This paper argues that supporting responsible fatherhood and related programs and services is not an attack on single mothers but rather helps low-income mothers with economic stability, child care, work-life balance, the identification of mothers and fathers involved in violent situations, reproductive health, more relationships and family choices, and positive childhood outcomes. It calls for increased federal support for fatherhood responsibility programs that help men help their families and alleviate some of the stress and feelings of hopelessness that low-income men of color experience. The paper begins by reviewing the history of incorporating fathers into social services policy, and then examines the policy debates about how best to fashion responsible fatherhood programs to meet the needs of low-income mothers. It concludes with a discussion on the ways in which including men in social services could benefit low-income women. Specific policy recommendations are proposed and include: strengthen fatherhood programs and innovations, support the capacity of fatherhood programs to facilitate child-support payments, expand access and visitation, encourage help with child care and work-life balance, continue to improve the connections between domestic violence and responsible fatherhood programs, and encourage fatherhood programs to engage men around issues of reproductive and sexual health. 37 references.
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