Designed for social service providers, this document reviews public policies affecting fatherhood programs and offers recommendations for programs. It begins by discussing the impact of federal public policy on fatherhood programs and the inclusion of marriage promotion in social welfare policy. The trend towards stricter enforcement of child support requirements is noted, barriers impeding collaboration between fatherhood programs and social welfare programs are explored, and strategies fatherhood programs can use to promote collaboration with child support agencies are offered. The movement towards implementation of programs and proposals that address both fatherhood and domestic violence is discussed, and social welfare policy premises on which both advocates for low-income fathers and for battered women can agree are identified. These premises include: safety from family violence is of paramount importance; fatherhood programs are not batterer's intervention programs; there is value for low-income fathers, their families, and for society to provide them with employment and other social welfare services; and the great majority of the men and women who would be affected by these policy decisions are poor. The final section of the guide discusses how legal services professionals can assist community-based programs.
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