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Tuesday, July 18, 2000

CORNYN APPLAUDS FRAGILE FAMILIES INITIATIVE

Project designed to help children by assisting unwed, low-income fathers

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn joined with representatives from the Texas Fragile Families Initiative (TFF), the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the Center for Public Policy Priorities to announce the launch of a statewide effort to assist young fathers in twelve locations funded by a three-year, $5 million commitment from a consortium of private funders.

TFF brings together foundations, community organizations and government agencies to provide education, job training and counseling services for young, low income, never married fathers. The aim is to improve the lives of children by assisting fathers trying to meet the financial and emotional needs of their children.

"Government programs will never be able to replace personal responsibility, boost parents' involvement in their children's lives, or rebuild broken families. This is where Texas Fragile Families comes in. We can work smarter and cooperate with the private sector to maximize the return on tax dollars that are already devoted to this cause," said Attorney General Cornyn.

Initiative highlights include:

  • Training seminars for community organizations;
  • Grant money for community organizations creating programs for fathers and fragile families;
  • Collaborative learning programs for public agencies, policy developers, community organizations, religious leaders and social service workers;
  • Training for Attorney General staff to learn new methods for providing services to unmarried fathers including paternity establishment, involvement with children, court orders and cooperation with community organizations.

During his remarks, Attorney General Cornyn said, "The dramatic fall in fatherhood involvement has occurred over many years. We will not solve this problem overnight. However, I believe combining a helpful hand with the firm backing of child support enforcement will produce the best results for Texas children."

Locations of Fragile Family programs include Houston (three sites), Austin, San Angelo, Lufkin, Waco, El Paso, Laredo (starting in January), Dallas, San Antonio and Huntsville.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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