Gov. Ron DeSantis Takes Action on ‘Fatherhood Crisis’ in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday April 11, 2022, signed the “Child Welfare” bil
Gov. Ron DeSantis Facebook photo

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday signed legislation addressing the “fatherhood crisis,” making it clear that the Sunshine State will not follow anti-family propaganda but “put programs in place that support fathers and help families stay connected and engaged with each other.”

“If you look over the last many decades, one of the worst social trends has been the decline of fatherhood, and we do have in many instances a fatherhood crisis in this country,” DeSantis said, signing the “Child Welfare” bill H.B. 7065 on Monday.

In part, the bill requires the Department of Children and Families to “contract for the development and implementation of the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative” and provides “grants to community-based not-for-profit organizations to offer certain mentorship programs,” according to the bill’s summary. It also designates June as “Responsible Fatherhood Month.”

“This bill is tied to $70 million in funding to provide a wide array of family and youth support through our Department of Children and Families as well as our Department of Juvenile Justice,” DeSantis said. “They will be working very closely to support fatherhood throughout our state.”

“The fact of the matter is when you take kids that do not have a father present during their upbringing, the chance of them dropping out of school, getting involved in trouble with the law, having other difficulties, increases dramatically,” the governor explained during the press conference.

“I think it’s been very, very obvious, that when fathers are present, when they’re serving a productive — helping to keep their kids in line when they’re not — it makes a real impact,” he added, before blasting critics of the traditional family structure, citing the New York Times.

“Now there’s some who say that this is not that important,” he said:

There was actually an article, a column in the New York Times that was titled “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.” And you have other people that kind of pooh pooh the idea of father. I just want to be sure in Florida we are not going to be following this propaganda. We’re gonna put programs in place that support fathers and help families stay connected and engaged with each other.

“This bill is going to create a statewide awareness campaign to call attention to the importance of responsible fatherhood and to equip fathers with resources to stay engaged in their children’s lives” he said, adding that the bill will also “support case managers who will help fathers find employment, transition from incarceration, and to better manage their obligations.”

“This bill takes those programs to the next level by increasing mentorship opportunities for at-risk youth. For many of these youths their mentor may be the only father figure that they have,” he added.


“Obviously, this bill is not gonna solve everything, but I think it can help,” the governor said.

“It’s an honor for me to be able to sign this,” he added. “And this is the type of stuff that, you know, doesn’t always get the headlines on a daily basis, but this is the type of stuff that is so meaningful in the lives of so many people that the ramifications are really significant.”

The law will go into effect July 1.


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