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UCHRA Brainstorms New Fatherhood Program In Hopes Of Getting Grant

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Brainstorms New Fatherhood Program In Hopes Of Getting Grant

UCHRA brainstorming ways to take advantage of a new state grant set to rollout, focused on tackling the lack of fathers in the home.

The UCHRA Policy Council spent the bulk of a Wednesday meeting discussing ideas for a program to help keep fathers in their children’s lives. The state plans on beginning the program in the next six months. UCHRA Executive Director Mark Farley said this is a tough problem that needed to be addressed.

“The state of Tennessee realizes that, Commissioner Carter, Governor Lee have realized that, the General Assembly have already got on board, and they realize they need to set aside a pot of money to work on the fatherhood issue in Tennessee,” Farley said.

The grant will be given out over a  five-year period. The specific dollar amount of the grant was not discussed. Farley said he hopes UCHRA can tackle this problem similar to the way the organization took on poverty.

“You get over in Memphis and Jackson, that western side of the state has been working on fatherhood issues for several years,” Farley said. “I don’t know if we’ve been working on that. We’ve not been doing that.”

The grants will be awarded in three categories: Messaging, Research and Innovation, and Programs. Farley said Messaging would be more for media. He said Research and Innovation would go to a university, so the UCHRA was focused on applying for the Programs part of the grant.

Several ideas were discussed like abstinence education, incentives for fathers to take parenting classes, and finding a celebrity from the Upper Cumberland to endorse the program.

“You need to graduate high school, you need to have a job, and you need have a strong foundation of a relationship before that child ever comes in,” Farley said. “You know you think of our day and time, and we don’t teach that anymore.”


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