Marilyn Moore


Marilyn Moore



May 19, 2021

Senator Moore Leads Passage of Bill to Create a Council to Oversee Fatherhood Initiatives in Connecticut

Today, State Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), co-Chair of the Human Services Committee, led debate, discussion, and the passage of a bill that establishes a council to make recommendations concerning fatherhood initiatives. The Connecticut Fatherhood Initiatives (CFI) promotes the positive involvement and interaction of fathers with their children.

The bill, Senate Bill 912, An Act Concerning Funding And Oversight Of Fatherhood Initiatives, would also provide state funding for fatherhood initiatives. Children eligible or formerly eligible for services funded under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant would benefit from any available federal and private funds for programs that promote CFI objectives. Grants could provide employment and training opportunities for low-income fathers, classes in parenting and financial literacy, and other support services and programs that promote responsible parenting, economic stability, and interaction between fathers and children.

“Creating a council to oversee such an important initiative will help support fathers and children across Connecticut,” said Sen. Moore. “This bill means more support and resources to strengthen these important family relationships. A father plays an important role in a child’s life and I am proud to lead passage of this initiative and continue the good work of my former House colleague Pat Wilson Pheanious.”

Senator Moore spoke today about the important work former State Representative Pat Wilson Pheanious did as a single mother and raised the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative idea. Wilson Pheanious worked toward altering the way state agencies would deal with fathers looking for a way back into their children’s lives. She successfully worked to pass a legislative pilot program.

Senate Bill 912 would establish an advisory council to study and make recommendations concerning funding and oversight of fatherhood initiatives including the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative. This Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative, named after former Representative John S. Martinez, who passed away in 2002, is a statewide collaborative effort to change the systems that can improve the ability of fathers to be fully and positively involved in the lives of their children. Rep. Martinez was an active member of the Fatherhood Advisory Council and was instrumental in sponsoring Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut legislation which passed in 1999.

The John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut continues to work, support, and promote the positive interaction of fathers with their children. The initiative collaborates with a wide range of partners to assist communities and agencies in identifying and addressing the needs of fathers and families. The initiative focuses on four proven systems change strategies including, capacity-building in existing programs; infusing father-friendly principles and practices into existing systems; media advocacy to promote responsible fatherhood; and recommending social policy change to strengthen families.

This bill would also allow the advisory council, which will consist of at least 28 members, to study and recommend if fatherhood initiatives should be integrated with early childhood programs funded by the Office of Early Childhood, and whether the Office of Early Education or the Department of Education should oversee these initiatives. The council will oversee the collaboration between state agencies and provide services for fathers and families.

The council will also seek opportunities to coordinate services and support fathers eligible for services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant. Assistance would be provided to families so children can be cared for in their own homes while promoting independency and self-sufficient by promoting job preparation and work and marriage.