County Gets $10 Million Grant for Responsible Fathers Program

Don Behm, Journal Sentinel, October 8, 2015

Success of a Milwaukee County Child Support Services program aimed at helping low-income fathers provide financial assistance to their children while restoring family relationships has been rewarded with a $10 million federal grant, officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant continues a program, formerly known as”Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood,” in the child support agency for five years, County Executive Chris Abele said.

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Milwaukee County’s program gets fathers into job training, helps them build relationship skills, find housing and recover driver’s licenses. Pathways also provides alcohol and other drug abuse counseling.

Milwaukee County received its first one-year grant of $1.8 million in September 2011 and has continued building participation of fathers with the goal of reducing the number of unpaid child support awards.

The county currently administers 126,605 child support cases, but 40% of parents under those orders do not take responsibility for the payments, records show.

In the program’s first three years, about 6,000 fathers from the Milwaukee metropolitan area have received one or more Pathways services, including 1,100 of them who enrolled in job training, Abele said. {snip}

Most participants are referred by family court commissioners.

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