parenting program

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A $1.8 million grant awarded to the Milwaukee County Child Support Services Department will fund the continuation of the county’s “Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Program,” which helps fathers become better parents through relationship education, parenting classes, job training and other resources.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will enable the program to serve an estimated 1,750 fathers – primarily low-income fathers living in Milwaukee County.

Milwaukee County’s Child Support Services Department is the only child support agency in the country to be designated a grant, according to an announcement the county made on Saturday.

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“This is another example of the work we are doing that is turning Milwaukee County around,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “In the three years we’ve been running this program we’ve helped thousands of fathers connect with their sons and daughters. For every parent we can help reconnect with their child we increase the likelihood that child stays in school and out of trouble.”

The “Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Program” is supported by several community partners, including My Father’s House, Next Door Foundation, UMOS, Center for Self Sufficiency, and Centro Legal.

For its efforts, the Milwaukee County Child Support Services Department was honored by the Wisconsin Child Support Enforcement Association as the department of the year in 2013.

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